Wisdom Tooth ( Frequent Asked Questions)

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth (or third molars) are the last teeth to erupt into the mouth.

At what age do wisdom teeth erupt?

Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 18-21 but this can vary between patients

Does everyone have wisdom teeth?

No, some people have all four wisdom teeth, some have one, two or three and some even have none.

Do wisdom teeth always cause problems and need removal?

No, in many cases, wisdom teeth erupt fully into the mouth into full function and behave exactly like any other tooth. Where a wisdom tooth remains fully buried, often it can be left alone if it is expected not to cause any problems. Diseased or potentially problematic wisdom teeth should be removed.

What are the reasons for wisdom tooth removal?

-Infection around a partially erupted wisdom tooth
-Unrestorable decay or badly broken down tooth
-Decay of the adjacent tooth caused by the wisdom tooth
-Cyst formation
-For orthodontic or prosthetic reasons

Why are wisdom teeth more difficult to remove than other teeth?

This is because of a number of factors;
-The jaw bone in this area is particularly dense
-The roots of wisdom teeth can be multiple and at unfavourable angulations
-The wisdom tooth is often partially covered by gum and jaw bone
-Nerves, blood vessels and the adjacent teeth need to be taken into consideration during the procedure

Are all wisdom tooth extractions difficult?

No, in general:
-Lower wisdom tooth removal is more difficult than upper wisdom tooth removal
-The difficulty increases with the degree of impaction
-The difficulty increases if the tooth is grossly decayed
-Difficulty increases with age (the ideal time for removal is in the 20s & 30s)

How are wisdom teeth removed? 

Most lower wisdom teeth are “stuck” and can not be removed like other teeth (this is why you were referred to an oral surgeon

Will I feel pain?

-If your mouth is fully numb using local anaesthesia- you will feel pinches in your mouth.
-You will feel some pushing and pressure.
-The drilling feels exactly like the sensation of having a filling and is not painful.
-Stitches do not hurt.
-If having sedation, you may not even remember the procedure.

What is the recovery period?

This depends on the degree of impaction, the number of teeth and your own particular healing! After the procedure, expect some soreness, swelling, bruising, bleeding & some limited mouth opening. This is usually well controlled with the prescribed pain medications.

By: Dr.A.M. Miski