Wisdom teeth usually emerge through the gums during the late teens, twenties, and sometimes later in life. Some people do not develop wisdom teeth at all, while others may have 1, 2, 3, 4 or even more!
If the jaw does not have enough space for the wisdom teeth to come through they can become stuck or “impacted”. Often, impacted wisdom teeth will cause problems including pain, infection, cysts, ulcers, food trapping, bad breath, or damage to the tooth in front. Sometimes the damage to the tooth in front gets so bad that it must also be removed.
In general, problematic wisdom teeth should be removed as soon as possible before the problem gets worse. In some instances, your dentist may recommend monitoring the wisdom teeth with regular check-ups in order to see how they grow through the gum.
After a thorough check-up including x-rays, your dentist will discuss your particular situation with you. As with any surgery, there are risks associated with the removal of wisdom teeth. If removal is deemed an appropriate course of action, you will be informed of the associated pros, cons, and risks. The decision to have wisdom teeth removed is always yours.
If removal of your wisdom teeth is likely to be especially difficult or complicated, your dentist may refer you to a specialist oral surgeon. There is an oral surgeon who visits Bega regularly and performs wisdom teeth extractions under general anaesthesia through the day surgery. This service can also be useful for patients who feel particularly apprehensive about the procedure and would prefer not to be awake. Often conscious sedation using oral sedatives and/or nitrous oxide gas can be very effective in relieving anxiety, allowing treatment to be completed awake in the chair.