Wisdom Teeth

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth usually appear in your late teens or early twenties. They are the third molars in the very back of your mouth. Some people never develop wisdom teeth. Others can have up to four teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. They often don’t have room to grow properly and can cause problems. Erupting wisdom teeth can grow at various angles in the jaw, sometimes even horizontally.

Sometimes wisdom teeth only partially emerge through the gums. Other times, they remain completely hidden. Wisdom teeth that aren’t able to emerge normally become impacted, or trapped, within your jaw.

If the wisdom teeth emerge partially through the gums, a passageway is created, which can cause problems. And because this area is hard to see and clean, it can become a magnet for bacteria that cause gum disease and oral infection.

Why do they need to be removed?

Not all wisdom teeth need removal. The main reasons for removal of wisdom teeth are:

  • Recurrent infection with pain and swelling
  • Decay in the wisdom tooth or neighbouring teeth
  • Gum disease around the wisdom tooth or neighbouring teeth
  • If the wisdom tooth has a cyst associated with it

  • How are they removed?

    This depends on the position of your tooth and the way it is impacted. The type of surgery required will depend on the position of the wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth can be removed under local anaesthesia, with or without additional intravenous sedation or under general anaesthesia.

    What is the recovery period and when can I return to work?

    This is dependant on the degree of impaction and the number of teeth removed. It also depends on your occupation and how you feel after your treatment. We will discuss this with you when you attend for your consultation. Following your treatment you will receive the following:

  • Written post-operative instructions
  • A prescription for painkillers
  • Some patients will receive a prescription for antibiotics
  • A sick certificate for work