Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

December 4, 2019 by Dr Kristian van Mourik

Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Whether or not you require your wisdom teeth to be extracted can be a difficult decision and requires professional advice from your dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Wisdom teeth enter your mouth between the ages of 18 to 24. Since they are the last adult teeth to come through, there often is not enough space for them to enter your mouth and align properly.

Impaction is the term given to when wisdom teeth become stuck. It is recommended to get your impacted wisdom teeth removed if they are causing the following problems:

Reasons to remove wisdom teeth
  • Causing you pain
  • Infection of surrounding tissue
  • Crowding of other teeth
  • Cyst formation in surrounding bone
  • Erosion cavity – pressure applied by wisdom teeth can cause neighboring teeth to dissolve/erode
  • Decay of wisdom teeth and neighboring teeth – due to crowding wisdom teeth are often hard to clean. Food may get trapped and rot leading to decay of not only your wisdom teeth but neighboring teeth.

If your wisdom teeth are infected antibiotics can help in the short term, however pain and infection will most likely return. Some wisdom teeth infections can become complicated and spread to your neck and chest.

When not to remove your wisdom teeth

Some wisdom teeth may not require removal if they are:

  • Completely through your gums
  • Healthy
  • Positioned correctly in your bite
  • Easy to keep clean

If removal is recommended, before the age of 30 is advised.  This is because your wisdom teeth roots have not developed fully and your bone is softer. Leading to smoother surgery with less chance of complications and a faster recovery.



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