What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars on either side of the upper and lower jaw. They are also the last teeth to come through and usually appear during the late teens to early twenties.
How do I know if I have wisdom teeth?
Not everyone develops wisdom teeth, and there is nothing to worry about if you don’t have any.
The easiest way to be sure is to see a dentist; a routine examination will often identify any wisdom teeth.
What is an impacted wisdom tooth?
For some people, if there is enough room, the third and fourth molars erupt normally and in line with the other teeth. If this happens, wisdom teeth are just as good as any other molar, and no special treatment is needed.
However, sometimes these teeth fail to erupt fully, due to insufficient space. A tooth that has only partially erupted or has c
ome through at a crooked angle is known “impacted”. The gum around the impacted tooth may become swollen, painful or (in some cases) infected, which can cause considerable pain.
What do I do if I think I have a impacted wisdom tooth?
If you experience any of the above symptoms, call our friendly reception team at Smile Solutions on 13 13 96. We are open seven days a week, and if you are in pain we will always aim to arrange a same-day appointment for you.
What is the usual management of a problem wisdom tooth?
While waiting to see a dentist, you should keep the area around the wisdom tooth as clean as possible with good oral hygiene.
At your first visit will be an overall assessment and an X-ray of your jaw, that may enable us to identify any problem wisdom tooth and determine whether it is affecting adjacent teeth. If infection is present, you may be given a local anaesthetic (dental injection) to numb the area around the tooth and relieve any pain. The area will be thoroughly cleaned and sterilised with a antibacterial solution. A prescription of antibiotics may also be given in severe cases.
One of our friendly dentists will then advise you of the best course of action. This normally involves arranging for removal of the problematic tooth or teeth.
At Moss Vale Dental, we aim to ensure that wisdom tooth removal is a relatively simple procedure. It may be carried out by one of our highly experienced general dentists or by one of our registered specialists.
Depending on the degree of impaction and your personal preference, extractions can also be carried out under IV sedation or general anaesthesia. This option will all be discussed at your initial consultation.
In a nutshell
As you can see, some people don’t have problematic wisdom teeth because they don’t have wisdom teeth at all! Others are simply fortunate in having had a trouble-free eruption of these molars.
If you have any questions about wisdom teeth or would like to arrange an appointment, please call our friendly team on 02 4869 3111