Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth or third molars are the last permanent teeth to form before moving into the mouth. Wisdom teeth will usually emerge at around 16 to 18 years of age and be fully developed by the age of 22 or 23. This was assumed to be the “age of wisdom”, which is where the term “wisdom” teeth originated.

In most cases, the jaws are not large enough to accommodate these teeth and therefore they remain under the gum. In this case, the wisdom teeth have become impacted. The term “impacted” describes a tooth that is not fully exposed in the mouth because it is covered by soft tissue or bone.

Surgery is more predictable for younger patients than older patients as roots are not yet fully developed and bone is not as dense. As well, younger patients tend to heal more rapidly. The healing potential is highest prior to the age of 25.

Partially erupted teeth are considered to be impacted. Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth can work their way down to the impacted wisdom teeth, frequently causing infection in the surrounding gums and bone

The constant pressure from impacted wisdom teeth can also damage adjacent teeth. You may not feel anything until significant damage has occurred. This pressure may also push other teeth out of line, possibly creating a need for orthodontic treatment.

Even if you have no symptoms now, headaches, earaches, pain in the face, neck, throat and upper and lower teeth can occur if impacted wisdom teeth are not removed. Cysts can also develop around impacted wisdom teeth.

Our practice is dedicated to providing our patients with the best possible care. Our main concern is to make our patients’ surgical experience as comfortable and pleasant as possible and to ensure the best possible result from treatment.

For very anxious patients we offer sedation which allows our patients to relax and take their mind off the procedure.

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