WISDOM TEETH

WHAT ARE THEY? DO THEY NEED TO BE REMOVED?

VICTORIAN DENTAL GROUP OFFER A COMPLETE COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION AND ASSESSMENT OF WISDOM TEETH.

WHAT ARE WISDOM TEETH?

Wisdom teeth are molar teeth that develop at the very back of your mouth and usually erupt through the gum around the ages of 17-25 years. Sometimes Wisdom teeth are referred to as third molars. 

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and not everyone has wisdom teeth. Typically, most people will have 4 in total, with one in each corner of the mouth. However, sometimes people can have none or even just 2.

They’re called wisdom teeth because they’re the last teeth to emerge. You’re presumably “wiser” when these teeth come in.

WHY DO WE HAVE WISDOM TEETH?

The early human diet consisted of roots, leaves, meat, and nuts. Today, humans cook food to soften it, and we can cut and crush it with utensils. Anthropologists believe humans have evolved beyond needing wisdom teeth, so some people may never get any. Other theories propose that because tooth loss would have been high amongst early humans due to decay and breakages, this cleared the necessary space in the jaw for wisdom teeth to grow properly. Today, because we retain most of our teeth, space is not always available. As a result, wisdom teeth can become impacted.

IMPACTED WISDOM TEETH

A full complement of teeth is 32, 8 in each corner of the mouth including the wisdom teeth. Generally, most people can only functionally fit 28 teeth comfortably. As wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come through, if they run out of room they may come through at an odd angle making them very hard to clean.

They may also push on the other teeth so that they can fit in resulting in crowding and possible movement of your other teeth.

In some cases, wisdom teeth can even get stuck in a process called impaction. If this happens there can often be pain or infection associated, which can damage the surrounding teeth in the long term.

DO WISDOM TEETH NEED TO BE REMOVED?

Victorian Dental Group conducts a full assessment of any wisdom teeth. Not everybody has wisdom teeth, and not everybody has to have them removed.

In the majority of cases where wisdom teeth are required to be removed, this can be done comfortably within the clinic under local anesthesia.

If the wisdom teeth are in an awkward position, or close to the main nerve that supplies the jaw, we will organise a referral to a specialist oral surgeon.

WHEN SHOULD I HAVE THEM REMOVED?

In some circumstances, your wisdom teeth may come through into your mouth and you may not even know that they are there. In this case, we will talk to you at your regular check-up about how to look after them. 

However, if you notice pain and discomfort at the back of your mouth, swelling around the face, or difficulty opening your mouth, it is important that you contact the team at VICTORIAN DENTAL GROUP and book in for an appointment. 

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT ONLINE

This article is designed to be for information purposes only and does not substitute or replace the advice of a registered health practitioner. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment. Please view the site Disclaimer for more information.

Victorian Dental Group