Oral Surgery Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth

os_wisdomtooth2Wisdom teeth emerge years after all other teeth are in place. The third molars, or wisdom teeth, are called such because they develop when most individuals become adults, which is near 17 years of age.

Because our jaws are smaller than those of our ancestors, our wisdom teeth do not have enough room to fit in our mouths properly. We eat softer foods now, therefore, we do not require the additional molars for tough chewing. This change in our lifestyle and mouth structure usually results in problems if any additional teeth, such as wisdom teeth, attempt to emerge.


Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?

os_wisdomtoothBecause our mouths are no longer large enough for our wisdom teeth they may become impacted, which can crowd other teeth and cause them to chip or break. They can cause gum disease or decay due to their difficulty of cleaning. They may also cause cysts, which can destroy the jaw or teeth surrounding the wisdom teeth. Very rarely do wisdom teeth grow properly and remain healthy. If wisdom teeth are removed, they can keep the rest of your mouth healthy and your other teeth properly positioned.

It is best to have wisdom teeth removed around 17-25 years of age because that is when they usually develop. Removal will be easier and recovery will be faster since the roots usually have not fully developed yet.

Complications from Impacted and Partially Impacted Wisdom Teeth

wisdom_infection wisdom_crowding2 wisdom_cyst3

(a) Infection

(b) Crowding, damage

Complications may arise from partially impacted teeth (fig. a and b) and totally impacted tooth (fig. c).