- Wisdom teeth, or third molar teeth, develop and generally erupt in the late teenage years or early twenties. They may be either, protruding through the gum (erupted) or covered by the gum tissue and bone (unerupted), to different degrees.
- Third molar teeth are commonly removed because they are impacted. An impacted third molar tooth is a tooth that cannot erupt properly into the mouth because of insufficient space. They may be either causing pain and problems (symptomatic) or you may be unaware of them (asymptomatic) but may show signs of a disease process and therefore need to be removed.
- The most common reason they are removed is because of infection or tooth decay. This occurs more often around impacted third molar teeth which are difficult or impossible to clean adequately
- Less common reasons for their removal include jaw cysts, damage to the tooth immediately in front or rare pathology.
At the time of consultation the doctor will take a comprehensive history, examine the area and Xray and discuss with you the indications for recommending the removal of, or monitoring of, your impacted third molar teeth. Most impacted third molar teeth will be removed under a general anesthetic as a day surgery procedure. As with any surgery, there are risks associated with removing teeth, which may vary with your age and general health or with the tooth or teeth being removed. Teeth removal from bone and gum tissue do require a healing phase and so you will be given information about your proposed surgery and advised on what to expect in relation to post-operative pain and recovery time. You will also be given information item numbers and fees for your financial considerations. You are then in a position to make informed consent.