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Wisdom Teeth: To Remove or Not  Remove - And When?

By Anthony Pistolese November 14, 2018

Wisdom teeth, which are also called third molars, usually erupt in our late teenage years, or later, if there is sufficient space in the jaws to allow eruption.  Wisdom teeth are usually the last teeth to come through the gums.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

If space is limited, they become “impacted” which can lead to severe problems. Typically, everyone has four wisdom teeth, and some have less or no wisdom teeth at all.

As oral hygiene around the world has improved, and tooth decay has become less present, Orthodontists are increasingly choosing to employ a non-extraction treatment approach to correct crooked teeth, and thus, the prevalence of impacted third molars has increased as they attempt to hold all teeth with treatment.

Impacted wisdom teeth can be pain-free or cause considerable discomfort.  They can be partially erupted and visible or entirely buried in the gum and non-visible.


Clinical Implications

There is now considerable evidence to support the removal of symptom-free wisdom teeth in young adults due to the future problems they can cause, including infections, jaw pain, dental crowding, cyst formation and tooth decay.

One of the best ways for your Orthodontist to check your wisdom teeth and advise you accordingly will be to take an X-ray of your mouth and assess their position.

Your Orthodontist may recommend the early removal of your wisdom teeth to avoid any future problems they could cause. It may also reduce the possibility of relapse following any orthodontic treatment undertaken.

It is best to have troublesome wisdom teeth removed while an individual is young.  In young people, a tooth’s roots have not formed, and the bone surrounding the tooth is softer.

This allows for less complex procedures in removing these teeth, and therefore, ensures less risk of damage to nerves, bone or other teeth.  Further, in young individuals, their healing capacity is enhanced allowing them to experience less discomfort.

Dr Anthony Pistolese and his team at Inner West Orthodontics have over 30 years experience in Orthodontics can provide advice to our patients regarding the management of impacted wisdom teeth following orthodontic treatment.

For help, book an appointment with our friendly team.

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