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Do I need to have a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom Teeth ExtractionsDo I need to have my wisdom teeth out?

Many people would think or be told that their wisdom teeth needs to be pulled out, but is that the case for everyone?

If your wisdom teeth is not causing any pain or problems, and is unlikely to cause pain or problems in the future, there is actually no reason to have them pulled out.

Why do wisdom teeth hurt or cause problems?

It all comes down to whether you can clean them properly or not. Like any of your other teeth, if you don’t keep your teeth clean, chances are you will get a cavity in your tooth, which eventually leads to its nerve dying and becoming infected, or your gums around the tooth will become infected.

Wisdom teeth are very far back in the mouth making brushing and flossing them a challenge. Often there is not enough room for the wisdom tooth to grow out fully, or the wisdom tooth may be growing at an angle, preventing it from growing out fully. Under these circumstances, it is impossible to keep them clean and it is only a matter of time before they will cause problems.

When should I leave my wisdom teeth alone?

If your wisdom teeth are fully buried under the gums, then it is very rare for them to cause problems as bacteria would not be able to get to them.

If your wisdom tooth is erupted and fulfil the following criteria, then you can also leave them alone:

  • Your wisdom tooth is fully erupted or erupted enough to keep them well cleaned
  • The wisdom tooth is in ‘function’ i.e. it has an opposing tooth so that when you chew, your wisdom teeth is in use

When is the best time to remove my wisdom teeth?

The best time to remove wisdom teeth is between the ages of 20 and 30. The older you get, the less flexible your bone becomes, and the harder it is to remove wisdom teeth (and any other teeth in general). There are higher chances of complications such as the roots breaking or nerve damage, etc.

Our jaw usually would be fully grown by the age of twenty. Before the age of twenty, unless the wisdom teeth are already causing pain, the dentist can usually watch and monitor our wisdom teeth. If the wisdom tooth is upright, and our jaw is still growing, there may be a chance for there to be enough room still. If the wisdom tooth is growing at an angle, then we allow it to grow out more making it easier to remove once it is closer to the surface.

Other reasons to remove wisdom teeth

  • If you are having orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth, the treating doctor might want your wisdom teeth removed to allow more room for your teeth to be straightened (usually applies to adults).
  • After orthodontic treatment, the treating doctor might advise to remove wisdom teeth to reduce chances of relapse (teeth becoming crooked again) (usually applies to teenagers).
  • Any sign of your wisdom tooth damaging the tooth in front. This is usually picked up and monitored by routine OPG x-ray.

If you would like to discuss your wisdom teeth with a dentist, please make an appointment with us on 9802 6645.