Wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) usually appear when people are in their late teens, twenties or even older. Wisdom teeth are usually the last teeth to come through the gums. Most people have four wisdom teeth, some people have none. In many people there is not enough space at the rear of the jaw for these teeth to come easily through the gums. If there is not enough space for the wisdom teeth to come through, the tooth will become wedged in or ‘impacted’. Some impacted wisdom remain in place and cause no trouble, however other people experience severe problems. Often one or more wisdom teeth will cause problems and must be removed. Removal of a wisdom tooth is a very common procedure and should usually be done as soon as possible before the problem gets worse.
If your wisdom teeth are likely to be difficult or complicated to remove, your dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Depending on the shape and position of some wisdom teeth it may be preferable in some cases for the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to remove the teeth. Your dentist needs to take X-ray films of your jaw, and these films will help us to plan the best possible way to remove troublesome wisdom teeth. We will advise you whether your wisdom teeth should be removed in the surgery, in a hospital or in a day-surgery clinic.