Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Wisdom teeth (aka third molars) have managed to get themselves a pretty bad reputation! Here’s some general information about these ‘extra’ teeth and also some information specific to wisdom tooth extraction.

Wisdom teeth got their name as you don’t get them till you’re an adult. They erupt generally from 18-24 years old but can also come through much later.

The problem is that wisdom teeth often get impacted on their way into their mouth, which means that they get stuck and don’t come all the way up. We find the ones that cause the most problems are the ones that get halfway up before they get stuck. Even if they do make it, its very common to see them at weird angles or facing the wrong way! We also see a lot of decay in wisdom teeth because they are much harder to brush (and people aren’t in the habit of brushing them!).

With all this said, just because they aren’t always perfect, doesn’t mean that we need to extract every wisdom tooth. A lot of factors need to be taken into account when making this decision, so we assess each tooth on your individual basis.

Why remove your wisdom teeth?
  • Pain or infection
  • Damage to the tooth in front
  • Cyst associated with the wisdom tooth
  • Prior to orthodontics
  • Decay
  • Periodontal disease on the wisdom tooth or on the back of the tooth infront

Wisdom Tooth extraction

Lower wisdom teeth are much more difficult to extract than other teeth and this is why they cost more to remove. The bone is very dense, it is hard to get to and they are often at a weird angle. They can also be riskier as there is a large nerve (inferior dental nerve) that runs through your jaw, which the wisdom tooth roots can sometimes be very close to. This is why we always take a big x-ray to check where the nerve is. We will discuss this risk further with you if your wisdom tooth is close to the nerve.

It is a lot more common that we need to expose the tooth or remove some bone. This is known as a surgical extraction. It is very difficult to explain as there are so many factors – so the best way to go forward is to get an x-ray and we can talk through it together.

If the tooth is at a very high risk or very complicated, we will offer you a referral to a specialist.

Follow the same instructions as on our dental extractions page, however bear in mind that wisdom teeth are generally more sore and a lot more swollen after. Expect a day or two off work and give yourself some time to rest! Make sure you have soft, nutritious foods in the fridge ready to go.