Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt, typically between the ages of 16 and 25.
Wisdom teeth rarely come in without complications if there is insufficient space for them to develop properly. When that happens, they often become partially or completely impacted. For this reason, it’s best to remove them to prevent local inflammation, infection, cysts, cavities or problems with the root of adjacent teeth.
Even when wisdom teeth erupt completely, they can be hard to reach and brushing them can trigger a gag reflex.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
- Oral exam and x-rays
- Cone beam 3D imaging, depending on how close the dental nerve is to the roots, to prevent reduce the risk of jaw nerve damage occurring during the surgery
- Teeth are extracted while the patient is under local anaesthesia
Ideally, wisdom teeth should be removed when patients are 16 to 20 years old, because their tooth roots will still be short and only partially developed.