Ask the Experts: Do you have to remove wisdom teeth?

Dentist wearing blue gloves points wisdom tooth in a dental teeth education model mouth.

Dr Malcolm Duff from Face Value Dental discusses wisdom teeth and whether to have them removed or not.

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow in the mouth. While most don’t cause problems, others can be very painful or cause other serious issues that need to be addressed.

If you have a problematic wisdom tooth, your dentist may discuss removal or other treatments, depending on the individual case. Dentists sometimes recommend wisdom teeth removal as a preventive measure if there may be a high risk of problems when they come through.

When might a wisdom tooth need to be removed?

It’s normal to have some pain and discomfort when any new tooth comes through, but if a wisdom tooth is very painful, this could be a sign of a number of problems.

Your wisdom tooth could become impacted which can cause it to push against surrounding teeth or bone. 

It may have a partial eruption when there isn’t enough space in your mouth or the tooth is too short. There could be an over eruption when it grows longer than the surrounding teeth or there could be crowding if your jaw is not large enough to support any more teeth. 

These issues can lead to an infection or other serious problems in the gum or surrounding areas.

When to see a dentist

Your dentist will monitor the development of your wisdom teeth and look for any signs of problems during a regular check-up. However, you should also make an appointment if a wisdom tooth is causing you pain or if you have other unusual symptoms, such as swelling or signs of a possible infection.

Your dentist will examine your mouth and take x-rays so they can see the size, position and angle of wisdom teeth in your mouth. Dentists are experienced in wisdom tooth extraction and will recommend when extraction may be the best option for your health and to protect your existing teeth.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

Your dentist will examine your mouth and use x-rays to plan your treatment. The wisdom teeth removal procedure may be straightforward or complex, depending on the position and status of the tooth.

You will normally be given a local anaesthetic so you don’t feel pain during the procedure. Your dentist may offer other types of sedation if you are having a more complex extraction, several wisdom teeth are being removed at once or you have dental anxiety.

Book a wisdom tooth check-up 

If you’re worried about your wisdom teeth or want to know more about what extraction involves, contact our team at Face Value Dental. 

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Read next: Are veneers safe for your teeth?

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