Most people possess three permanent molars in each quadrant of the mouth. These progressively develop over childhood. The wisdom teeth are the third molars to appear and are located at the very back of the mouth. The nickname ‘wisdom teeth’ comes from the idea that wisdom comes with age.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Appear?
The development for the first molars begins at around six years of age. At the age of twelve, the second molars begin to develop. Between the age of eighteen and twenty, the third ‘wisdom’ molars begin their development. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop in our mouth and are just as useful as our other teeth if developed properly with a healthy gum tissue surrounding them.
The term ‘impaction’ refers to when a person’s wisdom teeth are unable to erupt (appear) properly in their mouth. However, not all teeth that have failed to erupt are impacted. Given enough time, the teeth may evolve properly. In order to determine if your teeth are impacted or not, a dentist will examine your mouth and take an x-ray of your jaw.
Infection, gum disease damage to the second molars and the formation of a cyst or tumour from the tooth follicle are some of the problems that may occur as a result of impacted wisdom teeth. In many cases, dentists recommend the removal of impacted wisdom teeth to eliminate future complications.
When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Taken Out?
If wisdom teeth are impacted, early removal is most effective as it helps prevent problems, such as an impacted tooth destroying a second molar. We generally suggest removal of wisdom teeth be when the roots are three-quarters developed. This usually occurs during adolescence. We strive to prevent third molar impaction, as it is the most common medical developmental disorder.
What Is Meant By 'Dry Socket'?
After a wisdom tooth is removed, a large hole known as a socket is left where the tooth was. During the healing process, a blood clot naturally forms in this hole which is designed to help heal the wound. It is important to preserve this blood clot so the healing process can occur. If this blood clot becomes dislodged this is a ‘dry socket’ which can prevent the natural healing process and cause infection.
Food can get caught in the wisdom tooth socket, causing infection. It is important to follow our post-surgery instructions immediately after surgery. This includes oral hygiene, diet and in some cases recommended or prescribed medications.
How Much Does A Wisdom Tooth Removal Cost?
The costs of a wisdom tooth removal can vary greatly depending on how many teeth need to be removed, how developed they are and the extent of the removal procedure. However, affordability is always at the front of our mind and we offer interest-free payment plans for those more complex procedures.