The third and final set of molars that a person gets is known as Wisdom teeth and they are the last set of teeth that erupt in your mouth. These teeth normally erupt between the ages of 17 and 25 which are considered as the "Age of Wisdom." If these teeth are healthy and have proper alignment they could be useful; however, in many cases they are not aligned properly and hence require removal.
If there is insufficient space in the dental arch the growth and eruption of the wisdom tooth is prevented by overlying gum or bone causing it to be impacted. The impacted tooth can either be partial or total. A tooth is said to be partially impacted when a portion of it has broken through the gum; on the other hand a totally impacted cannot break through the gum.
- Overt infection - Pericoronitis
- Unrestorable caries (cavity)
- Periodontal (Gum) disease
- Presence of cysts and tumors
- If the tooth is the cause for damage to the adjecent tooth
- For orthodontic reasons
- Before orthognathic surgery
- Swelling and redness of the gum around the eruption site
- Difficulty in opening the mouth (trismus)
- A bad odor or taste in the mouth
- Pain in the general area might get transferred to the entire lower jaw or the neck
Prior to getting the surgery you must discuss with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon regarding the details of surgery, what you could expect from this surgery and also the risk factors. Ask as many questions as you want regarding the surgery to understand the details. You must be frank during your discussions with the doctor and explain to him about any existing illnesses that you have and also the medications that you are taking.
Extent of difficulty that can be faced during the removal of the wisdom tooth depends on factors such as position of the tooth, root development etc. The surgical procedure to remove partially or totally impacted wisdom teeth is relatively more complicated.
The dental surgeon might administer local anesthesia, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia for performing wisdom tooth extractions; these are normally done in the Dental office. You could discuss with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon on the anesthetic option suitable for you.