By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth: 16 on the top and 16 on the bottom.
The average jaw however, can usually only hold 28 teeth. The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt so when they try to fit, there is often not enough space in the mouth for this to happen without experiencing complications.
Wisdom teeth do not need to be removed if they are aligned properly and the gum is healthy around them, however this is often not the case. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. These then become impacted teeth. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to emerge successfully; and hence cause many problems.
If partially emerged, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and eventually causes infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain and possibly illness. The pressure from the emerging wisdom tooth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment. The most serious problem that can occur is a tumour or cyst forming around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment of the offending impacted tooth or teeth can avoid these issues and result in a superior outcome for the patient.
What to expect at consultation
You will be greeted by on of our nurses who will go through your paper work and make sure everything is in order.
Dr Kate will then review your medical history, talk with you about your individual situation and perform an oral examination including assessment of dental x-rays to determine the position of the wisdom teeth. After Dr Kate’s comprehensive evaluation, a prediction of present or future problems can be made.
If it is decided that your wisdom teeth need to be removed, the various options of how this procedure can take place will be explained to you. Most people choose to have these removed whilst they are asleep. This can take place either in a hospital or at our surgery here at The Rose Medical and Aesthetic Centre.
At consultation, you will be fully informed of how the procedure is undertaken, what to expect on the day and of course any risks and complications associated with your treatment. It is handy to bring your schedule with you to make booking a surgery date easier.
Consultations can last up to 45 minutes, giving you plenty of time to discuss your treatment options and ask any questions you may have. Information in the form of written material will also be given to you along with notes from the consultation. Our philosophy is that informed and educated patients are best prepared for surgery and often have the best outcomes.