Wisdom Teeth

1. What are wisdom teeth?
Third molars, commonly knows as  withdom teeth, grow at the back of the dental arch after the second molars. An adult usually has four, but this can vary from person to person, with some people having only three or two, others having one, or none at all. They appear at the panoramic Xray as germs during adolescence and usually do not erupt until between 18 and 20 years of age. 

2. What are the symptoms of wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth can be impacted (hidden under the gums) or semi-impacted (partially visible). 
Associated symptoms may include:

  • a painful gum with redness (inflammation) and swelling around the area of the impacted tooth

  • pain felt or radiated in the jaw area 

  • a feeling of pulsation in or near the affected tooth

  • headaches

  • a strange taste or chronic bad breath (halitosis)

  • a visible or non-visible infection, with potentially, for an extracted tooth, accumulation of dental plaque and decay

  • a decrease in the opening of the mouth

3. Why do we have to remove wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth need to be extracted:

  • when they don't have room to come out normally or have the wrong axis

  • when they create recurrent pain

  • in case of inflammation and infection of the gum around the partially erupted tooth

  • if there is bone loss or decay on the adjacent tooth.

4. When should wisdom teeth be extracted?
The ideal age to extract wisdom teeth is between 15 and 20 years of age because the formation of the tooth root is not complete, thus reducing the risk of postoperative complications. It should be noted that they can be removed at any age.

5. How is an operation to remove wisdom teeth?
The procedure begins with generally a local anaesthetic. 
The dentist then opens the gum and bursts a little the bone around the tooth to extract the tooth. Sometimes the tooth is cut into several pieces to make it easier to remove. AT the end of the surgery, the gum is stiched back in place.

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