What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars on each side of the upper and lower jaws. They are also the final teeth to erupt; they usually appear when a person is in their late teens or early twenties.
Since wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to come in, there is often not enough room left in your mouth to accommodate them. This can lead to wisdom teeth getting “trapped” (impacted) beneath the gum tissue by other teeth or bone. If the wisdom teeth are trapped, pain and swelling may occur.
Signs & Symptoms
You will likely need your impacted wisdom tooth pulled if it results in problems such as:
- Damage to an adjacent tooth
- Development of a fluid-filled sac (cyst) around the wisdom tooth
- Damage to surrounding bone
- Complications with orthodontic treatment to straighten other teeth
Because teeth removed before age of 20 years have fewer complications, the American Dental Association recommends that people between ages of 16 years and 19 years should have their wisdom teeth evaluated to see if they need to be removed.
What is Oral Surgery?
It is a form of dentistry that treats a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects around the head, neck, face and jaw.
What are reasons for needing oral surgery?
While the removal of wisdom teeth is the most well-known type of oral surgery, there are many reasons why oral surgery may be required, including:
- Repairing or treating serious conditions affecting a patient’s teeth, palate, lips, jaw or face
- Repairing damage to jaws and teeth caused by a serious accident or injury
- A lesion, tumor or other tissue of the mouth or jaw requires biopsy or removal or if oral cancer is suspected
- A dental implant is required to replace a missing tooth or support a bridge
- A tooth breaks off at the gum line and it (or its root fragments) must be removed
- An open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
- A facial injury or birth defect that affects the maxillofacial region
- A receding chin, protruding jaw and unbalanced facial appearance