Wisdom teeth removal Brisbane
We often get asked “Does everyone have to get their wisdom teeth removed?”
A: No, at Alderley Dental, we find that about 30% to 40% of patients will need a wisdom tooth removed. This is usually because of pain or other problems.
On this page we start our informative 3-part series of articles on wisdom teeth:
1 About your wisdom teeth
Part 1: About your wisdom teeth
- What are they?
These are your third set of molars and they’re called ‘teeth of wisdom’ because they don’t emerge until you’re older.
Some people never end up getting them at all.
- Age they come through
Generally, wisdom teeth erupt between the ages of 17 and 24. We can detect a developing wisdom tooth on an X-ray as early as the age of 13 or 14.
- Monitoring development
For younger patients – we’re talking 15, 16, 17 – we monitor their wisdom teeth to see what happens. It’s best to keep an eye on them with dental check-ups than wait for them to cause problems.
We can make a better judgement, a definitive diagnosis, when a patient gets older – 18 to early 20s. It’s generally at this age, when wisdom teeth have been exposed to the mouth for a number of years, that you can determine the anatomy of that particular area.
Then we ask: Will this wisdom tooth catch food, promote infection or come through in the right place?
- How to keep wisdom teeth healthy
The best thing you can do is make sure you keep that area clean. That may mean a few extra seconds when you’re brushing your teeth, but that’s going to give you the best chance of holding on to that wisdom tooth.
Wisdom teeth pain and symptoms – when to see our Brisbane dentist
- If there’s no pain
You should still see a dentist for regular check-ups and X-rays on your developing wisdom teeth. Not all wisdom teeth are bad or have to be removed, but it’s critical that you get them assessed to understand what’s going on with them.
- As soon as pain starts
If you don’t have these check-ups, then you’re only going to know about them when they cause a problem – pain is the first sign of an infection. To start, they can get quite sore towards the back of your mouth, top or bottom, and make it difficult to open and close it.
- Radiating pain
You’ll notice significant radiating pain coming from the back of your mouth and jaw. It might start as a mild ache, building intensity over time. This can come and go or be constant pain that can last for two to three weeks, sometimes longer.
- “I can’t even think” pain
Eventually, the pain will develop into a shocking, throbbing pain. This can happen overnight or even within a few hours. If the wisdom tooth that’s coming through doesn’t have enough space, a little pocket can grow over it and bacteria can get trapped, causing an infection and severe pain.
- Bad taste
This is another sign of infection, which builds up, then releases and drains from the tooth into your mouth. The infection hasn’t gone, though. Episodes of this will continue until the source of infection – the wisdom tooth – is removed.
If it isn’t, then it gives the infection a chance to come back. It can get quite severe and cause significant problems for some people, as the infection can drain to other places such as the neck, causing difficulty breathing or swallowing, or under the eye area. That can be quite an issue.
- Strange smell
The infection is accumulating in your mouth.
- Headaches and earaches
When you have bad enough wisdom tooth pain, it can radiate into your head and feel like a headache or travel up to your ear.
As with any infection, it has the possibility of causing fever.
When you should have your wisdom teeth taken out
Every patient is individual
Some people ask whether they can potentially avoid or lessen surgery costs by having their wisdom teeth taken out early.
This could happen, to some degree, but importantly, the assessment and position of the wisdom tooth will dictate whether we start talking about surgery.
When a wisdom tooth looks troublesome
If you leave it untreated, it can cause decay on the other teeth and more serious problems.
Not sure whether your wisdom tooth needs to come out?