Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Over thousands of years of evolution, jaw size of humans have become smaller and smaller than their ancestors and they are not normally large enough to accommodate the four wisdom teeth.

This is why wisdom teeth cause more problems than any other teeth in the mouth. In fact, for nine out of ten people at least one wisdom tooth remains underneath the gum due to lack of space in the mouth.

Panoramic X-ray image, indicating impacted lower wisdom teeth on both sides

Serious problems can develop from partially impacted teeth, such as pain, infection, and crowding of, or damage to, adjacent teeth. For totally impacted teeth, more serious problems can occur if the sac that surrounds the impacted tooth fills with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst.

A cavity on the second molar is seen where the wisdom tooth leans against

This enlargement can hollow out the jaw and result in permanent damage to the adjacent teeth, jawbone and nerves. If the cyst is not treated, a tumour may develop from the walls of the cyst and a more involved surgical procedure may be required for removal.

Can we remove wisdom teeth in the presence of infection?
Many people think that having a tooth abscess, or local infection means you have to have the infection treated before you can have any teeth removed. The truth is, this is a myth. Whilst possibly having some veracity in exceptional and unique circumstances, for the vast majority of people, removing the cause of infection remains a basis for good treatment. Meaning getting your wisdom teeth removed in the presence of infection is the radical way of treatment for the infection.

Is there any such thing as prophylactic removal of wisdom teeth?
This is another controversy of dentistry generally. An analysis of an individual’s risk vs benefit ratio should be made for any person considering wisdom teeth removal, with general advice being that the analysis is to be conducted by a surgeon carefully through clinical examination and hearing past history of symptom of the wisdom tooth.

At our clinic, we do routinely carry out average 300 – 400 wisdom teeth removal surgically each year and our principle dentist (Dr.Knox Kim) had completed advanced training for surgical wisdom tooth extraction at the University of NSW in 2003. We often endeavour to perform wisdom tooth removal as least invasively as possible, under local anaesthesia, minimising prolonged healing recovery period.

Wisdom tooth management, rather than removal?
From time to time, upon our patients’ wishes, we can provide non-surgical management of swollen up gum tissues around impacted wisdom teeth. We can do this by using high-tech Laser equipment and there have been more than 200 happy patients who were satisfied with this type of non-invasive laser treatment. In 3-4 days of time, infection around wisdom tooth will completely settle down.

For any further information regarding our treatments or practice, please contact the Dental Clinic at World Tower and we will be more than happy to help answer your questions or arrange an appointment for you