Procedure Information

Wisdom Teeth

Problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth


When the wisdom teeth become stuck they are often impossible to clean properly and they can become decayed. Also, they can cause decay in the tooth in front and it can be very difficult to place fillings in these situations prior to the removal of the wisdom teeth. 


Line of weakness in the jaw bone:

An impacted wisdom tooth causes a weakness in the jaw bone which could result in a broken jaw if the jaw bone is struck such as during boxing or other contact sports.


Early or timely removal of impacted wisdom teeth can prevent these problems

These problems can be prevented by the timely removal of impacted wisdom teeth. Generally speaking, it is best to have this done if at all possible when you are young as the surgery is a lot more comfortable for younger patients and recovery times considerably quicker. At Oral Surgery Associates, we recommend the removal of impacted wisdom teeth to be ideally undertaken between the ages of 18 and 25 and before they cause problems. 

However, there are occasions when these teeth are removed earlier if they have started to cause trouble, needed to be removed for orthodontic (teeth straightening) work or are causing problems such as cyst formation. It is often best to have the wisdom teeth removed before they cause problems as symptoms such as pain can be quite severe and occur at very inconvenient times. Also the surgery becomes more difficult and complication rates rise as people get older.

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed,such as those that are erupted into a normal position and not impacted. Another occasion when the wisdom teeth may not need to be removed is if they are deeply buried in the jaw bone and not associated with any pathology. However, this should be carefully assessed with a three-dimensional Galileos scan (see below).

Assessment of your impacted wisdom teeth

At Oral Surgery Associates, we have a special three-dimensional x-ray technique called a Galileos cone beam tomography examination. The special x-ray considerably improves the diagnostic ability for the surgeon in removal of impacted teeth. It clearly shows the position of a nerve which supplies feeling to the lower lip and chin and often lies close to the roots of wisdom teeth. By being able to carefully assess the position of this nerve, we at Oral Surgery Associates are able to plan your surgery to minimise the risk of damage to this nerve.