Third molars, also commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are located in the back corners of the mouth and usually grow in the late teens or early 20s. Wisdom teeth need to be extracted when they are unable to properly enter the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially erupt or even remain completely trapped beneath the gum and bone. Teeth that do not fully erupt are what we call “impacted teeth,” and can cause problems such as tumors or cysts that can destroy the jawbone or damage perfectly healthy adjacent teeth. Partially erupted and some impacted teeth also allow bacteria and food to grow, which potentially leads to gum disease. While not all wisdom teeth may need to be extracted, many certainly need to be managed.
Generally, in young adults, wisdom teeth have incomplete root development, which makes the extractions less complicated and/or risky. However, as wisdom teeth continue to grow, their roots become longer, stronger, and may interfere with sensory nerves or sinuses.
After their training in dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgeons receive an additional 5 to 7 years of hospital-based surgical training and residency. This rigorous and intensive training includes time spent on rotation to general surgery, ENT, plastic surgery, anesthesiology and many other medical rotations, in order for them to be eligible for national Royal College of Dentist Fellowship certification examinations. They are specialized to provide their patients the best advice on managing their wisdom teeth, based on a thorough examination, imaging and discussion with patients.Man