Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth normally erupt between the ages of 18 to 24 years of age. It is common for wisdom teeth to be impacted, meaning there is no space for them to erupt and it is not common for wisdom teeth to erupt into the right position even if space is available.

The reasons for not having this space are:

  • Our soft diets do not cause wear on our other teeth
  • It is vital to save our other teeth as they have normally erupted into the correct position. So few other teeth are being extracted
  • The lower jaw has not grown enough to accommodate the wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth need to come out if any of the following problems are occurring:

Damage to nearby molars


A commonly asked question is ‘Why do I need four wisdom teeth out?’

The impacted tooth causing problems needs to be extracted but so does its opposing tooth. This is because teeth keep moving until they hit something. So if only one tooth is extracted then the opposing tooth will keep moving (supererupts) until it hits the gingiva of the extracted tooth, causing problems.

As it supererupts, it also increases its surface area, causing more food and bacteria to accumulate around the tooth. So having the two opposing teeth out at the same time saves the extraction procedure and consequent healing time, occurring twice.

The difficulty of the extraction procedure determines whether they can be extracted at the surgery or in a hospital. Your dentist can discuss your options with you. It is also important to know the complications associated with the procedure, so please ask.