What is a wisdom tooth?

October 3, 2020

The third molars are referred to as “love teeth” in Korea, “20-year-old teeth” in Turkey, “teeth that parents do not know” in Japan, and “wisdom teeth” in French and English-speaking communities. These wisdom teeth are located completely within the middle and bottom of the dental arches, and they are the last permanent teeth to appear within the mouth.

An adult has thirty-two teeth.

Both the adult dental arches have 16 teeth each: 4 incisors, 2 canines, 4 premolars, and 6 molars. But when we are young children, we only have 20 baby teeth which include no premolars and only 4 molars per arch.

When the baby teeth disappear around the age of 6 to give way to the permanent teeth, it’s also the time of the eruption of the primary molar.

The second molar appears around 12 years old, while the third molar, the famous wisdom tooth, comes out around 18-20 years old.

Wisdom teeth usually appear from adolescence. They’re located at the rear of the second molars. As they need less space within the dental arch than other teeth, they’re more in danger of complications. From the age of 16 on average, they begin to grow and may sometimes grow so big that they will be painful.

We usually have four wisdom teeth, but it can vary from person to person’. Affordable wisdom teeth removal may be a common surgery from 16 years old. The intervention is often at the origin of moderate pain, swelling, which is a component of the traditional postoperative consequences.

The wisdom teeth are positioned at the back of the mouth, behind the second molar. It is used to chew, to grind food, etc. The wisdom teeth play an equivalent role like the other molars of the arch.

The wisdom tooth can sometimes have strange morphologies: it can have just one root or several, but these roots are then completely twisted. In fact, the molar grows badly because it does not have enough room.

The wisdom tooth is usually formed inside the gum line, but it doesn’t come out either for lack of space or because its axis of eruption isn’t correct.

To find out, the clinical examinations as well as the radiological examinations (panoramic radiography, see radiography section) are essential. It is from these examinations, it will be possible to assess their relationship with adjacent structures, neighboring tooth, nerve, sinus, gum, bone, etc. Indeed, a wisdom tooth that is completely hidden or partially protruded in the mouth can lead to complications such as infections, cysts, cavities, bone disorders, bad breath, pain, etc.

When it is partially included

The wisdom tooth will pierce the mucosa to try to come out, and by doing so it’ll only come out halfway. The pericoronary sac in which the wisdom tooth is found cannot evolve properly and thus leads to infection, pericoronitis, or significant damage to adjacent teeth, like cavities.

The partially impacted wisdom tooth isn’t easy to brush. Therefore the tartar and food deposits will then attach between the second molar, which is functional, and therefore the wisdom tooth which might wish to begin except for reasons of size or morphology, cannot position itself. It results in a true nest for bacteria in 75% of cases.

But whether it’s embedded within the bone or partially erupted, if the wisdom tooth may be a problem, it’ll need to be extracted.

At what age can they be extracted?

Wisdom teeth usually erupt in your mouth in your late teens, with root formation ending in your 20s. They appear between the ages of 16 and 25, most often around 18.

Why are wisdom teeth so problematic?

Sometimes wisdom teeth erupt and position themselves favorably within the mouth. No treatment is then necessary. Unfortunately, this scenario isn’t frequent.

Sometimes wisdom teeth protrude only partially from the gums or remain completely embedded within the bone (impacted teeth). They can cause pain, damage to other teeth, and other dental problems like infections and cavities. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to observe the progress and condition of those teeth and assess whether or not they have to be extracted.

Symptoms to watch out for

Impacted wisdom teeth are often asymptomatic, but the foremost common symptoms are:

  • Red or swollen and painful gums on the periphery of wisdom teeth
  • Pain within the jaw
  • Swelling within the jaws
  • An unpleasant taste within the mouth with bad breath
  • Painful wisdom tooth and/or adjacent toothIf any of those symptoms are observed, then it becomes important to go to your dentist or surgeon to diagnose the cause and establish an appropriate treatment plan (usually the extraction of those teeth).

We at Rosary Dental, provide affordable wisdom tooth removal with utmost care and concern.

Should I wait for symptoms to appear before treatment?

Of course not. Some impacted teeth are perfectly asymptomatic and yet are responsible for frequent complications.

  • Cavities: Partially impacted wisdom teeth carry a greater risk of tooth decay than other teeth. They are more difficult to clean; food and bacteria are trapped between the gum and the partially erupted tooth.
  • Damage to neighboring teeth: If the wisdom tooth rests against the second molar, it can damage it by promoting tooth decay or even cause resorption of its roots.
  • Cysts: The wisdom tooth develops from a sac inside the jaw bone. This sac can progress, forming a cyst that can damage surrounding structures (bone, neighboring tooth, gum).
  • More rarely, a benign tumor can develop there. This complication may require the removal of some tissue and bone.
  • Gum disease: Difficulty cleaning semi-impacted wisdom teeth increases the risk of developing inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the tooth (pericoronitis).

Procedure for removing wisdom teeth

The extraction of one or two wisdom teeth is performed under local surgery in a dental office (by appointment).

The total process of wisdom teeth removal, of the four teeth, requires a surgical intervention under general anesthesia. Hospitalization, most often on an outpatient basis, is sufficient.

The procedure begins with local anesthesia, continues with the incision of the gum, then milling of the bone surrounding the tooth to extract it. Depending on the case, it will be necessary to separate the different roots of the tooth. The closure is done using absorbable sutures which disappear spontaneously in 2 to 4 weeks or will be removed in consultation if they are non-absorbable sutures.

Duration of the intervention

The duration of the operation varies according to the problem and the patients but generally, it doesn’t exceed 45 minutes.

It should be noted that the more evolution progresses, the more often we see the absence of wisdom teeth in some lucky young patients.Wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow properly. Several problems can arise from this lack of space.

After The Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are visible on an x-ray. The operation of wisdom teeth causes pain of varying degrees of pain and swelling.

• Pain

The procedure is not painful in the vast majority of cases. Pain, of varying intensity, is a common symptom after wisdom tooth removal, along with edema and bleeding.

The pain is localized in the operated areas, knowing that it is often more important for the lower teeth than for the upper teeth.

If one or more teeth are embedded in the bone, it is necessary to incise the gum and then mill the bone. This procedure can increase the pain felt after the operation.

• Swelling

Swelling of the cheeks (edema) is frequent and sometimes severe, as well as small bleeding (for a few hours to one night after the operation) and pain in the operated areas.

The opinion of the dentist is essential in the event of infection and / or fever.

The advice of your dentist is essential when an infection and/or fever appear. Excellent oral hygiene is essential. This is why mouthwashes are prescribed. The teeth and gums should be cleaned after every meal with an ultra-soft brush. The healing takes 10 to 15 days after wisdom teeth removal.

Any medical procedure, even well-conducted, has a risk of more or less serious complications. They can range from the dry socket (inflammation of the tooth socket) to infection. In very rare cases there is a temporary or permanent loss of sensitivity of the lower lip or tongue. There is indeed in the lower jaw, a sensory nerve (inferior alveolar nerve) that travels near the tooth to be extracted. There is also, exceptionally, risk of fracture of the mandible.


Our dental professionals work as one team, so you will receive the same information whether you’re talking to our dentists or Dr. Aisha. This ensures that you receive the best service with all of your needs covered throughout the tooth extraction process. We work hard to perfect our communication skills to ensure that you have a great experience and affordable wisdom teeth removal at Rosary Dental.

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