Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars, typically emerging after all other teeth and long after childhood has passed—often during the late teens or early twenties. For many people, wisdom teeth emerge as they should without pain or issues. However, wisdom teeth are somewhat notorious for presenting problems for some people. There are two primary conditions:
Misaligned wisdom teeth can cause damage to other teeth and can cause serious jaw or nerve pain. Because of this misalignment, they can also be prone to or cause decay or infection, including in other teeth and the surrounding gums.
Impacted wisdom teeth are those which did not emerge properly. They may be surrounded by the bone in the jaw or otherwise trapped in the soft tissue. This can lead to swelling, stiffness in the jaw, pain and other serious problems. Plus, wisdom teeth that are only partially erupted can have more chance of tooth decay and gum disease, and generally present on-going problems.
Dr. Andrew Johnson has a particular research interest in wisdom tooth extraction, and is specially trained and experienced. He can discuss with you all the oral and dental health issues regarding a problematic wisdom tooth, and devise a plan to address extraction, which is a surgical procedure. Your plan will of course include expert follow-up care.