Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the final teeth to develop. Most of us have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. They usually emerge during our late teens or early twenties.
Often times, wisdom teeth become trapped or impacted in the jawbone or simply fail to erupt. This can cause crowding or displacement of other teeth or lead to the development of localized tooth decay, infection, or gum disease. Impacted wisdom teeth are set in the jawbone in unusual positions, sometimes horizontally, which stops them from erupting in a normal way.
In most cases, it is recommended that impacted wisdom teeth be extracted. Depending on the position of the tooth, third molar or wisdom tooth removal can be performed in your dentist's office, at an outpatient surgical facility, or in a hospital.
If the tooth is not impacted, extraction is the same as with other teeth.
To ease any discomfort and promote healing:
Call your dentist or physician immediately in case of excessive bleeding, swelling, persistent or severe pain, or fever.
Be sure to follow the special home care instructions provided by your dental professional.