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Wisdom Teeth

A ‘wisdom tooth’ is the common name for the third molar which typically erupts anytime from the
late teens to late twenties. Unfortunately, there is often not enough space to accommodate these
teeth when they erupt and so they often end up being mal positioned. This in turn can lead to
various complications.
These complications can broadly be classified as acute or chronic.
The most common acute complication is an inflammation / infection of the gum around the crown
of a partially erupted (usually lower) wisdom tooth. This is called Pericoronitis and usually occurs as
there is a flap of skin partially covering the tooth and this area harbours debris and bacteria.
The symptoms of Pericoronitis can include any of the following: A general soreness at the back of
the mouth (often radiating along or up the jaw); limited opening of the mouth; swelling internally
behind the last tooth on that side; swollen glands, right through to an externally visible swelling of
the cheek / jawline.
Emergency management usually consists of debridement of the inflamed area; dressing of the area
with an anti-inflammatory / sedative agent and possibly antibiotics if a more aggressive infection is
present / spreading.
If you think you have any of these symptoms, then please call 03 9534 8611 asap and we will
schedule you an emergency appt. The cost for this type of treatment is approximately $150.
Wisdom teeth that have experienced Pericoronitis usually need to be considered for extraction as
the condition usually reoccurs. Your dentist will assess the tooth / teeth for extraction and give you
options. Simpler wisdom tooth extractions can be carried out at StKildadentist, and we will quote
you if appropriate. More complex extractions will require referral to an Oral Maxo-facial Surgeon
(OMFS) which we can also arrange.
Chronic issues associated with mal placed wisdom teeth include problems cleaning (which can lead
to decay on either the wisdom tooth or the tooth in front of it); food-packing; milder episodes of
soreness / aching; frequent biting of the cheeks or soft tissues.
If you have been suffering from any of these issues, then call 03 9534 8611 to book in for a New
Patient exam and we can assess your wisdom (and other) teeth and let you know the best course of

OPG - Wisdom Teeth

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