Prof. Dr. Birkan Taha Özkan - Dental Specialist

Wisdom Teeth

What are Third Molar

Third molar, are the third biggest molars located in both sides of the jaw and located in the farthest back. The reason they are called wisdom teeth is because they are the final tooth toto erupt and usually erupt between ages 16-20.

Since the wisdom teeth are the final permanent teeth to erupt and they are located way back, by the time they erupt, they may not be enough space left.

This may result with one or more of the wisdom teeth remain impacted under the gum tissue, or under another tooth. Impacted teeth may result with swelling, infection, bone thinning, cysts, tumors and possibly cause paralysis on lip nerves.

Fully impacted or partially erupted teeth may cause aches, infections and may bump other teeth, causing further misalignment.

What is the best age to have wisdom teeth removed, and Why?

The ideal age range to have the wisdom teeth removed is between ages 16-25; since the roots will be less developed and the removal procedure will be easier. Due to personal variations in development speed, jaw structure, teeth alignment and possibly genetic factors, these ages may vary between patients.

What remedies can be used for wisdom tooth ache?

For patients suffering from dull aches, clove or clove oil may be offered as a temporary alternative. In cases of infection, it may be effective if taken under the control of the surgeon that will be performing the operation. If the wisdom teeth have erupted, and the pain is sharper with the pain of a decayed tooth, then an examination from a dentist is needed. If the tooth remains impacted under the gum or inside the jawbone, then the examination must be performed by a Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.

Symptoms and treatment of wisdom teeth

Generally, the biggest indicator of an impacted wisdom tooth is the considerable aching. The symptoms may vary depending on if there is an infection or decayed tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth may cause aches in jaw, ears, head, sinuses, throat, upper pulmonary system and the temples. In cases of infection the patient may suffer from infected discharge inside the mouth, bad breath, gum swelling and infection, pressure on neighboring teeth, aches in the opposite jaw area or aches in all the tooth inside the mouth, which may necessitate a detailed diagnosis to prevent removal of wrong tooth.

In cases where the wisdom tooth has erupted but began to decay, the situation may become more serious. Usually, dental surgeons can remove healthy wisdom teeth with but a simple surgical operation. However, a decayed wisdom tooth may be harder to remove from its location, for this reason it is imperative that patients should be mindful of this matter and should immediately consult Dental Surgeons when symptoms such as aching begins.

Should every wisdom teeth be removed?

Does every wisdom teeth require a surgical operation?

In cases where a normal teeth removal would suffice, there is no need to make any incisions. However, in cases where the wisdom tooth is below the gum tissue, a necessary incision is made and the remaining part is removed from there. The incision is then wound back up with a few stitches. Should the situation demand it, or the surgeon decides otherwise, the operation may involve more complicated steps, of course.


How different is the wisdom teeth removal from ordinary teeth removal?

It would suffice to say the operation is indeed different. The wisdom teeth, depending on their position and alignment on the jaw bone, and depending whether or not there are any gum tissue or neighboring teeth above may be more difficult to remove from ordinary teeth. Since this is a surgical operation, it must be performed in  sterile, clinical environments, should be performed by Maxillofacial surgery specialists, risk analysis must be done rigorously, nearby nerve and vein locations must be observed, neighboring teeth and nearby tissue must be preserved as well as it can be, any incisions -if any are made- must be stitched back up precisely, the possibility of dental roots breaking off must be considered and necessary precautions must be taken, and the area must be monitored with a radiograph pre-operation. These practices and detailed analyses greatly improve the comfort and dental health of the patient as well as facilitate the operation.

What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

It can be defined as teeth that has developed inside the bone, gum tissue, or under another tooth as well as teeth that are buried inside the jawbone and teeth that are unable to help with the chewing function. depending on the surgeon’s decision, the impacted tooth is removed from its location via a surgical operation.  Depending on how much -if not all- of the tooth remains buried inside the gum tissue, small local incisions are made and if necessary, any bone tissue that prevents the tooth from being removed is moved away with special tools and the impacted tooth is thus removed from the area. Following the removal, the flaps of the cut gum tissue is closed and stitched back together.

In some cases, depending on the decision of the dental specialist performing the treatment, the tooth may be left at where it is.