Removing the wisdom teeth

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If the wisdom teeth are unable to take their proper position, they often habe to be removed.

Removing the wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth (Latin: dentes sapientes) received their name during the Roman period as these teeth tend not to erupt through the mucosa until adulthood. Their appearance was therefore associated with a certain degree of worldly wisdom. Outside Western cultures, they are known by terms such as ‘youngest tooth’ in Indonesian, ‘chewing tooth’ in Thai or, in Japanese, oyashirazu, literally meaning ‘unknown to the parents’. This means that the wisdom teeth do not emerge until their offspring has left home.

People usually have 32 teeth, of which four are normally wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth are actually the third molars. The first signs that they are emerging – i.e. calcification on the X-ray – are not detectable until around the age of 12 to 14. The age at which the teeth come through depends on the individual; it is usually between the 16th and 40th year of life. In some people, fewer or no wisdom tooth buds form; others actually have even more wisdom tooth buds (additional teeth). With regard to the form of the root and the root bud, wisdom teeth deviate from the norm more often than the other molars.

Wisdom teeth are often crowded out and unable to take their proper position in the mouth and in the dentition.



Whether wisdom teeth should be prophylactically extracted or removed only if and when they cause problems, must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Prophylactic extraction of wisdom teeth refers to the (often surgical) removal of asymptomatic wisdom teeth in young adults in the population. Sie sollten nicht vor Abschluss des skelettalen Wachstums entfernt werden.



The removal process first involves carefully opening the mucosa covering the wisdom tooth and then drilling away the surrounding bone to expose the tooth (so called osteotomy). Depending on the position and degree of tilting, the tooth is carefully removed from the bone either in several segments or in one piece. The wound is then surgically sutured. The suture material is removed after about seven to ten days. The patient should avoid severe physical strain for two to three weeks and make sure he/she does not eat excessively hard food items during this period.

Depending on the position of the wisdom teeth and the patient’s condition, they can be removed under local anaesthetic, sedation or general anaesthetic in our day-care unit. ‘Day-care’ refers to the fact that the patient can recover from the anaesthetic in a private single room.

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