Wisdom tooth is the last set of molar teeth to erupt in mouth. It mostly erupts between the age of 16-25 years. However, all 4 wisdom teeth does not erupts for everyone. Wisdom tooth has one of the highest incidence of being impacted or being congenitally missing. A wisdom tooth which is not erupted fully or which has been blocked from eruption are termed as impacted. 72% of the population is affected by wisdom tooth impaction.
With evolution, the jaws of human beings are getting narrower. Thus, jaws have less space to accommodate all the teeth. As a result, there are chances of having wisdom teeth impacted or missing. Wisdom teeth are considered as vestigial part of human body. Furthermore, due to its late eruption it does not have much function in chewing.
If, the wisdom tooth do not have an open connection to the mouth, pain can develop. It can cause infection, swelling or damage to the adjacent teeth. Therefore, the infection is first treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines and then taken for extraction.
The most common treatment of wisdom tooth impaction is removal of the tooth. Also, it is preferred to have early removal of wisdom tooth. The chances of bone loss in the area increases with increase in age.
Since, the wisdom tooth is located at the angle of the jaw and around very important anatomical structures subsequently, the removal of it also gets difficult as compared to removal of any other teeth in the mouth. Moreover, the difficulty and risk of complication in removal can increase in diseased or decayed wisdom tooth.
A group of researchers advocate on prophylactic removal of the wisdom tooth before it causes any problem. Also, retaining impacted wisdom tooth have shown higher chances of under going unnecessary surgery.
In order to avoid surgery related complications and considering the technicality of the procedure of removal of impacted wisdom tooth, it is best to be removed by a qualified oral maxillofacial surgeon.
Most patients experience pain and swelling post extraction. But, it will be kept under control by prescribing painkillers. Also, the discomfort reduces over 3-4 days. Full functionality is restored by the end of the week.