Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are typically the last four teeth to erupt, usually between the ages of 17 to 25. In most cases, an inadequate amount of space in the mouth prevents the wisdom teeth from erupting properly causing them to become impacted (stuck) in an undesirable or potentially harmful position.
While not all wisdom teeth require removal, the most common cause for extractions of wisdom teeth is due to an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay, or infection, or as a preventative measure to avoid serious future problems. If an impacted wisdom teeth is left untreated, it may potentially cause damage to the nearby teeth, become infected, or result in crowding of the remaining erupted teeth.
Wisdom teeth are extracted during day surgery by an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. The surgeon will perform the extraction using either local anesthesia or under general anesthesia in cases where a patient is anxious or if the extraction is more complicated in nature.