Wisdom teeth: why and when they need extracting

wisdom tooth removal

Wisdom teeth: why and when they need extracting

Wisdom teeth removal is unique from patient to patient. As the last teeth to appear in healthy adults, their arrival can be relatively painless, or require immediate removal to prevent further issues in the mouth. How your dentist approaches your wisdom teeth will rely on a number of factors: the potential for infection, decay in surrounding teeth, overcrowding, or weakening of the jaw bone.

Below we’ll look at some of the complications they can cause, and when to consider asking your dentist about wisdom teeth removal.

Overcrowding and gum disease

Even before the eruption, and normally in the teenage years, planning extractions is undertaken if an orthodontic issue is present. This is commonly due to overcrowding, where insufficient space or poor alignment of the wisdom tooth will put the neighbouring teeth at risk.

If wisdom teeth are far back in the mouth, this makes them less accessible in regards to maintaining high-quality oral hygiene, which can lead to periodontal disease (gum disease) and decay. Ultimately, this will lead to more complex dental treatment simply to maintain them.

Inflammation and infection

If the wisdom teeth remain in a partially erupted state, they are prone to pericoronitis (an infection surrounding the wisdom tooth itself), potentially leading to an abscess formation. As wisdom teeth rarely all have perfect alignment or appear without issue, this is a common reason for extraction in adults. An inflamed gum area can worsen If left untreated, and pericoronitis can lead to serious health issues.

Your wisdom teeth can be a fantastic asset to your mouth if they are perfectly aligned, though for many this isn’t the case. A regular checkup at your dentist can determine whether any – or all – of your wisdom teeth will lead to further issues as you age.

Wisdom teeth removal

If you’ve spoken with your dentist and ultimately decided to have one or all of your wisdom teeth removed, the process will be fairly straightforward:

  1. A decision is made to remove the wisdom tooth or teeth.
  2. An x-ray will be performed to assess the root formation of the tooth, proximity to the major nerve in the lower jaw for lower wisdom teeth, or the sinus cavity in the upper jaw.
  3. Your dentist will discuss the procedure and any complications: access to the tooth dependent on the size of the mouth, if the tooth has fully erupted, length of the roots, any overlying bone, and any impaction on the neighbouring teeth.
  4. A decision is then made for local or general anaesthetic and, depending on the severity of the extraction, will be carried out by a dentist or a specialist oral surgeon.

The process of extraction will be entirely dependent on the individual. Extraction can be simple or complex – ranging from basic pressure using a Luxator (a small instrument with a flat blade used for extractions) to substantial bone removal, and crown and root division for surgical extraction. As there is little way of assessing the requirements for wisdom teeth extraction yourself, a visit to the dentist will provide both peace of mind and a clear pathway forward.

Victoria Street Dental – Quality services for all patients

If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, speak to your dentist today to arrange a consultation and x-ray. Victoria Street Dental provides a wide range of dental services. Whether you need an urgent dental appointment or a family dentist for general checkups, speak to your trusted Wellington Dentist.


Dentures vs Dental Implants: Pros & Cons

Having missing teeth can affect more than just your appearance. It can also impact on your function and the inability to chew, it can cause speech difficulty, and even affect the health of the surrounding gum and teeth.  If you’ve lost one or more teeth, plugging the gap with a replacement tooth can lower your risk of oral health problems and support the healthy teeth on either side so they don’t shift and become crooked.

Your dentist will discuss all the different options for replacing your missing teeth, so you can choose the treatment that’s right for you. Two of the most popular options are dentures and dental implants, which each have their advantages and disadvantages for different people.

Wellington Dentist


Modern dentures are designed to look and feel as close to natural teeth as possible, helping you to chew, speak normally and support your cheeks and lips.


  1. Dentures cost less than the alternatives, especially if you need to replace many teeth.
  2. They can be fitted sooner after an extraction compared to implants.
  3. Usually no surgery is required for removable dentures.
  4. Patients can choose between removable or fixed (implant-retained) dentures.


  1. Although denture technology has improved, some say that they still don’t look or feel as natural as implants.
  2. Dentures don’t last as long as implants and can be damaged more easily.
  3. You may need to adjust your diet as certain foods and drinks are unsuitable for dentures.
  4. Majority of people will adapt over time. However, for some people they may never adapt to speaking and chewing with a denture.

Removable dentures don’t support your jaw like implants do. They also won’t support your mouth

Who is suitable for dentures?

Dentures can be worn at all ages, not just seniors. Dentures may be suitable for people who may not be candidates for implants for medical reasons.

If you need to replace an entire arch of teeth, your dentist may recommend full dentures as the most affordable treatment. If you only need to replace one or several teeth, they may suggest partial dentures or recommend an implant or dental bridge to offer more support, but the choice is always down to the individual patient in consultation with their dentist.

Find out more about dentures

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a long-term replacement for missing tooth/teeth. The implant itself is a titanium post that is surgically placed in your jaw, where it acts like a tooth root to support a prosthetic tooth on top as well as supporting your jaw.


  1. Dentures cost less than the alternatives, especially if you need to replace many teeth.
  2. They can be fitted sooner after an extraction compared to implants.
  3. Usually no surgery is required for removable dentures.
  4. Patients can choose between removable or fixed (implant-retained) dentures.


  1. Implants cost more than dentures (although they usually last longer).
  2. Placing an implant involves oral surgery.
  3. Bone grafting may be required if your jaw is too small to support an implant, which could affect your eligibility.
  4. Implants can involve more appointments and waiting time, especially if bone grafting is needed.

Who is suitable for implants?

Your dentist is more likely to recommend implants if you only need to replace one or a few teeth, as they offer more support than dentures and are easier to maintain. If you need to replace a whole arch of teeth, they may recommend full arch implants with a large span bridge on top to replicate the missing teeth while avoiding dentures.

Your mouth needs to be healthy before implants can be fitted. If you have a problem such as tooth decay or gum disease, this needs to be treated first. If you smoke, giving up will increase the chance of your implants being successful.

If your jaw is too small to support a standard implant then you will need bone grafting. You won’t be suitable for this procedure if you have a medical condition such as a blood clotting disorder, bone diseases or immune system deficiency as it greatly reduces the success rate of the implant. Book a consultation at Victoria Street Dental to talk through the treatment options available to you.

Find out more about dental implants

Make An Appointment In Wellington CBD

If you’re thinking about dentures, dental implants or other treatments to restore your smile and your oral health, talk to our dentists in Wellington CBD.

Call Victoria Street Dental on 04 555 1001 or Book Online.





Level 6, 86 Victoria Street, Wellington
Phone: (04) 555 1001