Wisdom Teeth Extraction FAQs

The information on this page is intended as a general guide only and may not apply to specific individual cases. It is subject to change without notice.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth refer to our third molars. These are the four back-most molars. They are the last of our permanent teeth to erupt. This explains why wisdom teeth only become an issue years after all the other permanent teeth have erupted.

Some people don’t have a problem with their wisdom teeth because their jaws grow large enough to accommodate their third molars. For most of us, this is unfortunately not the case.

Do I need to have all of them out at once?

You may or may not need all four removed.

You may be able to space out the extraction across multiple appointments, or organise to have all of them removed at once.

We can advise you on the most appropriate method.

What does “impacted” mean?

A wisdom tooth is considered impacted when it gets stuck trying to erupt. This is usually because the jaw is too small to accommodate it.

An impacted wisdom tooth can push other teeth out of alignment, damage the adjacent tooth, and lead to infections.

How are wisdom teeth extracted?

Depending on your specific situation, wisdom teeth may be extracted simply (like a conventional tooth extraction) or surgically.

Surgical extraction is usually needed when the wisdom teeth are un-erupted or only partially erupted.

What is an OPG?

An OPG (orthopantomogram) is a panoramic wide-angle dental x-ray. It shows all your teeth (both erupted and impacted) in two rows; one each for your top and bottom jaw.

An OPG  is usually needed for procedures like wisdom teeth extraction, dental implants and periodontal disease treatments. It allows us to see the position of your wisdom teeth relative to:

  • Other teeth.
  • Vital structures such as nerves and blood vessels.

orthopantomogram

Source: Ian Furst via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 3.0

OPGs are done with specialist equipment at Perth Radiological Clinic. Completed scans will be sent directly to us ready for your next visit.

Note additional x-rays done at our clinic may still be required.