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When wisdom teeth need to be taken out

BMJ Group Medical Reference

Wisdom teeth are impacted if they don't come through the gums properly. It's not always easy to tell whether impacted wisdom teeth need to be taken out.

But experts agree that an impacted wisdom tooth should be taken out if it's causing problems. The most common problems are: [2]

  • An infection around the tooth

  • Damage to a neighbouring tooth

  • Decay (a cavity) in the tooth that the dentist cannot treat

  • A cyst (a sac filled with fluid) in your jaw.

If you do need to have one or two of your wisdom teeth removed, it doesn't mean that you must have all of them taken out.

Your dentist may be able to do this operation. It all depends on how easy or difficult each tooth is to remove. Upper wisdom teeth are often easier to take out than lower ones. If there's any chance of complications, you'll probably be sent to an oral surgeon. This is someone who specialises in surgery on the mouth.

To read about what to expect if you have surgery, see Removing impacted wisdom teeth that aren't causing problems.


oral surgeon

An oral surgeon is a professional who is trained in both dentistry and surgery. Oral surgeons do operations on people's mouth, face or jaw.

For more terms related to Wisdom teeth, impacted


For references related to Wisdom teeth, impacted click here.
Last Updated: June 21, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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