Common Dental Problems – wisdom teeth


Thank you for your query,

I’m sorry about the problems that you are having. The situation that you describe is quite a common one. It is likely that the only treatment that can be done to the teeth in front of the impacted wisdom teeth (second molars) is emergency treatment for pain relief as is being planned and this is reasonable. Proper treatment can only be assessed and carried out once the wisdom teeth have been removed. It is at this stage that the health of the second molars can be assessed including any damage caused by extraction of the wisdom teeth, and whether they are viable teeth to be treated by root canal/filling or whether they should be extracted also.

All The best,

Dr Azhar Sheikh


I am 26 and
until recently have not required any dental treatment other than regular
check-ups. To cut a long story short, my partially erupted and impacted lower
wisdom teeth have been causing problems: an x-ray revealed decay in
neighbouring molars, with the beginning of decay in one of the wisdom teeth. I feared
something like this would one day happen but have always been dissuaded having
my wisdom teeth removed because of my good oral health and the risk of nerve
damage. However, I no longer have the option and have been referred to have
them out under a general anaesthetic (waiting list about 2 months). In the
meantime, I am due two fillings in my back molars. I recently had the first one
and because it was very deep she put a temporary filling in. I experienced
quite a bit of pain and discomfort afterwards and was prescribed a five day
course of antibiotics, which improved the pain, although I still get it
intermittently, especially at night. I take ibuprofen once or maybe twice a day
to manage the discomfort. Another x-ray revealed that the filling is right on
the nerve and that I will need root canal. However, due to my impacted tooth,
she cannot get right into the root, so will begin the first round to relieve
the pain and finish root canal once my wisdom teeth have been removed (this
later stage will be done privately, but the initial root canal with be done on
the NHS). This *sounds* sensible, but I have some reservations about this
approach – should she be starting a root canal she cannot finish easily? Especially
as the pain is at the back of the tooth, where the impacted wisdom tooth is? I’m worried I may end up suffering more pain
this way, especially if the root canal fails and she cannot do anything about
it until my wisdom teeth are removed. (I’m also worried about the associated
risks of removal, but right now I’m crossing each bridge as it comes!). Also,
is it possible that this molar can become damaged during wisdom tooth extraction?
I think it’s going to be quite a tricky removal. I don’t want to spend lots of money on treatment doomed from the outset.