Wisdom Teeth Removal
Your third molars typically erupt around age 18. They’re frequently referred to as wisdom teeth. Unlike other teeth in your mouth, wisdom teeth tend to develop in various positions. Their placement can result in impaction, infection and even pain.
Third Molar Consultations
Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed. We recommend a full exam to determine your specific needs. Depending on how your wisdom teeth are positioned as seen on the full-mouth X-ray, we will decide what to do next.
Since wisdom teeth develop during the teen years and early adulthood, there’s quite a wide window of time where you may need to see a specialist. In most cases, third molars are completely developed by the time a person is around 20 years old.
‘Will I Need My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?’
If your wisdom teeth are fully erupted and nicely arranged, treatment usually isn’t required. However, if they’re difficult to reach, they’ll be challenging to keep clean. It’s fairly common to see gum disease or tooth decay in wisdom teeth. Removing your third molars can be a straightforward way to prevent the spread of infection into surrounding teeth.
For the most part, wisdom teeth tend to be impacted. Jammed against bone or adjacent teeth, they may be fully buried under the gums or partially erupted. Sometimes cysts will develop around them.
If they’re fully embedded, we typically tend to leave them alone and monitor them over time. But partially or fully-exposed wisdom teeth tend to lead to food impaction, swelling and eventually pain. In severe situations, a fever may also develop. Surgical extraction is usually required.
Our oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Aidan Yeo will make a small incision in the gums to access your tooth. Sometimes, a bit of bone may need to be removed. If you’re only having one tooth removed, the surgery can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. For all four teeth, it will likely be closer to an hour.
It’s best to have someone escort you to and from your appointment, especially if you’re undergoing sedation for the procedure.
After the surgical extraction you can expect a bit of discomfort and swelling for the first few days (but nothing extreme). We’ll prescribe an antibiotic and painkillers to ensure a healthy recovery. Your swelling will go down within a few days and on day 7 you’ll return to have your stitches removed.
It’s best to avoid rigorous exercise for several days and eat a soft diet. Soft foods like yogurt, porridge and soups won’t irritate your extraction sites. Anything too hot, hard or crunchy could irritate the socket.
As with other extractions, we’ll use local anaesthetic to thoroughly numb the area immediately around your wisdom teeth. Aside from a bit of pressure, you won’t feel much of anything.
If you think you’ll feel anxious, we provide sedation upon request and can have an anaesthetist come into our office for your surgical extraction. Although the sedation medication makes you feel quite sleepy, it’s not as strong as general anaesthesia. You’ll feel drowsy. Since the medication causes an amnesic effect, you likely won’t remember anything about the appointment.
Book Your Consultation
Our specialists are happy to answer all of your questions regarding wisdom teeth surgery. Request an appointment today!