Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are also known as the third molars. They are the last molar teeth to develop which usually grow at the very back of the upper and lower jaw bones, one at each back ‘corner’ of the mouth. They usually appear when people are aged between 18 and 25 years old; Often, they erupt into the mouth uneventfully and everything is fine. Frequently however, wisdom teeth erupt only partly or they don’t erupt at all. They are then called ‘impacted’ and they are usually a cause of many problems that makes it necessary for them to be removed.

Common Reasons for removing Wisdom Teeth:

Common Reasons for removing Wisdom Teeth:
  • - Infection around a partially erupted wisdom tooth.
  • - Unrestorable decay or badly broken down wisdom tooth.
  • - Decay of the neighbouring tooth caused by the wisdom tooth.
  • - Space considerations (orthodontics).

Reasons for Removal

When a wisdom tooth is impacted and tries to erupt into the mouth, the flap of gum on top of it can become infected and swollen. This can be very sore! You might even feel pain in nearby teeth or in the ear on that side of your face. This condition can lead to an infection known as ‘pericoronitis’. If left untreated, severe infections may sometimes require a hospital stay and surgery.

How are they removed?

How are they removed?

Upper Wisdom Teeth:
Quite often, these can be very straightforward and can take just a few minutes to remove.

Lower Wisdom Teeth:
Many lower wisdom teeth can’t be removed like other teeth. They are stuck (impacted) beneath the gum, either partially or completely, and can be lying at a different angle to the neighbouring tooth.  A minor surgical procedure is usually required to remove these.

Quite often, wisdom teeth can be removed using Local Anaesthetic with or without Intravenous Sedation. In some cases, a general anaesthetic may be used, especially if more than one or all of the wisdom teeth will be removed at the same time. A general anaesthetic prevents pain in the whole body and will cause you to sleep through the procedure.

Are you having problems from your Wisdom Teeth?

Troublesome wisdom teeth can present in the following ways:
  • - Pain or tenderness in your gums or jawbone
  • - Bad breath
  • - Redness or swelling in your gums
  • - An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • - Headaches or jaw ache

Should I have my Wisdom Teeth removed?

Impacted wisdom teeth can become cavitated. Additionally, an impacted wisdom tooth can push on the neighbouring molar which can lead to tooth movement, decay and gum disease. Rarely, impacted teeth can cause cysts or other growths in the jaw. 

If your impacted wisdom teeth aren’t causing you problems, it’s sometime best to hold onto them and avoid the risks of surgery. Sometimes, as your wisdom teeth come through, your gums may feel sore or tender for a while. This is quite normal, and isn’t usually a reason for having them removed. 

If you do need to have one or two of your wisdom teeth removed, it doesn’t mean that you need to have them all taken out. To conclude, we recommend that you discuss your particular case with your dentist who will be happy to advise you on the best course of action for your wisdom teeth. 

If you are having surgery to remove your Wisdom Teeth: 

  1. Stock up on supplies the day before you are due to have the teeth removed. Purchase soft foods like soup, yoghurt, soft fruits and cream cheese. You won’t be able to (or feel like) eating very hard foods or foods that are too hot / cold for at least a day or two after the surgery.
  2. When lying down or sleeping, elevate your head with a couple of pillows; this will help to reduce swelling.
  3. Always have some water, painkillers and antibiotics nearby. Plenty of distractions like books, movies and games are also helpful to take your mind off things while you are recovering from surgery.

If Excessive Bleeding Occurs

  • Use cotton wool or a handkerchief to make a firm pad an inch thick. Place the pad into the bleeding socket from tongue side to cheek side. Bite firmly to compress the pad on the bleeding socket for 15 to 20 minutes without disturbing. 
  • Do not lie down or panic as this will increase the blood supply to the head and make the bleeding more pronounced. It is advisable to keep sitting up.
  • If your efforts are unsuccessful after 2 or 3 hours, contact the practice.

Advice After Extractions

  • Avoid excessive exercise and strenuous activity for the rest of the day.
  • Do Not Drink Anything Hot or Alcoholic Or Smoke A Cigarette For Three to Four Hours After Extraction.
  • Do Not rinse your mouth out excessively on the same day as the extraction. Excessive rinsing encourages bleeding.
  • You may feel sharp edges in the socket with your tongue and small fragments of bone may work loose. This is normal.
  • If you have been given antibiotics you must finish the course even if the pain and/or swelling has disappeared.

Day After Extractions & One Week Thereafter

  • It is very important that you keep your mouth as clean as possible. Rinse out your mouth as often as possible (after every meal if you can) with hot water and salt. This will promote faster and cleaner healing.
  • If severe pain starts a day or so after an extraction it probably means that you have a DRY SOCKET. This is very painful condition and affects at random a small proportion of extractions. It means that there will be delayed healing. Dry sockets never last longer than two week and are usually healed well inside that time. If your dry socket is very painful please contact the practice. We can easily treat it and make it more comfortable.

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