WISDOM TOOTH REMOVAL
Wisdom teeth are molars that come out at the back of the mouth and typically emerge between the ages of 17-25.
Wisdom teeth may become impacted if they don’t have enough room to emerge naturally. An impacted wisdom tooth grows in unusual angles, getting trapped inside gums or emerging halfway through. They can be painful when affecting the nerves of neighbouring teeth or when infected by bacteria that are trapped by overlying gums.
But should we remove our wisdom teeth if they are not causing any pain? A wisdom tooth that is asymptomatic at the start can also lead to tooth decay, inflammation, cavities or cysts down the road. In some cases, oral surgery is required to split the tooth and remove it in several parts.
Though removing your wisdom tooth can sound like a scary experience in certain cases, early intervention through an often straightforward routine procedure helps you avoid complications down the road.
HOW IT WORKS
Our dentist will need a dental X-ray and thorough examination to recommend the best course of action for your wisdom teeth.
In most cases, a wisdom tooth is extracted during a routine procedure, which is done comfortably in one office visit. Your dentist will inject the site with local anaesthesia before extracting your tooth. Occasionally, the tooth may be impacted or particularly difficult to extract. Your dentist may then recommend a wisdom tooth surgery, which can be performed either under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia.
For a safer and quicker recovery, we recommend wisdom tooth removal to be performed during a patient’s teenage years to early 20s.
WHAT TO EXPECT
A standard wisdom tooth extraction is a safe procedure that usually takes between 15 to 45 minutes. Your dentist will inject the site with local anaesthesia before extracting your tooth.
Occasionally, the tooth may be impacted or particularly difficult to extract. Your dentist may then recommend wisdom tooth surgery, which can be performed either under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia. During this surgery, a small incision is made to expose the tooth and bone. Several cuts may be used to remove bone tissue and make the tooth easier to remove, after which the dentist will clean the area and stitch it up.
In rare cases, numbness of some parts of the tongue, lip or chin may occur after the extraction because the nerves connected to this area of the mouth are close to the procedure site. This numbness is usually temporary.
You will be able to enjoy normal daily activities within a few hours after the procedure. However, we recommend avoiding chewing on that side of the mouth right after the surgery, to allow a comfortable recovery and healing process. When it is healed, you can continue to eat normally.
In some cases, you may experience some swelling and mild discomfort after wisdom tooth removal. This is usually manageable with prescribed medication from our dentist.