WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL

Wisdom Tooth Removal

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.

FEES AND SUBSIDIES

FEES

Wisdom teeth extraction costs between $65.00 and $190.00. Wisdom teeth surgery costs between $468.00 to $1,250.00 when performed by a general dentist, whereas surgery performed by a specialist costs between $1,092.00 and $1,456.00.

Extraction $65.00 – $190.00
Impacted/Wisdom tooth surgery (GP) * $468.00 – $1,250.00
Impacted/Wisdom tooth surgery (Specialist) * $1,092.00 – $1,456.00
Local Anaesthesia $11.00

*Medisave claimable

Earn 1 LinkPoint for every $2 spent at NTUC Health Denticare clinics. Terms and conditions apply.

MEDISAVE

NTUC Health Denticare is accredited by the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) as a day surgery facility.

Patients who are Singaporeans or Permanent Residents of Singapore can claim up to $350.00 for wisdom teeth surgery without tooth division, and up to $950.00 with tooth division. For cases with deep wisdom teeth and tooth division, patients can claim up to $1,250.00.

Procedures Covered Medisave Withdrawal Limit (S$)
Without tooth division Up to $350
With tooth division Up to $950
Deep & with tooth division Up to $1,250
Note: The amount claimable is stipulated in surgery tables set by MOH in Singapore. The above table is only a simple guide and the final amount may vary depending on the complexity of the case and the withdrawal limits set by MOH. The final amount deductible from the Medisave Account is dependent on the final approval by MOH.

You must ensure that you have a Medisave account. Check that you have sufficient funds in your Medisave account. You can obtain information about your Medisave balance from CPF Board either online (https://www.cpf.gov.sg/members) or via their hotline at 1800-227-1188.

Full payment is required upon completion of each visit at NTUC Health Denticare. If you are utilizing your Medisave, the approved amount claimable will be in the form of re-imbursements by cheque(s).

NTUC Health Denticare will assist you in submitting the Medisave claims. In order to do so, you will need to provide us with the following:

  • Photocopies of both sides of the patient’s and Medisave Account Holder’s NRIC
  • Marriage certificate if you are using your spouse’s Medisave
  • Accurate information on your plan i.e. type of plan and name of insurer
  • Completed Medisave Authorization Form for Day Surgery with signatures by both the patient and Medisave Account Holder(s)

NTUC Health Denticare will submit the information together with the invoices to the relevant parties. No further action will be required on your part. It takes between two to three weeks for the claim to be processed.

In the event that you do not have a Medisave account or your Medisave balance is not sufficient to cover the dental bill, you can use the Medisave savings of your immediate family members. Immediate family members are spouse, children, parents and grandparents. Grandparents must be Singapore citizens or permanent residents. Please note that the maximum amount of Medisave that can be withdrawn will be subjected to the Medisave claim limit for each bill.

CHAS SUBSIDY

CHAS subsidies cannot be used for wisdom teeth surgery, but can be used for wisdom teeth extractions without surgery (which are considered routine teeth extractions). Visit the CHAS website for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our dentist will take an X-ray to show all the teeth in your mouth and indicate any problem areas, before examining your teeth and provide the best plan of action for your wisdom teeth.

Rest assured that our dentist will discuss with you the benefits and risks of wisdom teeth removal before you make your choice.

If you experience pain and swelling at the back of your teeth, chances are your wisdom tooth is impacted and growing at an angle that affects the neighbouring tooth’s nerves. Sometimes, wisdom teeth also stop growing while halfway emerged from the gums, which may feel painful and result in tooth decay, as food is easily trapped in those areas.

In severe cases, an impacted wisdom tooth can develop into cysts, abscesses, and tumours. Removing the affected wisdom tooth is essential to protect the rest of your healthy teeth and bone from damage.

It is common for an impacted wisdom tooth to show no problems.

However, in some cases, these problems appear later down the road, damaging the teeth in front of them. In other cases, wisdom teeth may remain deeply embedded, turning into a cyst that requires more complex surgery to resolve. Having frequent check-ups with your dentist will help you identify and address impacted wisdom teeth sooner.

Unfortunately this is not possible with today’s current technology.

A wisdom tooth extraction is a simple extraction of the tooth that is visible in the mouth. After local anesthetic is applied, tools are used to elevate and grasp the tooth. It is moved back and forth till the ligaments holding the tooth in place are broken and the tooth can be pulled out.

Meanwhile, a wisdom tooth surgery involves the removal of teeth that are not as easily accessible, such as when a tooth is half erupted. Gums and bone may be cut open or removed, with the wisdom tooth sometimes sectioned into pieces to help with removing it. This is sometimes done under general anesthesia. Our dentist will recommend a suitable procedure depending on your case.

The earlier, the better. For a safer and quicker recovery, we recommend wisdom tooth removal to be performed during a patient’s teenage years to early 20s.

For straightforward cases, the procedure usually takes a short 15 to 45 minutes, including preparation time.

Wisdom teeth removals are a safe procedure. In rare cases, numbness of some parts of the tongue, lip or chin may occur because the nerves affecting this area are close to the procedure site. This numbness is usually temporary.

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.

You will be able to enjoy normal daily activities within a few hours after the procedure.

In some cases, you may experience some swelling and mild discomfort after wisdom tooth removal. This should remain manageable with the medication prescribed by our dentist.

We kindly advise you to follow our post-surgery care instructions for a speedy recovery.

Wisdom tooth removal rarely results in complications. That being said, you may experience;

  1. Infection: Most are minor and will subside with local incision, drainage, and antibiotics. The whole course of antibiotics should be completed.
  2. Tooth root fracture: The roots of the tooth sometimes break off during extraction. They may be removed or left in situ. The dentist may decide to leave the root in situ if there is no disease, or if removing it poses a bigger complication to the surrounding tissue.
  3. Dry socket: This occurs when a blood clot from the extraction is dislodged and the bone is exposed in its early healing stage. It is usually seen in women on oral contraceptive pills and smokers. If you experience a constant throbbing pain that lasts for many days, contact your dentist.
  4. Numbness or altered sensation: An impacted lower wisdom tooth may be close to the nerve. In some cases, extracting the wisdom tooth injures the nerve, which could cause numbness and tingling in the lips, cheeks, tongue, or gums. This usually heals itself, and only in rare cases is it permanent.
  5. A displaced tooth in rare instances, where an impacted tooth is dislodged and trapped in the sinus or different spaces around the jaw. This may require a more extensive procedure to remove the impacted tooth.
  6. Jaw fracture

Refer to our friendly guide Oral Surgery: Post-Surgery Care for more information.

Stitches from wisdom teeth procedures usually dissolve on their own after two weeks. In rare instances, you may see a loose stitch poking out. Call our dentist if this is bothering you, or you see that the wound has opened, or if the wound is bleeding or infected.

CHAS subsidies cannot be used for surgery, but can be used for routine teeth extractions. If your wisdom teeth extraction requires surgery, then you will be able to utilise your Medisave to pay for it, but you will not be eligible for any CHAS subsidy.  For wisdom teeth extractions without surgery, CHAS subsidies can be applied.

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