Surgical Dentistry

wisdon tooth

Referrals for removal of retained roots and impacted wisdom teeth accepted.

Treatment: Wisdom tooth extraction

Description

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, usually appear between the ages of 15 to 25. If the mouth is too small for these four additional molars, an extraction is often necessary. Early wisdom teeth removal will help to prevent problems such as an impacted wisdom tooth.

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. These teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but sadly more often than not, they are misaligned and require removal. They can lead to crowding/imbrication of the anterior teeth, joint (TMJ) problems and pain, occusal/bite issues, as well as pericoronitis. The latter presents regularly in partially erupted wisdom teeth and is an inflammatory process caused by food and plaque being trapped under the gum. This can be very painful and cause swelling and bleeding requiring antibiotic therapy as well as other adjunct treatments.

Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned as they can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars or be angled inward or outward. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone or nerves. Wisdom teeth that lean toward the second molars make those teeth more vulnerable to decay by entrapping plaque and debris. In addition, wisdom teeth can be entrapped completely within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through, or erupt, through the gum. Teeth that remain partially or completely entrapped within the soft tissue or the jawbone are termed “impacted”. Wisdom teeth that only partially erupt allows an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease because their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning makes brushing and flossing difficult.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

The relative ease at which Dr Bijlani can extract your wisdom teeth depends on their position and will be able to give you an idea of what to expect during your pre-extraction examination. A wisdom tooth that is fully erupted through the gum can be extracted as easily as any other tooth. However, a wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone will require an incision into the gums and then removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth. Often, for a tooth in this situation, the tooth will be extracted in small sections rather than removed in one piece to minimise the amount of bone that needs to be removed to get the tooth out.

Dr Bijlani always applies a strong topical anaesthetic in the sulcus before injecting very slowly, in order to minimise any discomfort. A lot of her patients do not even realize she has already injected them. These surgical procedures can be performed very calmly in the dental chair with local anaesthetic, so no pain is felt during the procedure. Strong painkillers, antibiotics and written post-operative instructions are given to all patients, so that they heal comfortably. We can arrange a visiting anaesthetist to sedate you, whereby you are asleep during the procedure and wake up with no memory of what just took place. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult to escort you home and take care of you while you recover fully.

Because we really care about our patients, we always make a courtesy call the day after any surgical procedure just to check you are following our post-op instructions and to inquire if you have any queries as well as address any concerns.