Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Wisdom teeth are the molars in the far back of your mouth and usually emerge in late teens or early twenties. In the past, they were useful for our more basic diet of meat and hard foods, but now they serve little purpose.
There are several reasons for the removal of wisdom teeth:
- Disease – they are more susceptible to decay and infection as they are often difficult to reach for regular daily dental care
- Impacted wisdom teeth – this means that the teeth are not coming in normally or remain trapped in the gums or jawbone. The end result of impacted wisdom teeth can be bone damage or even a serious infection.
- Arch is too small to accommodate – the wisdom teeth come in at the wrong angle or only partially erupt. This can cause discomfort and/or infection
- Wisdom teeth can also become broken. This might be because your wisdom tooth is impacted and has not emerged through the jaw bone, or because it is broken into pieces and can’t be removed without leaving a piece behind.
In these instances your dentist will examine the tooth, and most likely take x-rays, to determine whether an extraction is necessary. X-rays will also show whether a standard or surgical extraction is required.
The tooth and surrounding tissue is numbed using local anaesthetic injected into the gums. Some patients that are particularly anxious about the procedure may also receive some form of sedation.
Once the local anaesthetic has taken full effect, your dentist will use specialist tools to loosen the connective tissue surrounding the tooth. Another set of dental tools are then used to actually remove the tooth. You may feel a lot of pressure at this point, but the anaesthetic will ensure you feel no pain. Your dentist may decide that stitches will improve healing. The stitches are dissolvable and shouldn’t create any additional discomfort. Patients will receive a set of care instructions and a post-operative appointment to follow up.