Do I need a wisdom tooth extraction?

  • Dental Health   •  Mar 25, 2019

Why should I remove my wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth gain their unusual name because they are the last to appear in our mouths. They usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21 years old, which is also presumably the age where we gain maturity and wisdom. They are the upper and lower third molars in the mouth and despite their title, wisdom teeth offer no enlightenment to those who have them.

The removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure sometimes recommended even if you are not currently in pain. At Starbright Dental, our dentists are highly competent in wisdom teeth extraction and frequently perform this procedure.

Possible problems caused by wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth have the potential to cause future problems if they become impacted. Impacted teeth can cause damage to adjacent teeth and alignment problems if they are erupting in an unusual direction.

Impacted teeth

When the wisdom teeth do begin to develop, some can remain ‘impacted’ or trapped beneath the gum, bone and the teeth in front of them. They will most likely never develop into fully functional teeth and often only partially grow out of the gums because of crowding in your jaw. In other words, your other teeth already have their designated positions and the wisdoms may not have adequate space to fully erupt. These partially erupted teeth can tilt sideways and cause damage to neighbouring teeth.

Prevention and diagnosis

It is important to visit the dentist regularly, not only for a check-up and clean to help prevent cavities, but also to identify any problems and track the progress of your adult teeth. With x-rays and examination, the dentist will be able to determine whether you should have your wisdom teeth removed.

Studies have also indicated that before the age of 20 teeth have less developed roots and so there is lower risk of complication associated with their removal. The ideal age for wisdom teeth removal is between 16 and 19 years of age.

The removal

Using a full-mouth (OPG) x-ray, our dentists at Starbright Dental will be able to determine if your wisdom teeth need to be removed. Local anaesthetic can be used if the extraction is not overly complex however if it does require surgical removal, treatment in a hospital environment under general anaesthetic may be more appropriate. In rare cases, referral to an oral surgeon is necessary.

It is common to experience swelling in the neck and face after surgery. This swelling may be accompanied by bruising and you may be prone to bleeding for a few days after treatment.

You may also potentially experience complications like a dry socket, where there is delayed healing in the area. However, this can be treated with cleaning and dressing of the extraction site by one of our dentists.

Having teeth removed is not an enjoyable process, which is why we take the utmost care to ensure you can relax and have the best experience possible.  You will receive post-operative instructions to take home after the surgery which will be explained in detail by your dentist.

Because your care is our number one priority, you can expect a call from one of the Starbright team just to check in on your wellbeing post-procedure!

We would love to guide you through this process if you are considering wisdom teeth extraction. Please contact us today (07) 55 913 620.

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