Wisdom Tooth Surgery
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final teeth to erupt in the back of the mouth. They typically appear between the ages of 17 to 30. If wisdom teeth come in correctly, they can help with functions like chewing. However, more often than not, wisdom teeth are growing in wrong angle or impacted. There is simply not enough space for wisdom teeth to erupt in the jaw. To prevent damage to adjacent teeth, many doctors recommend removing wisdom teeth before they become a problem. Removal of wisdom teeth is the commonest oral surgery procedures and it offers protection for one’s overall oral health.
An impacted wisdom tooth usually is associated with pain and toothache but can accompany a range of symptoms including:
- Pain in the lower jaw and side of the face
- Bleeding gums
- Difficulty in opening jaw
- Bad breath
- Unpleasant taste when eating
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always cause symptoms. However, Impacted wisdom tooth may grow at a wrong angle and into neighboring tooth or stop growing while only partly emerged from the gum. But because they’re hard to clean, they may be more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease than other teeth are.
The damage may extend to the adjacent healthy teeth and the surrounding jawbones. Impacted wisdom teeth can also develop into cysts or abscess
It is common for an impacted wisdom tooth to show no significant symptoms and it is difficult to predict when an impacted tooth may cause problems. At times, a decay can develop in the neighbouring tooth due to the position of the wisdom tooth. Regular dental check-up and X-ray will help to monitor an asymptomatic wisdom tooth.
Depends on the complexity of the surgery, the procedure normally takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour or more
The treatment process will depend on whether the tooth is impacted or not. To remove an impacted tooth, our doctor must create an incision in the gums to access the jaw. Soft or hard tissue above the tooth will be removed, and the tooth will be carefully lifted up. Occasionally, the tooth may be removed in sections. The incision is then closed with sutures.
It is a safe procedure. Due to the location of the wisdom teeth, a rare complication is numbness of the tongue, lip or chin. This happens very rarely and when it does it is usually temporary.
You will be given a local anaesthetic during the surgery so literally you won’t feel the pain. After the surgery, you might experience some swelling, soreness, bruising, bleeding after surgery or difficult to open and close your mouth. Our doctor will prescribe medication and advice you on post-surgery care instructions for a speedy recovery.
Wisdom teeth are usually non-functional. It won’t affect your chewing ability after the removal.
Your recovery time may vary depending on your age and the condition of your wisdom teeth. In general, most patients have to eat a soft food diet for a couple of days after surgery. The surgical sites will take about 1 week to heal while you will have to keep the tooth sockets clean. Most patients feel comfortable to return to their normal schedules the third or fourth day after surgery. If you experience unusual symptoms like pus discharge, large swelling, severe pain or swelling you should contact your dental surgeon.