Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Wisdom teeth or 3rd molars, are the last teeth to erupt into the mouth, usually in a person’s late teens or early twenties.
Most people don’t have enough space for their wisdom teeth to come through, and this causes them to become impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth are a major cause of a range of issues such as pain, infection, swelling, and the damage and loss of surrounding teeth.
Once a person's jaws have stopped growing, and their 3rd molars are becoming impacted, it is generally advised that they be removed to prevent these problems.
If during growth we see that the wisdom teeth are likely to impact, we may be able to intervene by encouraging the jaws to grow and allowing the teeth to come through.
If we are unable to intervene at an early enough age, a person's treatment options become limited to removing the 3rd molars that have become impacted.
Wisdom teeth surgery is best performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Their specialist training allows them to gently take then out, preserving the surrounding teeth and nerves, and rebuilding the jawbone where the 3rd molars stood.
Here are some examples
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause the destruction of the molar teeth next to them. The tight space around an impacted 3rd molar is almost impossible to keep free of bacteria and food debris. What we think might be 3rd molar pain can often be the irreversible decay and infection of the molar teeth in front, requiring these to be removed as well.
The presence of impacted 3rd molars in the lower jaw significantly increases the risk of jaw fracture. This is likely due to the 3rd molars occupying an area of the jaw that would normally be filled with dense bone. The decreased volume of bone in the angle of the jaw reduces its structural integrity, making it more prone to fracture.
The roots holding our teeth in our jaws are the last parts to form. Leaving impacted 3rd molars untreated often results in their roots growing down and around the nerve running through the lower jaw. Removing impacted 3rd molars before the roots develop is often simple and uncomplicated, minimising the potential for future complications with this nerve.
Wisdom Teeth | Q & APreventative wisdom tooth removal
Wisdom teeth are the last to develop, and often try to erupt into jaws which have long since stopped growing. Wisdom teeth have no place or function in most people, and if they are unable to fully erupt into a person's mouth they become 'impacted'.
'Impacted' wisdom teeth cause infection, tooth decay, or gum disease. These may cause breakdown of the adult molar teeth in front of it, and make the person's jaw prone to fracture from contact sport injuries.
It is not a good idea to wait until impacted wisdom teeth start causing problems. Pain and infection at this stage are usually felt as a result of decay and breakdown of the molars in front of the wisdom teeth, and can result in their loss.
Preventative removal of wisdom teeth minmises the risk of these issues occurring in people prone to developing them. Taking out wisdom teeth at an early stage is quick, simple and has little accompanying discomfort after removal.
Removal of wisdom teeth is about more than the extraction of teeth. It requires managing a person medically, treating potential complications, and minimising the risk of infection.
Reconstructing the jaw where the wisdom teeth stood is most critical. This is necessary to preserve the molar teeth positioned in front, and to restoring strength of the jaw to protect against fracture.
Removal of 3rd molars is best performed by a specialist oral & maxillofacial surgeon. who can remove these efficiently and with minimal damage to surrounding areas, which is key to minimising potential pain or swelling afterwards.
After care of our patients is paramount. We provide all of our patients with scripts for antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antibacterial rinses, and anaesthetic mouth salts.
Our patients appreciate the minimal discomfort and recovery time they experience with us, a testament to the quality of care our practice provides in the management of wisdom teeth removal.
Wisdom teeth can be removed either in the dental clinic under local anaesthetic, or in a private hospital setting under general anaesthetic. This is determined by the complexity of the situation and the preference of the patient.
Impacted 3rd molars are often only partially erupted, or can be completely buried in the jaw. This requires lifting the gum over the wisdom tooth, and removing a small amount of bone around it.
The wisdom tooth can then be removed delicately from the jaw. Doing this with care to the surrounding gum and nerve tissues minimises or avoids any potential swelling and pain.
Specialist management of wisdom teeth removal ensures that it is tailored to your individual condition and needs, and most importantly it avoids the potential for complications.
Leaving impacted wisdom teeth to fully develop usually worsens the degree of impaction. This makes the surgery to remove them more difficult and increases the risk of pain and swelling afterwards.
3rd molars are often difficult to clean and are prone to gum disease and decay. This increases the risk of permanent damage to the neighboring molar teeth, and may result in the loss of these when the wisdom teeth are taken out.
Using antibiotics to treat wisdom tooth infection can temporarily remove pain, but it doesn't remove the impacted wisdom teeth causing the infection.
Repeat treatment of wisdom tooth infection with antibiotics alone ignores the progressive damage to the surrounding teeth, as well as the significant risk of facial swelling and treatment in hospital.
Wisdom teeth generally erupt into the mouth between the ages of 17 and 21, and the roots holding teeth in the jawbone don't finish forming until a few years after this.
The late teens or early twenties is usually the best time to remove wisdom teeth that are deemed likely to cause a problem.
Removing 3rd molars without fully formed roots is easier as there is less holding them in the jawbone. They have not had the chance to grow around nerves which minimises the risk of damaging them.
The areas where wisdom teeth are removed are also likely to experience bone regeneration without the need for extra procedures such as bone grafting.
Overall, removing 3rd molars in the late teens or early twenties is generally more simple, with minimal risk of complications, and little in the way of recovery time.
Wisdom teeth surgery is never completely without pain or swelling after treatment, however it can be minimised by the procedure being made quick, efficient and gentle.
We provide all of our patients with scripts for antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antibacterial rinses, and anaesthetic mouth salts.
Treatment by our oral & maxillofacial specialist ensures that you will have gentle and expert treatment, and the best in terms of care and comfort over the following days.