Your wisdom teeth are your third set of molars and the last to erupt in your jaw. Due to a lack of space, many people experience problems with their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth surgery can prevent oral health problems and help you maintain a healthy smile.
Why Do I Need Wisdom Teeth Surgery?
While some people never experience issues with their wisdom teeth, most people’s wisdom teeth do not erupt properly. This places pressure on the surrounding teeth causing crowding, jaw misalignment and increases the risk of decay and gum disease.
Wisdom teeth removal is necessary to address issues such as abscessed teeth, cysts, pericoronitis, and severe tooth pain. However, some dentists may also recommend that asymptomatic wisdom teeth be removed to prevent long-term oral health issues and to avoid complex wisdom teeth surgery in the future.
Simple Wisdom Tooth Removal
A simple wisdom tooth extraction is recommended for teeth that have fully or partially erupted from the gumline.
After an X-ray to determine the position and condition of the wisdom tooth and adjacent teeth, your dentist will inject local anaesthetic into the tissue surrounding the affected tooth.
Once the area is numb, your dentist uses a dental lifter to loosen the wisdom tooth from the connective tissue in the socket. Forceps are then used to grip the tooth and make the final extraction.
For nervous or anxious patients, we also offer IV sedation which puts you in a sleep-like state for the duration of the extraction. IV sedation is used in conjunction with local anaesthetic to eliminate any discomfort during the extraction and you will have no recollection of the procedure when you wake up.
After cleaning and rinsing the socket, it is packed with gauze to help with the formation of a blood clot to facilitate healing.
Complex Wisdom Tooth Removal
If your tooth is growing at an angle or horizontally below the gumline, it is considered to be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth require a complex extraction process that may need to be performed in a dental hospital.
Visiting dental surgeon, Dr Rajiv Mudjil, performs complex wisdom tooth extraction under general anaesthetic or IV sedation.
An anaesthesiologist administers general anaesthetic, and Dr Mudjil makes an incision in the gumline, removing some of the soft tissue and bone to access the impacted tooth.
Your tooth may need to be sectioned into smaller pieces for easier removal using forceps. The wound site is then cleaned of bone debris, sutured, and packed with gauze.
In some cases, the wisdom tooth may be positioned close to a major nerve or you may have a complicated medical history which requires the assistance of a specialist. We can refer you to an experienced specialist who can remove the tooth in the least invasive way possible.
Wisdom Teeth Surgery Aftercare
Caring for your wound is vital for a full recovery, especially with a complex tooth removal. Infection after wisdom teeth surgery can spread to surrounding tissues.
After your wisdom teeth have been removed, your dentist will give you instructions on how to care for your mouth in the days after surgery to minimise swelling and discomfort. These instructions may include:
- Applying an ice pack to the side of your face intermittently to reduce swelling.
- Taking NSAIDs and over-the-counter pain medication.
- Modifying your diet to include nutrient-dense soft foods such as avocado, eggs, smoothies, and fruit and vegetable puree. You should also avoid chewing on the side of your mouth that has had the wisdom tooth removed.
- Avoiding drinking through a straw or smoking which causes negative pressure in your mouth potentially dislodging the blood clot putting you at risk of a secondary condition known as dry socket.
- Rinsing with salt water solution 24 hours after your surgery. You should also rinse with salt water after eating to remove food debris and eliminate bacteria.
Choose Wisdom Teeth Surgery at Dapto Dentists
Having your wisdom teeth removed can prevent a host of long-term oral health complications. Regular visits to your dentist can help identify wisdom tooth issues before they adversely affect your oral health.
If you are experiencing oral discomfort and suspect it may be caused by your wisdom teeth, call Dapto Dentists on (02) 4210 9058 to book an appointment for an examination.