Commonly known as third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge and tend to come through between the ages of 17 and 25. For some people they erupt without any problems the same as all other teeth, but for others they can create a range of oral and general health concerns.
The main problem that occurs with wisdom teeth is when they become impacted. This means they have developed at an angle and become trapped either against other teeth or below the gum-line.
Not all impacted wisdom teeth cause pain alerting you to a developing problem. Only through regular oral health checks with the life dental team can we detect when something has gone wrong.
It is estimated that over 80% of wisdom teeth will need to be removed and as it is not possible to predict if or when they may cause a problem, it is advised to remove them earlier rather than later. Removal of wisdom teeth in older patients can be more difficult resulting in a longer healing period.
It is not advisable to remove wisdom teeth if you have gum disease due to the risk of spreading infection. Therefore, we may delay treatment until any infection has been treated. To make removal easier and aid your recovery, we highly recommend you quit smoking.
Removal of wisdom teeth is performed under a local anaesthetic within our practice or for more difficult cases, you may be referred to an oral surgeon who elects to remove your wisdom teeth in hospital under a General Anaesthetic.
Prior to any treatment, it is vitally important you make us aware of any medication, either prescribed or over the counter, you may currently be taking. Please let us know if you are experiencing any general health problems or if you have an allergy to any medications.
Recovery will generally take a few days. You may experience some slight post-operative swelling. Over the counter pain relief medication is often all that is required to relieve any discomfort. A soft food diet is recommended for a few days.