Typically, the third molars; or more commonly known as the “Wisdom” teeth, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth, usually after the age of eighteen years. As these teeth erupt last, there may be a space constraint leading to improper orientation of the teeth. This may necessitate removal of the wisdom teeth surgically to prevent tooth decay caused by food debris collecting on and around the wisdom tooth as well as the adjacent tooth. Timely removal may prevent severe tooth decay that may lead to more teeth needing to be extracted.
Also due to the space constraint it is likely that wisdom teeth may grow in sideways and this may disturb the alignment of the other teeth too. As a result the overall dental health is affected. One may even experience extreme pain if the wisdom teeth cannot grow out properly, leading to food trapping and infection of the gum around the tooth. Sometimes, biting of the inner cheek during chewing may also occur leading to severe infection and pain. If not treated early, this type of tooth related infection may lead to severe life threatening airway obstruction and possibly death.
The removal of wisdom tooth is a complex but relatively routine procedure compared to other teeth removal, mainly due to its position and deep roots. If the tooth is not growing straight, it will generally need a surgical procedure that requires careful planning and should be done by an experienced Dentist for a less painful outcome. One or more wisdom teeth may be removed at any one time. Local anesthesia will be administered to make the extraction as comfortable as possible.
Firstly, gum tissue overlying the tooth will be opened up to facilitate easy access and visualisation of the tooth. This is followed by removal of any overlying bone and surrounding bone. If the tooth is growing sideways or leaning against the adjacent tooth, the wisdom tooth will then need to be sectioned and depending on the rooth formation, it may need to be sectioned again. Once the tooth has been successfully removed completely, the wound is cleaned and sutured together to stop bleeding and to reposition the gum back into its original position. The aftercare recommended by the doctor needs to be followed to ensure an incident free recovery. A prior appointment for wisdom tooth removal is necessary for a proper assessment and treatment planning. If you are experiencing any problems with your wisdom teeth or not sure whether you should or shouldn't remove them, come in for a consultation and ask us.