Wisdom teeth are the last teeth in the mouth to erupt. They usually start to erupt in late teen years. Sometimes wisdom teeth never erupt and stay buried in the bone under the gums. This is often not a problem and no treatment is needed! Wisdom teeth may sometimes never develop. If wisdom teeth erupt in an unsatisfactory position they can be impossible to clean often causing a painful infection. If this happens, make sure to book an appointment at Cameron Dental Care for a consultation. The infection may resolve temporarily if you take antibiotics but it will more than likely happen again causing more pain in the future. Therefore, it’s best to seek advice at the first sign of problems.
Wisdom Teeth Assessment
There are many stories out there about wisdom teeth. For example, you may have heard that wisdom teeth require removal because they cause existing teeth to crowd when they come through. This isn’t true. It is purely coincidental that the two occur at the same time – in fact, teeth crowding is mainly due to growth changes and can occur even if wisdom teeth are missing.
Many people believe wisdom tooth removal is always a nasty complicated surgical procedure that needs to be done in hospital under general anaesthetic. In fact, wisdom tooth removal (particularly the uppers) is often surprisingly straightforward. Remember though that everyone is different.
It’s a good idea to come in for an assessment of your wisdom teeth in your teens. At Cameron Dental Care we take a panoramic radiograph, which shows us a large image of the whole jaw including the teeth. This digital image allows the dentist to tell you if you have wisdom teeth and if they may need to be removed. The only reason you should have your wisdom teeth removed is if they become infected or are likely to cause infection. Wisdom teeth are no longer removed just for the sake of it.
For more information on the process, check out this video by ORA Oral Surgery & Implant Studio!
Wisdom teeth options
Once a decision is made to remove wisdom teeth the options of performing the procedure under local or general anaesthetic will be discussed. A referral to an oro maxillofacial surgeon will be made to have the operation done in hospital under general anaesthetic if the extractions are likely to be difficult or in cases where the patient is too anxious to cope with the procedure under local anaesthetic. This option is more costly due to charges from the surgeon, the anaesthetist and the hospital. Normally Medicare does not cover wisdom tooth removal.
Cameron Dental Care is equipped to remove many third molars using local anaesthetic and happy gas (nitrous oxide). Happy gas produces a relaxed and care free state. The dentist will then inject local anaesthetic to completely numb the area. The surgery involves raising the gum, removing some bone and then removing the tooth either whole or in sections. Dissolving sutures are placed to hold the gum in place afterwards. In the days following the wisdom teeth removal you should expect to experience moderate to sometimes severe pain. Localised swelling around the lower extraction sites is normal. Appropriate pain killing tablets will be prescribed. It is prudent to plan for a few quiet days for recovery.
It is important to note that wisdom tooth removal is a surgical procedure with risks that will be explained to you. A second opinion should be obtained before proceeding with treatment.