Wisdom Teeth Removal

Why do wisdom teeth cause problems?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars, right at the back of the mouth. They are the last to erupt, typically coming through during the late teens or early twenties. By this stage the rest of your adult teeth are already in position, frequently leaving insufficient room for wisdom teeth to properly erupt.

What happens when wisdom teeth can’t fully erupt?

If there is insufficient room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to erupt normally, then they can become impacted or stuck underneath adjacent teeth, or will try to erupt sideways through the gums. This can cause pain, infection and inflammation that could damage these adjacent teeth. A badly impacted wisdom tooth could damage the bone surrounding your teeth or may result in a cyst developing. Sometimes a wisdom tooth may only be able to partially erupt and will remain partly covered by gum tissue. A partially erupted wisdom tooth can be difficult to keep clean, increasing the risk of infection and decay.

Should all wisdom teeth be removed?

We only recommend wisdom tooth removal if these teeth are unable to erupt properly. Our dentists will usually adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach by keeping an eye on the development of the teeth and jaws, using digital dental x-rays to identify any potential problems.

Can my wisdom teeth be removed by my dentist?

Straightforward tooth removals can easily be carried out under local anaesthetic by our dentists at Freshwater Dental. If we feel your wisdom teeth will be more complex to remove, we may choose to refer you to a local oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure this procedure is carried out as smoothly and as comfortable as possible.

What can I expect after wisdom tooth removal?

It is normal to feel some discomfort during the first few days after a tooth has been removed. An ice pack on the outside of your cheek can help reduce any swelling for the first 24 hours. After this time, moist heat can be more soothing. A warm salt water rinse may be used once the first 24 hours have passed to help reduce swelling and discomfort. Stick to eating soft foods during the first few days and we can give you advice on which foods are best.

Are there any potential problems with wisdom teeth removal?

Most people will not have any problems, but a small percentage may develop a condition called dry socket, where the blood clot protecting the empty tooth socket will become dislodged. This can result in the tooth socket becoming infected. Dry socket isn’t serious, as the socket can be cleaned and a special medicated paste or dressing will help it heal. You can reduce your risk of dry socket by not smoking or sucking through a straw during the initial healing period. Try not to disturb the socket area for the first day and do not rinse out your mouth.

Our dental team are always here to answer any questions you might have about wisdom tooth removal, both before and after your treatment at Freshwater Dental. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.