Also known as third molars, are the last set of molars located at the back of the mouth.
These teeth usually emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. Most individuals have four wisdom teeth – two on the upper jaw and two on the lower jaw.
Wisdom teeth served a functional purpose in our evolutionary past when a diet of coarse, rough food required additional chewing surfaces. However, with changes in diet and oral hygiene practices over time, these teeth have become largely redundant.
Due to limited space at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth often encounter issues during their eruption. They may emerge partially or become impacted, meaning they don't fully break through the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to various problems, including pain, swelling, infection, and damage to neighbouring teeth.
As a result, many individuals undergo wisdom tooth extraction to prevent or address these complications. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays help monitor the development and positioning of wisdom teeth, allowing for timely intervention when necessary.
Wisdom teeth removal, also known as third molar extraction, is a dental procedure involving the surgical removal of the wisdom teeth.
The extraction is often performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist, and the procedure may be done under local anaesthesia, sedation, or general anaesthesia, depending on the complexity and the patient's preference.
The process typically begins with a comprehensive examination, including X-rays, to assess the position, size, and development of the wisdom teeth. Based on the evaluation, the dentist or oral surgeon determines whether removal is necessary.
During the extraction, an incision is made in the gum tissue to access the tooth and, if required, the tooth may be divided into sections for easier removal. Once the tooth is extracted, the incision is stitched, and gauze is placed to control bleeding.
Patients are provided with post-operative instructions, including guidance on managing swelling, discomfort, and proper oral care during the healing period. Pain medications and antibiotics may be prescribed as needed.
Wisdom teeth removal is often recommended to prevent or address issues such as impaction, crowding, pain, infection, and damage to adjacent teeth. Early intervention and regular dental check-ups contribute to a smoother recovery process and overall oral health.
The timing for wisdom teeth removal varies based on individual factors, and it is typically determined through a combination of dental examinations, X-rays, and the assessment of potential issues.
While there isn't a fixed age for wisdom teeth removal, the late teenage years to the early twenties are commonly considered the appropriate time.
Several indicators may prompt the recommendation for wisdom teeth removal:
Dentists often monitor the development of wisdom teeth during regular check-ups and may recommend removal if potential issues are identified. Early intervention can help prevent complications and reduce the risk of discomfort or damage associated with wisdom teeth. Individual circumstances and oral health play a crucial role in determining the appropriate timing for wisdom teeth removal.
The actual process of wisdom teeth removal is not typically painful as it is performed under local anaesthesia.
Local anaesthesia is commonly used to numb the area around the tooth, ensuring that the patient does not feel pain during the extraction procedure. In some cases, sedation or general anaesthesia may also be used to make the patient more comfortable and relaxed during the surgery.
After the procedure, as the anaesthesia wears off, some discomfort and swelling can be expected. Pain medications are often prescribed or recommended to manage post-operative pain. Patients are provided with post-operative care instructions, including guidance on using ice packs, taking prescribed medications, and maintaining proper oral hygiene.
It's essential for individuals to follow these instructions diligently to minimise discomfort and promote a smooth recovery. While some soreness and swelling are normal after wisdom teeth removal, severe or prolonged pain should be reported to the dentist promptly.
By adhering to post-operative care guidelines and taking prescribed medications as directed, patients can effectively manage pain and promote optimal healing after wisdom teeth removal.
Call (07) 3378 4757 or fill out the form below to book an appointment.
At Pullenvale Dental, we prioritise your oral health, aiming for excellent results and service that brings smiles.