Everything you need to know about wisdom tooth removal

wisdom tooth pain

Wisdom tooth removal is one of the most common dental surgeries undergone by adults. That being said, it is still a major procedure that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In this article we talk about wisdom teeth, what they are, why so many people have them removed, and what the long term affects are.

What are wisdom teeth?

Our teeth usually come through in two stages; our baby teeth and our adult teeth. We get our first baby tooth at around 6 months, and usually have them all by age 3. Around age 6 or 7, they then start to fall out and are replaced with our adult teeth.

baby teeth

But for some of us, there’s an additional stage, when third molars (wisdom teeth) start to erupt. This typically happens between the ages of 17-21, around the time a person gains maturity, and thus the name wisdom teeth.

Not everyone has their wisdom teeth come through, however when they do, they’re usually a less than welcome addition to your mouth.

The problems with wisdom teeth

When your wisdom teeth come in perfectly straight and they don’t damage or impact on the surrounding molars or gum tissue, then there’s no problem. Unfortunately that rarely happens.

When they begin to erupt, they may grow slightly off course, grow sideways, not fully emerge. Sometimes they stay trapped beneath the gum, bone or remain blocked, which can lead to swelling, pain or future infections. The pain associated with wisdom teeth and subsequent problems related to those left unattended is, for many, one of life’s worst dental experiences.

x-ray of wisdom teeth

Why have them removed

If wisdom teeth haven’t come through cleanly, then they can lead to many problems if left unattended:

  • Poorly aligned wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth.
  • Wisdom teeth that lean toward the second molars make them more vulnerable to decay by entrapping plaque and debris.
  • They may only partially erupt allowing for an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness.
  • A partial eruption can leave you more prone to tooth decay and gum disease because their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning makes proper hygiene care difficult.
  • Impacted teeth left unattended may lead to the development of cysts.

There are some instances, like in the case of nerve involvement or associated pathology like cysts, where you’ll need to be referred to a specialist.

How SDAI can help

At Sydney Dental Aesthetics and Implants we will remove your wisdom teeth if they are:

  • Decayed
  • Cause pain
  • Or if they are impacted and causing issues.

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, give us a call. Unfortunately, problems with wisdom teeth won’t fix themselves over time and the pain isn’t going to go away without treatment.

wisdom tooth pain

What to expect after wisdom tooth removal

Even though it is a fairly common procedure, it is still major dental work and you should expect some pain and swelling over the next few days so rest and pain relief will be necessary. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. You won’t be able to chew properly until the swelling has gone down, but you can take in ‘soft’ foods, such as soup or ice-cream.

Why Choose Us?

At SDAI, you’re fortunate enough to have the option of a dental sedation or a general anaesthetic to help with the anxiety associated with getting your wisdom teeth removed (ask us about this option).

Wisdom tooth removal is very common and should be scheduled at the first moment of discomfort to avoid further issues and complications. Contact us today if you have any questions about the procedure. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.