Removing a wisdom tooth is a common dental procedure. It is recommended if your wisdom teeth are severely impacted or causing dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay or cellulitis.
What are wisdom teeth?
Most people have four wisdom teeth. They are located at the very back of the mouth and are the last teeth to grow in. This usually happens in our late teens or early twenties. By that point, there is not always enough room in your mouth. As a result, teeth can grow in at an angle or remain stuck inside the gums.
When do you need to get a wisdom tooth removed?
An impacted wisdom tooth can cause pain or inflammation and push other teeth out of alignment. It can also lead to other common dental problems, such as decay and gum disease; and, in more serious cases, pericoronitis, cellulitis, abscesses and cysts.
Surgery is not the only treatment option. For minor infections, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics. But if the tooth is causing you a lot of pain or affecting the alignment of your other teeth, then we will usually recommend surgery. We may also suggest removal as a preventative measure if we can see that the tooth is likely to cause problems in the future.
If you are experiencing tooth or gum pain, or any other symptoms, we recommend that you make an appointment with the clinic.
What is the treatment process?
The dentist will first do an X-ray so he can see all of your teeth, including any that have not broken through the gums.
If recommended, you will then return to the clinic for surgery to remove the impacted tooth. The removal of the tooth usually takes less than 20 minutes and is carried out under local anaesthetic. If you are nervous about seeking treatment, we also offer sedation. For more information, please take a look at our Sedation page.
You will be able to leave the clinic straight afterwards (unless you have received a sedative). However, you should avoid hot drinks, alcohol and exercise for 24 hours afterwards.
Recovering from the removal of wisdom teeth
The recovery process after wisdom teeth surgery will depend on a number of factors, including how many teeth you’re having removed and how difficult the extraction is. In the 24 hours immediately after the extraction you will need to avoid hot drinks, rinsing your mouth and spitting as any of these could dislodge the healing blood clots that are forming over the wound. Generally speaking it will take up to a fortnight for you to recover fully, and you may experience pain, soreness, swelling around the mouth and cheeks, bruising, and sometimes patients report an unpleasant taste in the mouth. If you experience wisdom teeth removal pain, you should be able to manage it with the help of over-the-counter painkillers. In the first few days, you can manage your recovery by eating soft food, avoiding strenuous activities, using an extra pillow to support your head, and regularly rinsing your mouth with a salt mouthwash.
Possible side effects of having your wisdom teeth removed include infection and bleeding. If you experience a high temperature, discharge around the extraction site and persistent swelling and pain, or prolonged bleeding contact us immediately.
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