Wisdom Teeth Surgery
Wisdom teeth are the last of the adult or permanent dentition to develop. They are the third molar or grinding teeth and are situated at the back of the dental arches. It is because they are the last teeth to develop that they can be left without space to erupt and become stuck, something we call impacted. In this situation they can become partially erupted with some of their surface covered by gum. This can lead to infection under the gum flap (pericoronitis) or decay in the crown of the wisdom tooth itself or in the back of the healthy tooth in front. Serious problems can develop such as cysts or if left untreated tumours which can hollow out the jawbone and cause permanent damage.
Your dental surgeon will conduct an examination of the wisdom teeth with x-rays and discuss the results with you. With the help of the x-rays he frequently can predict if the wisdom teeth are going to give trouble either in the near future or in later life. If so, (after taking into account your medical and dental history) it will probably be recommended to remove them rather than wait for trouble to occur. Removal is easier in younger patients as roots are not yet fully developed and the bone is less dense. In older patients removal before complications develop is the key to shorter recovery and healing time and minimizing discomfort after surgery.
Wisdom teeth are removed painlessly under local anaesthetic. The surgical procedure can take fifteen minutes to an hour.Sometimes we will use sedation if you are nervous about the procedure. Afterwards you will probably rest for a while, be given post-operative advice and then be checked to see if you are ready to be driven home by a companion. A post-operative checkup appointment is usually scheduled for one week after the operation.
We advise that you don't approach this operation casually and suggest you plan a couple of days rest afterward to promote good healing.
Generally after wisdom tooth surgery (particularly of lower wisdom teeth) a patient may expect to experience some swelling and discomfort and may not be able to open their mouth as wide as usual. However with personalized post-operative instructions and medications any possible discomfort will be well controlled.
Please alert us if you have any medical condition prior to surgery or are taking any medications. Please arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery appointment
The removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure that very rarely if ever at our surgery produces any complications but the following are potential ones you should have an understanding of:
Dry Socket: If a blood clot doesn’t form properly in the socket (sometimes this is due to disturbing the socket in some way e.g. smoking or food impaction) the socket remains dry for a period of time and healing is delayed. This is painful but it can be treated to make it more comfortable while healing takes place.This is most common on lower wisdom teeth.
Numbness: In some cases major sensory nerves are in close proximity to the wisdom teeth and it is possible that one or more could be irritated by surgery. If this happens temporary numbness or tingling to the tongue or cheek could result .Rarely, it can be permanent. This does not effect how the muscles work or how things look.
Root Fragments: Roots can be long or fragile and a root tip can fracture off during surgery. Usually it will be removed but if it is close to the nerve or near adjacent teeth the dental surgeon may leave it in place. This usually causes no problem.
Bone chips: Sometimes during the healing process as the body reshapes the tissues in the area treated tiny bone splinters may appear but unless they give a lot of trouble are often left for the body o naturally eject them.
Injury: Damage to fillings in adjacent teeth, the teeth themselves, bridgework etc may potentially occur. Richard has performed thousands of wisdom teeth removals and as yet has had no incidents like this.
Sinus complications: Sometimes upper wisdom teeth are near the maxillary sinus and roots can penetrate into the sinus cavity. An opening into the sinus with drainage or sinus pain can follow tooth removal. This is usually self limiting and heals naturally but can potentially require some additional corrective surgery.
Discolouration: Due to age, certain medications and skin complexion some bruising to the facial skin is possible adjacent to the surgical site. While cosmetically undesirable It is harmless and will fade away over several days
Bleeding: There should be no major bleeding when you’ve left the surgery. Minor oozing can be expected and post operative instructions are given to control this.
FOOD INFORMATION - PLEASE READ
Please remember that you must eat as you would normally before this appointment.
NOTE: If you have planned sedation or general anaesthetic with your Dentist you must follow the instructions on the relative forms.
There is no need to worry...
Fortunately your dental surgeon has had a great deal of experience in managing wisdom tooth problems and is also an expert in pain and anxiety control. Both during and after surgery, he and all staff at Phoenix House Dental Centre Ltd will do everything to make you as comfortable as possible. If necessary sedative treatment is available for very nervous patients