What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt at each quadrant of your mouth, often not appearing until you are 17 or older. Whilst fully erupted wisdom teeth cause no problems, most of them are prone to become impacted (stuck) or not to erupt properly. Some people’s jaws do not have enough space to accommodate the wisdom teeth and in these cases, the wisdom teeth are often impacted.

Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean and prone to getting food trapped in the area, meaning plaque and bacteria can build up, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.


Why do I need to have my wisdom tooth removed?

There are a few reasons why the dentist would recommend wisdom tooth removal. These include non-restorable tooth decay, gum disease, internal resorption of the tooth or adjacent tooth, fracture of the tooth and recurrent infections around the wisdom tooth. Due to the reasons mentioned, some patients might experience symptoms like pain or swelling around the tooth or the jaw. If the wisdom tooth is impacted, partially erupted in the mouth and trapping food in the area, the dentist might also advise removal as a preventive measure.


How is wisdom tooth removed?

Some wisdom tooth can be removed by simple extractions while some will require surgery under local anesthesia. The dentist will also need to take x-rays to assess the tooth and surrounding structures before the procedure.

Removal of wisdom teeth can also be done under sedation. Please discuss the various options with one of our dentists.


After surgery, you may experience pain and swelling for a few days.  Post-operative instructions include:

  • A soft/liquid diet, so that the site of surgery is not affected by chewing
  • Apply a cold compress, together with the anti-inflammatory medicine prescribed by the dentist to help with swelling
  • Take the antibiotics (if prescribed) to keep infections at bay
  • Get plenty of rest – some days off work or school may be needed
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol
  • Following all post-operative care instructions provided by your surgeon

To find out more about our wisdom tooth surgery procedures, get in touch with us for a consultation