In most cases, wisdom teeth or the “third molars” require removal, typically due to tooth crowding. This is especially true if wisdom teeth are impacted, when they erupt at an angle, or only partially.
Ultimately, wisdom teeth that are trapped within the gums may eventually result in serious dental health related problems. This can include everything from damaged surrounding teeth to infection and pain. In cases like these, dental intervention is required.
Fortunately, oral surgery and the extraction techniques associated with impacted wisdom teeth removal can produce remarkable results for patients in today’s modern world of dentistry. At United Smiles we are your first and best stop for all your dental concerns, including issues with your wisdom teeth.
Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Treated?
Your wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are the last teeth to emerge from your jaw and through your gums. Because they are the final teeth to emerge they are the teeth that most commonly become impacted and cause problems. This may happen because a wisdom tooth is turned to the side, tilted, rotated, or otherwise positioned incorrectly in the jaw.
Wisdom teeth also become impacted when there is not enough room in the jaw or the mouth for them to emerge. As dental care and diets have improved, wisdom tooth impaction has actually increased because injury or loss no longer creates extra space in the mouth.
An impacted does not always bring pain, and in some cases you may not realise you have one (or several). However, if an impacted wisdom tooth does try to erupt, the gum above may swell and cause pain. A partially erupted tooth can gather food and other debris, which can cause gum swelling and infection. Impacted teeth also can cause decay or push on the neighbouring molar, which can lead to tooth movement or decay, as well as negative changes in the bite. Impacted teeth also can cause cysts and benign (harmless) jaw tumours. These can lead to bone destruction.
- Swelling of the gum in the back of the mouth or on the side of the jaw
- Difficulty opening the jaw
- Bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Pain or irritation when you open your mouth
- Pain when chewing or biting
Pain can occur for several days and then disappear for weeks or months before returning.
If you have these kinds of issues, you will likely need to remove these teeth.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Before extracting a wisdom tooth you will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. A general anesthetic may be necessary, especially if several or all of your wisdom teeth will be extracted simultaneously. Your dentist will probably recommend that you don’t eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery.
To remove the wisdom tooth, your dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone covering the tooth. The tissue connecting the tooth and bone will be separated and the tooth will be removed. Sometimes your dentist will break you tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.
What To Expect After Extraction
In most cases, recovery lasts only a few days. Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon. The following tips will help speed your recovery.
- Bite gently on the gauze pad periodically, and change pads as they become soaked with blood. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if you still have bleeding 24 hours after your surgery.
- While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip, or your tongue. Do not attempt to eat while still numb.
- Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
- Try using an ice pack on the outside of your cheek. You can use moist heat-such as a washcloth soaked in warm water and wrung out-for the following 2 or 3 days.
- Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding.
- Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
- Do not use a straw for the first few days.
- After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day.
- Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery.
- Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully.
- Your dentist will remove the stitches after a few days, if non-dissolving stitches are used.
Keep Your Smile Healthy and Attractive with United Smiles in Mernda
United Smiles is conveniently located in the heart of Mernda Village, serving patients from all Melbourne areas. Our office has ample parking at the rear of the building. Wheelchair access is also available at the front of the building.
Our Special Offers
Our goal is to make quality dental care affordable. We encourage you to take advantage of our latest offers ranging from check-up to orthodontic treatments. To find out more, visit our special offers page!