Wisdom tooth

In this section of the website, I will be talking specifically about extractions in relation to wisdom teeth. This may apply to other teeth as well. If you just want general information about extractions, click here to view that page

Wisdom teeth: grows when you’re wise, but the way that it grows is not really that wise – Dr. Joe Wang

Dental extractions (or known as  “taking your tooth out”)

Dental extractions is the act of having your tooth taken out. It is a relatively straightforward procedure which can done within one appointment.

How is it achieved?

We are able to help you take out your tooth using two different ways:

  • Local anaesthetics: just like when you get a filling. We will put local anesthetics around your tooth and take it out. You will be fully awake and conscious for this procedure but won’t feel any pain.
  • Conscious IV sedation: this method will generally take more than one appointment as we need to assess you with a certified IV sedation doctor of your medical status (to see if you can ’go under’ safely). Once you are sedated we will still give you local anesthetics and proceed to help you remove your tooth. This method is great for those who need to have their teeth taken out but are very anxious about it.

Depending on the state of the tooth, the alignment of your tooth and how close your nerves are in relation to that wisdom teeth. Most wisdom tooth removal will require some form of on-site surgery in order to remove it. Because each individual’s situation is different we will assess it for you after obtaining a good quality x-ray film.

Why do I need to have my wisdom tooth taken out?

Here are some of the top 5 reasons to have your wisdom teeth removed:

  1. Pain – pretty obvious
  2. Caries – a.k.a dental decay, when you have dental decay it not only can cause pain, but it will also affect your neighbouring teeth. This means not only your wisdom tooth will have a hole your tooth in the front will also have one. Removing it early will prevent this from happening
  3. Peri-apical pathology (aka. infection within the root tips of your wisdom teeth which can only be seen via a radiograph/x-ray film)
  4. Periocoronitis – See below
  5. Food traps – See picture
  6. Prevention of supra-eruption (occlusal interference) – See the below paragraph

About supra-eruption: The impacted tooth which causes needs to be extracted but so does its opposing tooth. This is because teeth keep growing or moving until they hit something. So if only one tooth is extracted then the opposing tooth will keep moving (super-erupts) until it hits the gingiva of the extracted tooth, causing problems such as biting into your opposite gum. As it super-erupts, it also increases its surface area, causing more food and bacteria to accumulate around the tooth. So having the two opposing teeth out at the same time saves the extraction procedure and consequent healing time, occurring twice.

Food traps:

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 10.42.38 pm

One of the main reasons as a consequence of not removing a wisdom teeth is getting pericoronitis.

What is Pericoronitis:

See that pocket of gum covering your wisdom teeth? That’s where food and bacteria accumulates and thats what we are targeting!

This infection happens often when your tooth is partially erupted into the mouth. This creates a small pocket between the tooth and your gums allowing bacteria to accumulate and it cannot be adequately cleansed away due to the configuration of the gum tissue that surrounds it. This infection and inflammation can cause jaw stiffness, pain and swelling. It’s a very good reason to consider having your wisdom teeth removed.

In simple terms: peri = around, coro = crown, nitis = inflammation. A.k.a inflammation around your dental crown

If you are having pericoronitis and would like to know how to further manage it after diagnosis, click here to see our recommended methods in resolving pain.

Why should I take my wisdom tooth out at such a young age?

Here are a few good reasons:

  • Reduction in pain and suffering post surgery – Good studies have shown that the younger you are when having your wisdom teeth removed, the faster you would recover with less post operative pain with lower complication rates (referenced to Bui CH, Selodin EB, Dodson TB: Types, frequencies and risk factors for complications after third molar extraction. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2003; 61-1379.)
  • Longer period of increased quality of life
  • Reduce financial burden (you can generally share the cost of the surgery with your family)
  • Maximise health
  • Prevent complications of retaining your wisdom teeth (pain from wisdom teeth, swelling from the wisdom teeth due to its poor angle)

So what’s the best for me?

Each person has their own unique needs so it is difficult to tell. The best way to know what you need is to contact us and I’ll sit down with you to go through the best option with you in person.

Here are some extra materials to help explain/entertain you about wisdom extractions:

Awkward Yeti comic about wisdom tooth:

wisdom teeth

Video showing you how we surgically remove a wisdom tooth:

Some examples of bad positioning (credit to Superchlorine)

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