Why might I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Your dentist will only perform surgical intervention on your wisdom teeth if it is absolutely necessary. Reasons for removal are normally limited to:

  • Your wisdom teeth do not have the space to come through and will impact negatively upon your existing teeth if they do.

  • If you are suffering from recurrent pain and infections requiring regular courses of antibiotic.

  • If your wisdom teeth are damaged and decayed beyond use.

What can I expect to happen in a wisdom tooth removal?

Ahead of your oral surgery your dentist will use your x-rays to check out the positioning of your wisdom teeth and their roots. Their position will determine how easy or difficult the procedure will be.

Assuming you are having the surgery at your dentist’s office, you will be given a local anesthetic which will numb your mouth and eliminate any pain. If your surgery looks to be more complex, your dentist may refer to you to a specialist oral surgeon who will perform the procedure at a hospital instead. In these instances, general anesthetic may be offered to put you to sleep completely.

In order to perform the extraction, it is necessary to open up the gum tissue and remove any bone that may be covering the tooth. Your dentist may choose to cut the tooth up into smaller sections if this is makes the removal process easier.

After surgery

After your wisdom tooth is out your dentist may pack the area with gauze for a short while to stem any bleeding. This should have completely stopped within 24 hours. If it hasn’t then call your dentist to get advice. Your mouth may also remain number for several hours while the anesthetic wears off.

You may be asked to refrain from smoking, eating anything too chewy or tough and from drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours to give the wound time to heal. You should also avoid lying flat and doing any physical exercise as this may prolong any bleeding.

Your dentist may suggest an anti-inflammatory analgesic as your mouth could be swollen for several days after the surgery. However, within a week you can expect your face to return completely to normal.

Around a week after the procedure you can expect to make a follow-up visit to your dentist so that he/she can remove any stitches and check that the gum has healed successfully.