Wisdom Teeth Removal
Should impacted or partially impacted wisdom teeth be removed?
Impacted wisdom teeth are wisdom teeth that have remained “trapped” in the bone and can cause inflammation due to the build-up of bacteria. Such teeth are not useable, do not serve any purpose and cause pain, bad breath and recurring inflammation which prevents normal chewing and speech. This inflammation can lead to further complications and the possibility of more serious threats to the patient’s health; in the worst cases they can even be life-threatening. Such wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Not all impacted wisdom teeth are candidates for removal, though, and a dentist/oral surgeon needs to make an evaluation. So make an appointment and let us help you get the information you need.
What to expect from the procedure?
What does the procedure look like? Is any special preparation necessary before coming in for the surgery?
The procedure to remove wisdom teeth is completely painless as it is done under local anaesthetic. No special preparation is needed prior to coming to the surgery. The length of the procedure varies from person to person and depends on the position of the tooth and its orientation in relation to the surrounding structures. The surgery most often lasts between 30 and 60 minutes for a single tooth.
After the procedure, once the anaesthesia has worn off there will be a little pain, but not a significant amount, and with the use of painkillers you will be able to function normally. There can be some post-operative swelling which will last a few days. During this time we recommend you eat liquid and mashed foods that have been cooled. Oral hygiene should be maintained as usual – the teeth should be brushed but without aggressive mouth-rinsing. The extraction site should be cleaned with gentle strokes. You will be able to return to your everyday activities, there is no reason to take time off work, school, university etc. The stitches will be removed after seven days.
Why do we even have wisdom teeth?
There is a theory that wisdom teeth were needed in our distant past when our food was eaten uncooked, and today we no longer have need of them in order to chew our food. Hence wisdom teeth have deteriorated through lack of use over many generations. Although they should be the largest of the molars and have three roots, this is often not the case. Very often they have an undeveloped crown and only two roots, while many people are lacking them altogether.