At times, wisdom teeth can cause discomfort due to insufficient space for them to erupt completely in the mouth.
Being the very last tooth in your jaw, it can also be difficult to clean and thus be more prone to gum infections or tooth decay.
In certain circumstances, a normal extraction may not be possible for a wisdom tooth due to its position, it being partially out of your gums or it being inclined horizontally or at an angle.
As such, surgery may be required to remove it. Wisdom tooth surgery involves opening the gum around the tooth (called a flap), removing some bone (if necessary), then removing the tooth.
The socket is then washed thoroughly and gum flap is closed using sutures.
At Ashford, our vast clinical expertise allows us to treat wisdom teeth:
Procedures are always carried out with experienced clinical staff to ensure a smooth and pleasant experience for all our patients.
Our Doctors will always advise you firstly if your wisdom tooth needs to be removed (not all of them need removal), and if so, from our years of clinical experience we are able to tell you confidently & accurately
The wisdom tooth is actually your third molar. From an evolutionary perspective, human beings traditionally had 3 molars (or back grinding teeth) in order to chew abrasive and rough types of food historically.
However, over time, as our diets changed, our jaw sizes evolved to become slightly smaller. This created an issue as there would not be sufficient space in the jaw for the third molar to erupt completely. This is the main reason why we can have problems with our wisdom teeth.
No, we do not. The third molar is actually the most commonly missing tooth in our mouths. It does not reflect on our wisdom!
Most of the time pain and discomfort arises because there is insufficient space for the wisdom tooth in your jaw. This creates a situation where the wisdom tooth is partially erupted. This essentially means the tooth is partially covered by your gum and partially exposed.
When this happens, bacteria in your mouth will coalesce beneath the gum flap which partially covers the wisdom tooth. Being a very hard place to reach and clean, the bacteria tend to proliferate and result in a localised infection around the wisdom tooth.
There are plenty of other reasons why a wisdom tooth may cause pain too. These include:
Wisdom teeth can typically be upright and erupt straight just like any of your other teeth. In this situation they usually do not cause us problems.
This means the wisdom tooth is angled towards the tooth in front of it. In this situation the great concern is that damage can be done to the tooth in front of the wisdom tooth. This may result in both the wisdom tooth and the tooth in front needing to be removed.
A forward impacted wisdom tooth can also create a pressure vector which is passed on to other teeth in front of it resulting in crowding.
This means the wisdom tooth is angled backwards, towards the angle of your jaw bone. In this situation it is very common to get a localised infected in the gums behind the wisdom tooth which lead to pain and swelling.
No, we do not. This is very much a clinical decision. It depends on the presentation of the wisdom tooth i.e. whether it is upright, impacted forward or impacted backward. It also depends on whether the wisdom tooth is partially erupted, completed erupted or buried completely in your jawbone.
For the most part, upper wisdom teeth can be removed without any surgical work. This is unless it is buried, partially erupted or very severely broken or decayed.
Lower wisdom teeth sometimes required surgery to remove safely. This is because the wisdom tooth may be angled in such a way that a conventional extraction is not possible. It may also be partially erupted or buried to a point where we are not able to extract it normally.
The first thing to remember is that it is a completely pain free procedure. Our doctors will give you local anaesthetic to ensure you are completely numb around the wisdom tooth and surrounding areas so the procedure is smooth and painless.
The gum around the wisdom tooth is usually raised by a small incision so we can see the wisdom tooth completely.
Once we are able to see the wisdom tooth well, we use a high-speed bur to loosen the wisdom tooth from the surrounding bone. This is done with the utmost care and caution.
Once loosened we can remove the wisdom tooth whole if there is sufficient space. If not, then we normally divide the tooth into 2 or 3 parts and remove each part completely.
The socket is then thoroughly irrigated with antimicrobial solution and saline to ensure no infection persists.
We then reposition the gum and close the socket by using silk sutures so you can heal comfortably.
In most cases the numbness continues for about 2hrs after you leave our facility. After about 2 hrs, you will feel a bit of tenderness around the wisdom tooth area. You can sometimes experience a bit of swelling too. However, this generally will last for about a day or two before you start to feel much better.
Most people are actually much better after a day or two. But as with any medical procedure, this will depend on the difficulty of the removal and your body’s natural healing abilities. Or doctors will always advise you of your specific healing time.
Surgical removal of wisdom teeth is a procedure which requires a great deal of finesse, experience, surgical prowess and anatomical knowledge.
This is because lower wisdom are surrounded by 2 sensory nerves. On the outside of it runs the Inferior Alveolar Nerve. This nerve gives sensation to the lower teeth on that side, the cheek, the chin and the lip.
Running on the inside of the wisdom tooth is the lingual nerve. This gives sensation to the inside part of the tongue and some taste sensation to the tongue as well.
When removing the wisdom tooth, the surgeon must be very specific and deliberate in their technique in order to avoid these nerves. Damaging the nerves can result in partial or permanent loss of sensation to the affected area.
Removal of upper wisdom teeth is also a procedure that requires experience and finesse. The upper wisdom tooth is usually very close to the maxillary sinus. The surgeon must be very careful to avoid breakages as this can result in root tips being pushed into the sinus.
At Ashford, our doctors have undergone training specific to the removal of wisdom teeth and surgical procedures. We also have more than a decade of clinical experience in performing difficult surgical wisdom teeth removals. In addition to this, all our doctors have calming and gentle demeanours to put you at ease and assure you of a smooth and efficient experience.
Our auxiliary staff have also undergone specific training for wisdom tooth surgical removals. They know exactly what to do in any given situation. They surgical assisting skills are second to none which makes our doctor’s work much easier and makes your experience far more relaxing.
Yes, it is claimable.
Wisdom teeth which require surgery to remove generally will cost more than just a conventional tooth extraction. This is because of the expertise, experience and finesse required to remove a wisdom tooth smoothly, comfortably and without damaging adjacent structures.
However, wisdom tooth surgery is partially or in some cases completely Medisave claimable.