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Wisdom Teeth removal

Wisdom or third molar teeth can erupt from 16 to 18 years onwards; typically there is no space for them in modern humans. These teeth have no space to erupt and this results typically in either partial or complete impaction. They become wedged between the tooth in front and the jawbone at the back.

Generally, an impacted wisdom tooth will cause problems at some point; these include; decay, infection, pressure, possible damage to the neighbouring tooth, cyst formation, and canalso push the existing teeth closer together. As such the earlier the surgical intervention the less likely these issues are to occur. Your dentist will use x-rays at regular visits to determine which teeth may cause future issues and are thus better off surgically removed.

The treatment involves accessing the wisdom teeth and removing them. This is done generally through a small incision in the gum over the tooth, sometimes some of the bone needs to be removed or the tooth cut into several pieces in order to remove it without damaging the other teeth. The method used varies depending on the nature of the impaction, and will be discussed with your surgeon at the consultation.

The length of time taken to remove the teeth will vary depending on the complexity.

After the removal there is likely to be some swelling and discomfort, possibly some visible bruising, this is typically worse for the first three days however can often take up to two weeks to disappear completely. Your surgeon will likely prescribe you with a diet of soft food for this one to two week period, to prevent agitating the extraction site further and allow the jaw area time to heal. He will also typically arrange appropriate pain relief and other instructions of things to avoid post-surgery. If necessary you will be prescribed antibiotics. Essential after the extraction is to keep the site as clean as possible to prevent further infection. As you are unlikely to be able to brush anywhere near the extraction site thoroughly rinsing the mouth to remove food debris with either a mouthwash or warm salt water is important, your surgeon will advise you but typically this is started the day after surgery.

The majority of people require a week off from work to recover, some require two. Again your surgeon will be able to advise you of the complexity of the extraction and therefore the likelihood of you requiring the additional time to recover.

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