Wisdom Teeth Removal
Why is it done
How well it works
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth, also called ‘third molars’ usually do not push through the gums until people are in their late teens, twenties or even older. They are usually the last teeth to come through the gums.
Most people have four wisdom teeth. Some people may have less, or not at all. Often there is little space at the back of the jaws for the wisdom teeth to come through. If the jaw does not have enough room to accommodate the wisdom tooth, the tooth will become wedged in or ‘impacted’. Some impacted wisdom teeth remain buried and cause no trouble. However, other impacted wisdom teeth may cause severe problems.
Problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth include
A wisdom tooth may push nearby teeth out of their correct position and may help cause crowding of front teeth.
If a wisdom tooth is not removed, a sac of fluid, called a cyst can form around the tooth and may displace the tooth. The cyst can destroy bone tissue and damage other teeth and the gums. Cyst formation around unerupted teeth is uncommon.
Damage to Nearby Molars
A Food Trap
GA or LA
Removal of Wisdom Teeth
Possible Side Effects of Wisdom Tooth Removal
- Numbness or altered sensation – An impacted wisdom tooth may be close to nerves within the jaw bone and surrounding tissues. When the tooth is removed, the nerve may become bruised. This can cause numbness, tingling and loss of feeling in teeth, gums, cheeks, lips, chin, tongue and around the upper jaw and lower jaw. Taste sensation may be altered as well. If a nerve is injured, it usually will heal and the symptoms go away. In some people the healing process can take 6 to 18 months. In rare cases, the nerve may not heal completely and the symptoms may be permanent.
- Dry socket – After the tooth is removed, a blood clot will form over the bone. This is important for proper healing and relief of pain. If the blood clot is washed away or dislodged, the bone will be exposed. This is called a ‘dry socket’. The result is a constant throbbing pain which may last for many days. Further treatment is required.
- Infection – An infection in the gum or bone is uncommon and can be treated with antibiotics.
- Difficulty in opening the mouth – This is often due to the swelling of the gum and usually goes away in a few days after the swelling goes down.
- Fever – Your body temperature may be slightly higher after surgery. It usually goes back to normal after 12 to 24 hours. A fever which lasts longer may be an indication of an infection or other problems. Contact the surgery.
- Excessive bleeding – This is rare and can be caused by too much exertion or by vomiting. It can be stopped by putting gauze over the site and applying pressure by biting gently on the gauze for 20 to 30 minutes. If severe bleeding does not stop, contact the surgery or hospital emergency department.
- Lip sores – While the tooth is being removed, pressure or stretching of the lip by the instruments may cause bruises or small sores.