Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom Teeth Removal, Recovery & Costs
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, infected or giving you trouble, they are not likely to get better on their own. Luckily, removal of your wisdom teeth can be done easily and with minimal discomfort by an experienced dentist.
Issues with wisdom teeth can cause much more than just a toothache:
- Gum infections / pericoronitis
- Cysts that corrode the jaw bone which can cause weakness
- Damage to existing teeth from pressure that can erode roots of adjacent teeth
- Decay from improper cleaning
However, thanks to advancements in techniques and equipment, the procedure to remove them is now quite straightforward with discomfort kept to a minimum.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
‘Wisdom teeth’ is a common term for the third molars, the back-most teeth in the human mouth. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow, and usually make their presence felt in our late teenage years. Unfortunately, most of us have insufficient space in our mouths to allow our wisdom teeth to come through the gums, or ‘erupt’ fully, and they become stuck, or ‘impacted’. Both impacted and non-impacted wisdom teeth can cause a number of problems, for which the extraction of the tooth or teeth is the best solution.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
The complexity of this procedure really depends on how your wisdom teeth are growing. During the procedure your dentist will use local anaesthesia. If an IV sedative is required, it is generally administered by a specialist anaesthetist. General anaesthesia is only given for very complicated cases and this would be carried out at a hospital. Learn more about sedation options.
During the procedure you should not feel any pain, the discomfort will most likely come in after the sedative wears off. This will be managed well by pain medication which will be prescribed to you.
Depending on the number of teeth you are having removed and the complexity of your case, you may or may not have to take time off. You can discuss this with your dentist before you schedule the procedure.
Will it hurt?
At our practice we pride ourselves on the techniques we use to minimize pain during and after your surgery. It is extremely uncommon for our patients to feel any pain whatsoever during surgery. Post-surgical discomfort, if it occurs, can be managed well with medication that we will prescribe for you.
Common Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth
The most common problem caused by partially erupted wisdom teeth is infection of the gum around the wisdom tooth. This condition, called pericoronitis, can be enormously painful and can also cause significant swelling of the face. Antibiotics can usually remedy the problem, however once it occurs, the chances of it happening again are very high. The only way to permanently prevent pericoronitis is by extraction of the affected tooth.
Unerupted wisdom teeth are prone to the development of cysts around them. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs which form by corroding the surrounding jaw bone. In extreme situations this can cause a weakness in the jaw bone which may then be susceptible to fracture. If your wisdom tooth has developed a cyst, we will remove both tooth and cyst, and place grafting material in the weakened jaw bone. This will ensure optimal healing.
Damage to Adjacent Teeth
In their attempt to erupt into the mouth, impacted wisdom teeth sometimes exert pressure on adjacent teeth. If the pressure exerted by a wisdom tooth is severe, the roots of the adjacent tooth can erode, sometimes enough to warrant the removal of that adjacent tooth. Early extraction of wisdom teeth in this case can therefore save other teeth in the mouth.
If wisdom teeth do come through the gum into the mouth, they stand a very high risk of decay. This is because of the position of the wisdom teeth – they are so far back that most people find them impossible to clean adequately. When wisdom teeth do become decayed, extraction (as opposed to filling) is commonly recommended because of the risk of problems recurring.
Recovery after Wisdom Teeth Extraction
What can I expect after the surgery?
After the surgery you will probably experience some swelling. The amount of swelling will vary depending on the number of extractions you have had, and their difficulty. Swelling usually peaks at about the 48 hour mark, and generally takes about a week to fully subside. Some patients also experience minor bruising of their facial skin. Use of ice packs after your surgery will minimize both swelling and bruising. Most people also do experience some discomfort in the week after surgery, which can be minimised by pain medication that will be prescribed to you.
How much time off work or school will I require?
This will vary depending on the number of wisdom teeth that are removed and the difficulty of the surgery. For example, you may not feel the need to take any time off after the extraction of one straightforward wisdom tooth. Conversely, extraction of four wisdom teeth under sedation or general anaesthetic may require you to take up to a week off work. We can best advise on this at your consultation.
How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost?
The cost of wisdom teeth removal in Auckland will vary based on the needs of your specific case. It could be upwards of $350 per tooth. You can check if your insurance will cover it or if you are eligible for any plans that could reimburse you for some or all of the costs. Wisdom teeth removed surgically under general anaesthetic is often covered by the surgical cover of your health insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is wisdom tooth extraction necessary?
If your wisdom teeth have no room to come up and are impacting your other teeth and causing damage, your dentist will recommend that you have them extracted. Leaving them as is will only make the damage worse and could even severely compromise your dental health.
For some people, wisdom teeth grow upright without any trouble, but they are so far back that they are difficult to clean properly. As a result, they are prone to tooth decay, abscesses and gum infections.
Only one of my wisdom teeth is causing problems. Do I need all four removed?
This will depend on whether your other wisdom teeth appear to be at risk of developing problems. If this is not the case there is no reason to remove more than one tooth. However if all of your wisdom teeth are at risk of problems there are a lot of advantages to having them all removed during the one surgical procedure. Having treatment this way is more cost effective and means a lot less time off work or school compared with multiple surgical procedures.
What is the best age at which to remove wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth typically start growing in the late teens, and removal generally takes place between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Problems will become apparent quickly, and your dentist will be able to advise if one or more of your teeth should be removed.
If you are an adult and still have your wisdom teeth, you should visit a dentist if you’re experiencing pain. A simple x-ray of your teeth will show the position of your wisdom teeth and their condition, making it clear whether they need to be extracted or not.
Will removing my wisdom teeth cause any long-term problems?
If you do have your wisdom teeth extracted, you will not have any difficulty in eating, chewing or going about your daily life. Because you already have two other sets of molars that are able to perform the necessary function of grinding your food as you chew, removal of your wisdom teeth will not result in any long-term problems. There is no need for any dental implants or further surgeries once the wisdom teeth have been removed.
Make this procedure easier with the experts at Dental Artistry
Our dentists at Dental Artistry have plenty of experience with wisdom tooth removal procedures. We plan the approach and treatment for your case based on your individual needs. The whole process is tailored to suit the specifics of your case in conjunction with your needs.
The clinic has been designed to make the entire process easier on you. We have all the equipment that is required, from the preliminary examination and tests to the tooth extraction itself. This way, everything is done in one place with our state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.
If you are experiencing a dull ache on and off at the very back of your jaw, it could well be your wisdom teeth acting up. Don’t put off visiting a dentist as the problem may worsen and start affecting other teeth. Call us on 095244541 or make an appointment online. Once you meet with one of our dentists and find out what the problem is and what your options are, you can make a well-informed decision.