Wisdom Teeth: Do They Bring Wisdom or Woes?

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to bidding farewell to wisdom teeth. Uncover the strategic timeline for wisdom tooth removal, exploring the signs that prompt their extraction.

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, often make a grand entrance as they emerge in a person’s mouth, creating a stir of questions and concerns. Positioned at the back of the mouth, these molars are notorious for causing issues, typically surfacing between the ages of 17 and 25. This post dives into the essentials of wisdom teeth, exploring their purpose, signs of trouble, and the necessity of extraction.

Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?

Understanding the rationale behind wisdom teeth removal is crucial. While these molars were once essential for our ancestors with broader jaws, the modern jaw’s evolution often leads to complications. Overcrowding and lack of space cause these molars to become impacted, resulting in pain, swelling, infection, or cysts. Removal becomes essential for overall oral health.

When Should You Get Wisdom Tooth Removed?

The timing of wisdom teeth removal is strategic, aiming to prevent potential issues. Generally emerging between late teens and early twenties, wisdom teeth are monitored for signs of impaction or discomfort. Continuous pain, swelling, or infected gum tissue are red flags, prompting dentists to recommend removal for a healthier oral state.

Signs and Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Recognising the signs of an impacted wisdom tooth is pivotal. From persistent pain and swelling to headaches and inflammation, these symptoms indicate potential issues. Additionally, issues like tooth decay, infections, and even gum disease may arise if impacted wisdom teeth are left untreated.

While some impacted teeth may remain asymptomatic, it’s crucial to be vigilant for potential signs, especially if discomfort arises. If your dentist deems the tooth’s position acceptable, removal might not be immediate, even with evidence of impacted wisdom teeth on x-rays.

However, seeking advice is paramount if any of the following signs and symptoms manifest:

  • Inflammation: Partially emerging wisdom teeth may cause inflammation due to insufficient space, leading to gum tissue covering part of the tooth. This can result in traumatised upper wisdom teeth, causing swollen or bleeding gums.
  • Tooth Decay: Horizontal eruption may initially be halted by the preceding molar. However, continued growth can damage nearby teeth roots, fostering tooth decay and bad breath.
  • Pain: Discomfort at the back of the mouth, behind the molars, may intensify as wisdom teeth grow, misaligned or sideways, exerting pressure on nerves and bone.
  • Gum Redness or Swelling: The eruption of wisdom teeth can lead to observable redness or swelling in the gum tissue.
  • Headaches: Tooth eruptions, at times, trigger headaches.
  • Infection: Horizontal eruption, if unchecked, may cease upon reaching the next tooth. Open gum tissue becomes susceptible to bacteria, potentially leading to severe oral infections or gum disease.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure

When wisdom teeth exhibit signs of impaction, their removal becomes a viable solution, particularly for those grappling with associated pain. The procedure unfolds as follows:

  • Anaesthesia & Sedation: Patients receive a local anaesthetic, ensuring the entire surgical area is numb. This anaesthesia, either standalone or complemented by nitrous oxide, aids in oral sedation, premedication, or intravenous sedation. The surgical process commences only after the anaesthesia takes full effect.
  • Tooth Access: Utilising a scalpel, dentists delicately incise and peel back gum tissue, revealing the emerging wisdom teeth’s bone. High-speed suction maintains a dry, debris-free environment during the procedure.
  • Extraction: The targeted tooth is carefully removed, and the socket is scrutinised for any residual particles requiring extraction. Post-operatively, comprehensive care instructions are provided, and a follow-up appointment is scheduled. The extraction process typically spans 30 minutes or less.
  • Post-Extraction: Following the removal, the gum tissue or surgical area is sutured to facilitate healing. Although the wound won’t be fully healed immediately, proper post-operative care helps mitigate the risk of infection in the weeks following the surgery.

Financial Considerations of Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Understanding the financial aspects of wisdom teeth removal is crucial. Costs vary based on the complexity of the procedure. Simple extractions range from $350 to $450, while surgical removal can cost between $500 and $600 per tooth. Exploring payment plans, discounts, or dental care coverage can ease the financial burden.

Looking for a Canberra dentist for a safe Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure?

Book an appointment with our experienced Canberra Dentist in Molonglo Valley – contact Molonglo Dental Surgery at 02 6287 1222.   

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