What are Wisdom teeth?

Our wisdom teeth, also known as our third molars usually do not erupt until our late teens or early twenties. They are the last teeth to come through the gums.

Most people do not have enough space in their jaw for their wisdom tooth to erupt and fit to our bite – often they are wedged between the angle of the jaw and the erupted toot beside it, this is known as an “impacted” wisdom tooth.

It is recommended that an impacted wisdom tooth or one which is causing problems should be removed as soon as possible before the problem gets worse.

What can I expect at my Wisdom tooth consultation at Dentists & Doctors?

At Dentists & Doctors we are pleased to offer the latest in 3D digital technology to the people of Geelong, with our in house CBCT (3D X rays) we are able to accurately assess the position of your wisdom teeth and show you in real time any areas of concern.

Our dentists will complete a thorough examination, take necessary photographs and x rays and discuss your dental surgery in Geelong.

Dentists & Doctors also provide the comfort of sedation services also known as “sleep dentistry” or “twilight sedation” for clients who maybe anxious or have a dental phobia.

Problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth

An impacted wisdom tooth can cause more problems besides pain, they include

  1. Infection

When an impacted wisdom tooth starts to erupt through the gums and infection can occur around the top of the tooth. Infection and swelling of the gums can cause increased pain and discomfort as well as bad breath and taste in the mouth. You may also find it difficult to swallow and feel unwell.

  1. Food trap

When food becomes trapped between the wisdom tooth and the tooth beside it this creates the perfect environment for tooth decay to occur.

  1. Ulcer

An erupting wisdom which is impacted often erupts into the mouth at an odd angle – this can cause an ulcer to form on the inside of our cheeks, tongue or gum on the opposing arch.

  1. Cyst

If a dental surgery of wisdom teeth doesn’t happen, a cyst can form around the tooth and move it. A cyst is a sac of fluid which can destroy bone and damage surround teeth and gums. A cyst formation around unerupted teeth is common.

  1. Resorption Cavity

A tooth usually erupts and pushes through the gums and into the mouth in a straight path.  If the tooth is impacted the pushing action is not straight through the gums and out into the mouth but rather in the direction of the position of the impacted tooth.  This pushing action can cause a resorption cavity to the tooth beside it – this can lead to serious damage and loss of both the wisdom tooth and the affected tooth.

How will my wisdom tooth be removed?

Each patient is unique, which is why we take a personalised approach to your dental surgery care. Our dentists will discuss the positioning of your wisdom teeth and the urgency of your wisdom teeth surgery. All X rays and photographs will be shown and discussed with you as well as your treatment plan – considering the level of anxiety you may, At Dentists & Doctors we have the option of dental sedation to provide you ease and comfort throughout your wisdom teeth removal.

It is common to have your wisdom teeth surgery done in the dental chair with local anaesthetic. Local anaesthetic will numb the gums, surrounding soft tissue near the wisdom tooth and the lip. Your dentist will not proceed with the treatment until adequate anaesthesia is gained and you are feeling completely numb.

Depending on the position of your wisdom tooth, our dentist may need to make an incision to open your gums to improve access whilst removing your wisdom tooth. An impacted tooth may require a small portion of bone surrounding the tooth to be removed and divide it into segments – this is so we can remove your wisdom tooth easily and safely. Your gums will be closed using stiches which will be removed by your dentist approximately 10-14 days after your procedure – this appointment will also be used to check the healing of you gums and soft tissue following the extraction.

What should I do after my wisdom tooth extraction?

Following the removal of your wisdom tooth/teeth we advise you

  • Rest at home after the surgery
  • Do not smoke for the next 24-48 hours
  • Not to drive, engage in active exercise or operate heavy machinery
  • Take several days off work, school or other duties
  • Do not drink alcoholic drinks whilst you are taking antibiotics or pain medication
  • Eat soft foods such as room temperature soups, pasta, rice, yoghurt and jelly for the first two days
  • Drink plenty of water

Depending on the complexity of your wisdom teeth surgery, pain should subside within 2 -3 days following the surgery, however it is normal if you require pain relief one week after your wisdom tooth removal.

Your dentist in Geelong will ensure you are prescribed the appropriate pain relief, if this does not decrease as the days go by, please contact us.

Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, lips almost always occurs after wisdom teeth surgery. It can vary from slight to severe depending on the amount of surgery and wisdom teeth removed. Swelling is a normal human body response and usually reaches its maximum by the third day. Applying ice packs on the cheeks in the first 24 hours after surgery may help reduce the swelling. Swelling should resolve 5 days after surgery.

Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed at Dentists & Doctors?

At Dentists & Doctors in Geelong our priority is to ensure our patients are relaxed and comfortable during the wisdom teeth surgery. We have the latest CBCT (3D X ray) machine which allows us to safely and accurately plan the removal of your wisdom teeth.  This ensures each patient receives the safest and highest care of treatment. 

We offer additional sedation services which allows you to ‘sleep’ throughout the procedure. To further discuss what is involved and how this may work for you, please call our friendly staff to book an appointment.