Wisdom Teeth Removal in Adelaide

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, right at the back of your mouth. Wisdom Teeth typically begin to come through the skin between the ages of 17 & 25. A dentist may notice them in an X-ray, or you may experience pain as they come through – which usually prompts a visit to the dentist.

Depending on how your wisdom teeth are coming through, the development of these molars can be quite painful. They do not always come in straight, in a lot of cases they come through on an angle which can crowd the other teeth moving them out of shape. 

The removal of these teeth depends on specific factors. A dentist will need to examine your teeth to determine if removal is the best procedure. Dental X-rays and dental checkups will pick this up very easily and is something your regular dentist will check often in that age range.

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Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth do not always need to be removed. Although, it is very common to get them removed. Below is a list of the most common reasons for removing these teeth:

  • The teeth are impacted – they are located far back in the mouth, which can lead to severe pain.
  • Your mouth is not big enough – the teeth take up too much space along your jaw.
  • The teeth came in at a weird angle – if the teeth grow in at the wrong angle, they may press against other teeth. This can lead to misaligned teeth and additional pain.
  • Cavities or gum disease – sometimes the teeth can come through already having cavities or signs of gum disease, so they need to be taken out.

Even if your wisdom teeth grow properly, they are located far back in the mouth. This makes them difficult to reach with a toothbrush and floss.

Wisdom teeth are more likely to decay or suffer from various dental issues. This could then require the removal of the teeth to prevent further damage.

What are the Signs That You Need Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Along with general pain, you may experience other symptoms related to your wisdom teeth. Pay attention to all of these signs. If you notice several of these, it’s important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible:

  • Tenderness
  • Jaw pain
  • Redness of the gums
  • Swelling of the gum
  • Bad breath
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • The presence of cysts (pockets of liquid around your gums)
Wisdom teeth symptoms

Frequently Asked Questions

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Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to appear in the mouth.

These teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people never develop wisdom teeth. For others, wisdom teeth erupt normally — just as their other molars did — and cause no problems.

However many people develop impacted wisdom teeth. Essentially meaning that the teeth don’t have enough room to erupt into the mouth or develop normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may erupt only partially or not at all.

An impacted wisdom tooth may:

  • Grow at an angle toward the next tooth (second molar)
  • Grow at an angle toward the back of the mouth
  • Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, as if the wisdom tooth is “lying down” within the jawbone
  • Grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone

You’ll likely need your wisdom tooth or teeth pulled if it results in problems such as:

  • Pain
  • Trapping food and debris behind the wisdom tooth
  • Infection or gum disease
  • Tooth decay in a partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • Damage to a nearby tooth or surrounding bone
  • Development of a fluid-filled sac (cyst) around the wisdom tooth
  • Complications with orthodontic treatments to straighten other teeth

Call your dentist if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, which could indicate an infection, nerve damage or other serious complication:

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fever
  • Severe pain not relieved by prescribed pain medications
  • Swelling that worsens after two or three days
  • A bad taste in your mouth not removed with saltwater rinsing
  • Pus in or oozing from the socket
  • Persistent numbness or loss of feeling
  • Blood or pus in nasal discharge

A wisdom tooth extraction is almost always a same-day procedure meaning you are able to go home after the surgery.

You’ll receive instructions from the hospital or dental clinic staff on what to do before the surgery and the day of your scheduled surgery. Ask these questions:

  • Will I need to make arrangements for someone to drive me home after the procedure?
  • When do I need to arrive at the dental clinic or hospital?
  • Do I need to avoid eating food or drinking fluids or both (fast)? If so, when do I begin?
  • Can I take my prescription medications before the surgery? If so, how soon before the surgery can I take a dose?
  • Should I avoid any nonprescription drugs before the surgery?

If you receive sedation anesthesia or general anesthesia, you’re taken to a recovery room after the procedure. If you have local anesthesia, your brief recovery time is likely in the dental chair.

As you heal from your surgery, follow your dentist’s instructions on:

  • There may be some oozing of blood which may occur the first day after wisdom tooth removal. Try to avoid excessive spitting so that you don’t dislodge the blood clot from the socket. Replace gauze over the extraction site as directed by your dentist.
  • Pain management.You may be able to manage pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever, such Nurofen or a prescription pain medication from your dentist. Prescription pain medication may be especially helpful if bone has been removed during the procedure.

Holding a cold pack against your jaw also may relieve pain. Along with anit-inflammatory drugs like Voltaren.

  • Swelling and bruising.Use an ice pack as directed by your dentist. The swelling of your cheeks usually improves in two or three days. Bruising may take several more days to fade.
  • After your surgery, plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Resume normal activities the next day, but for at least a week, avoid strenuous activity that might result in losing the blood clot from the socket.

Most people take a week of just to make life easier, but not always possible with work commitments.

  • Drink lots of water after the surgery. Don’t drink the following:
    • alcoholic,
    • caffeinated,
    • carbonated or
    • hot beverages in the first 24 hours.

Don’t drink with a straw for at least a week because the sucking action can dislodge the blood clot from the socket.

  • Eat only soft foods, such as yogurt or applesauce, for the first 24 hours. Start eating semisoft foods when you can tolerate them. Avoid hard, chewy, hot or spicy foods that might get stuck in the socket or irritate the wound.
  • Cleaning your mouth.Don’t brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, spit or use mouthwash during the first 24 hours after surgery. Typically you’ll be told to resume brushing your teeth after the first 24 hours. Be particularly gentle near the surgical wound when brushing and gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water every two hours and after meals for a week.
  • Tobacco use.If you smoke, don’t do so for at least 72 hours after surgery — and wait longer than that if possible. If you chew tobacco, don’t use it for at least a week. Using tobacco products after oral surgery can delay healing and increase the risk of complications.
  • You may have stitches that dissolve within a few weeks or no stitches at all. If your stitches need to be removed, schedule an appointment to have them taken out.