Wisdom Teeth Pain is often responsible for a great number of dental emergency calls in hospitals and dental clinics around Adelaide.
What are Wisdom Teeth and Why Do They Cause Such a Problem?
Third molars; otherwise known as your wisdom teeth are your last teeth to emerge and tend to come through between the ages of 17 and 25, and for some people do not pose a problem.
It may be that your jaw is too small to accommodate your wisdom teeth, preventing them from coming through straight. When this happens, they are known as “impacted”, and will usually require removal, even if they do not cause any discomfort.
You can have as few as one or as many as four wisdom teeth and they can become either partially impacted, meaning some of the tooth has emerged, or fully impacted, no part of the tooth is able to break through the gum-line.
Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Whether you get your Wisdom Teeth removed or not is a decision best made with your dentist. They will be able to help you understand the risks of your choice and be able to give you a timeframe within which it is best for you to make your decision
Here are some of the considerations your dentist will go through with you –
Avoid further and more complicated impactions.
Reduce the chance of infection from a partially erupted wisdom tooth.
Remove any trapped food created by a partially erupted wisdom tooth.
Prevent harm to adjacent teeth.
Prevent the formation of cysts.
Remove or prevent problems like pain, swelling and/or infection associated with eruption/partial eruption of wisdom teeth.
Your Dentist May Recommend Wisdom Teeth Removal for a Number of Reasons
If there is insufficient room for the tooth/teeth to erupt, you are in need of orthodontic treatment or if you are experiencing symptoms associated with the eruption/impaction of your wisdom teeth, then we may well recommend removal.
It is best to have wisdom teeth removed while you’re young. In young people, the roots are not fully formed and the surrounding bone is softer. This often allows for easier wisdom teeth removal which means less post-operative pain and faster healing. (Although modern surgical techniques have reduced many of the complications associated with this kind surgery.)
Wisdom teeth that are left for a “wait and see approach” can be harder to remove at a later date and can result in a slower and more painful healing process. The chance of complications from the surgery required to remove them is also higher as the teeth are more likely to encroach on surrounding nerves as their roots develop fully.
Do I Need a General Anaesthetic to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth can be removed under local anaesthetic in the Dentist’s chair.
Procedures under local anaesthetic usually takes place in the Dentist’s rooms, and can be performed with or without oral sedatives, nitrous oxide sedation or intravenous sedation. Local anaesthetic will remove any pain sensation, however people are still aware of pressure and pushing (less so if sedated).
The alternative option is wisdom teeth removal under general anaesthetic in a private hospital setting. Many people elect to receive a general anaesthetic so that they can sleep through the procedure and be totally unaware of any part of the experience.
How Can I Know If I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
It is not possible to predict if or when wisdom teeth will cause dental health problems, however, it is estimated that over 80% of wisdom teeth will require removal. It is therefore preferred to remove wisdom teeth earlier in life, as removal in older patients can be more difficult and result in a longer healing time.
A thorough examination and highly detailed x-rays are taken using an OPG machine, which will provide a panoramic image of your teeth and jawbone, this will enable one of our dentists to determine how impacted your wisdom teeth have become, and if referral to an oral surgeon is necessary.
For more information on wisdom teeth removal or to book a wisdom teeth consultation, contact Dental Care Professionals.