How are wisdom teeth removed?
This is a minor surgical procedure that can usually be performed under Local Anaesthesia. The relative ease at which your dentist or oral surgeon can extract your wisdom teeth depends on their position and stage of development. Your Nuffield Dentist will be able to give you an idea of what to expect during your pre-extraction exam.
Before your wisdom teeth are pulled, the teeth and the surrounding tissue will be numbed with a local anaesthetic — the same type used to numb a tooth prior to having a cavity filled.
A wisdom tooth that is fully erupted through the gum can be extracted as easily as any other tooth. However, a wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone will require an incision into the gums and then removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth. Often, for a tooth in this situation, the tooth will be extracted in small sections rather than removed in one piece to minimize the amount of bone that needs to be removed to get the tooth out. You will not feel pain, but you will feel some pressure and vibration. The tooth may need to be sectioned in order to remove it. You may hear some cracking noises. The gums are then stitched back.
Is a lot of strength required for wisdom tooth extraction?
In a simple extraction, the dentist will grasp the tooth with forceps and try to loosen it by moving the forceps back and forth. Generally, if the correct technique is employed, minimal strength is required. On the contrary, if too much force is exerted, the chances of tooth breakage are high.
Do not worry as a local anaesthetic injection will be given to numb the tooth. Patients will only experience some pressure being exerted.
What is the recovery like after wisdom teeth are removed ?
After having your wisdom teeth removed, the speed of your recovery depends on the degree of difficulty of the extraction (a simple extraction of a fully erupted tooth versus a tooth impacted into the jawbone). In general, here’s what to expect.
During the first 24 hours:
• Bleeding may occur for several hours after tooth extraction. To control it, position a piece of clean moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly. Apply constant pressure for about 45 minutes. A moistened tea bag is an effective alternative. The tannic acid in tea helps healing blood clots to form (blood clots function similarly to scab over an open wound). Repeat this process if a small degree of bleeding continues; if heavy bleeding continues to occur, contact your Nuffield dentist or Nuffield Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon. Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after tooth extraction, avoid “sucking” actions (for example, don’t drink beverages through straws or smoke) and avoid hot liquids (such as coffee or soup). These activities can dislodge the clot, causing a dry socket (see below) to develop.
• Facial swelling in the area where the tooth was extracted typically occurs. To minimise swelling, place a piece of ice, wrapped in a cloth, on that area of your face on a schedule of 10 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off. Repeat as necessary during this first 24-hour period.
• Pain medications, such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Arcoxia), can be taken for minor pain. Your Nuffield dentist or Nuffield Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon may prescribe more potent pain relievers, if necessary.
• Antibiotics that may have been prescribed prior to tooth extraction (to treat any active infection around the wisdom tooth to be extracted) should continue to be taken until the full prescription is gone.
• Foods should be restricted to a liquid diet until all the numbness from anaesthesia has worn off. Eat soft foods for a few days. Also avoid alcohol if you’re also taking narcotic pain medication.
• Continue to brush your teeth, but avoid the teeth directly neighboring the extracted tooth during the first 24 hours. On day two, resume the gentle brushing of your teeth. Do not use commercial mouth rinses — these can irritate the extraction site.
What Are Potential Complications of Wisdom Tooth Removal?
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Surgery is commonly performed and generally safe. There may be facial swelling, pain, jaw stiffness and some bleeding for up to 2 weeks. These symptoms are usually at their worst for the first 2 or 3 days and will gradually improve.
Two of the more important complications after having your wisdom teeth removed include:
Dry socket is a common complication that occurs when either a blood clot has failed to form in the extracted tooth socket or else the blood clot that did form has been dislodged. Without clot formation, healing will be delayed. When it happens, dry socket typically occurs 3 or 4 days following the extraction and is accompanied by pain (ranging from “dull” to moderate to severe) and a foul mouth smell. Your Nuffield dentist or Nuffield Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon will treat the dry socket by placing medication in the socket.
Paresthesia is a rarer complication of wisdom teeth extraction. Wisdom teeth entrapped in the jawbone are often close to nerves. Sometimes these nerves can be bruised or damaged during the tooth removal process. The result is a numbness (called paresthesia) of the tongue, lip, or chin that can last a few days, weeks, months, or may even be permanent.
Specific complications of having wisdom teeth removed are uncommon but may include:
Accidental damage to other teeth and jaw during surgery.
Severe pain caused by infection (dry socket) – this is when the blood clot breaks away from the wound.
Numbness in the lower lip or tongue – this can be caused by nerve damage and there is a small risk that this could be permanent.
Jaw stiffness – the mouth may not be able to open fully when the wound is healing.
How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Extraction Cost?
A simple extraction of a wisdom tooth can cost as little as $180 per tooth. However frequently surgery is required for wisdom tooth removal.
The surgical Fees for wisdom tooth removal at Nuffield Dental Clinics are from $1070 (medisave claimable procedure). Should you wish to have a Nuffield Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon to remove your wisdom tooth, the cost is slightly higher and costs from $1250 (medisave claimable procedure)