Wisdom Tooth Removal

What to Expect Before, During, and After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth is the commonly used term for our third molars, the large teeth that appear at the back of our mouths. The teeth usually emerge last, and often well into our late teens and early twenties. When they do arrive, they aren’t often greeted with the space they need to grow correctly. And this is where wisdom teeth removal comes into play. By removing wisdom teeth, your dentist is able to resolve the problem and free up space in your mouth, while keeping your wisdom firmly intact.

What Are Wisdom Teeth

As we’ve touched on, wisdom teeth are our third set of molars that appear at the back of our mouths. Most people will have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of their mouths. They usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25, although they can also appear much later or, sometimes, not at all. When they do arrive, they join the other 28 adult teeth that are already in our mouths, which can often mean that there isn’t quite enough space.

They are called wisdom teeth because of when they appear. In theory, we are no longer children, and hopefully wiser than our younger selves. However, you’ll be pleased to know that they don’t actually have any impact on our cognitive abilities.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

In theory, our mouths are designed to house 32 adult teeth. In practice, however, in many cases our jaws aren’t big enough to accommodate all of them. What that means is that our wisdom teeth don’t come through as they should, causing:

Impaction – when wisdom teeth come through at an unusual angle, they can push against the adjacent teeth causing pain and irritation to the cheek and gums. Impaction can lead to gum infection, tooth decay and damage to surrounding teeth. In some cases, a small cut in the gum is enough to help the tooth fully emerge, in others extraction is required.

Pericoronitis – when wisdom teeth appear, but part is still covered by the gum, they can cause swelling and pain. While this can often be resolved with correct tooth brushing, mouthwash or antibiotics, if it reoccurs, extraction may be required.

Decay – sometimes wisdom teeth can be difficult to clean because of their position and the way they have erupted, this can lead to decay, gum disease and abscesses. Again, many of these problems can be treated with antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwash, but when all else fails, extraction is the answer.

How Are Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

When all other treatments have failed, and extraction is necessary, your dentist will take an x-ray of your mouth to understand the complexity of your situation. In most cases, your dentist will be able to remove your tooth in the dental practice. In complex cases, however, you may be referred to our specialist oral surgeon. This means that the operation will be performed under general anaesthetic.

When you have a wisdom tooth removed at Ambience Dental, you will first be given a local anaesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. If you are anxious about the procedure, make sure you talk to us about it. We can use techniques to help put your mind at ease and additional sedation to help you relax.

When your tooth is removed under local anaesthetic, you’ll feel some pressure. This is your dentist widening the tooth socket by moving the tooth back and forth. As wisdom teeth are large, you may also need a few stitches in your gums after they’ve been removed. You shouldn’t feel any pain though, and the procedure is quick, anything from a few minutes to 20 minutes on average.

Recovering From Wisdom Tooth Removal

After wisdom teeth have been removed, it’s normal to have some swelling and feel some discomfort, both inside and outside your mouth. There may also be some bleeding from the wound and bruising around the extraction site. However, all of these symptoms should be mild and treatable with over-the-counter painkillers. After around three days, the vast majority of symptoms should have subsided. When you’ve had a wisdom tooth removed, you’ll need to avoid applying pressure or suction to the wound. Stick to a soft diet that doesn’t require you to chew too much. Over the next few days, you should be able to gradually reintroduce other foods back into your diet. With regards to brushing, you should resume cleaning your teeth gently when the wound has sufficiently healed.

When Should You See the Dentist?

If your wisdom teeth arrive and you experience no pain or crowding, there’s no need to book a special dentist trip. That said, you’ll want to ensure you stick with your regular check-ups. If, on the other hand, your wisdom teeth are causing you severe pain and discomfort, don’t hesitate to book an appointment as soon as possible. By taking an x-ray of your mouth, we’ll be able to see what the problem is and decide on the best treatment to resolve it.

If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, call us today on

(02) 4283 3357  or enter your details in the form below and one of our friendly staff will call you back.