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Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom Teeth removal

Wisdom Teeth Removal in Mooroolbark

At our Mooroolbark dental clinic, our friendly and skilled dentists will guide you through each stage of the wisdom teeth removal process. We have patients from Mooroolbark and surrounding suburbs like Chirnside Park, Kilsyth and Croydon, for trusted and reliable dental care. You know you’re in safe hands when you come to our centrally-located clinic for wisdom teeth extraction.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Adult humans have 32 teeth – 16 upper teeth and 16 lower teeth. The first adult teeth appear at about age 6 – this is why you see so many primary school photos of kids with those cute gappy smiles. Adult teeth continue to develop until age 12 or 13 when the second set of molars erupt.
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars, and they appear at around the age of 17-21 years. We call these teeth ‘wisdom’ teeth because, by age 21, an adult should be considered knowledgeable and wise. Some adults will never develop their wisdom teeth (this shouldn’t be seen as an indicator of their intelligence!). Some adults will have no problems when their wisdom teeth erupt, while other adults will experience difficulty when they appear.

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

For modern humans, wisdom teeth are a bit of an evolutionary hangover. Since sustainable agricultural practices began about 10,000 years ago, humans have eaten more energy-rich carbohydrate-based foods. These foods are in stark contrast to the roots, nuts and tough meats eaten by our predecessors. Our stone-age cousins had more protruding jaws to allow for more chewing. These jawlines provided ample room for the wisdom teeth to erupt safely.
Humans of today now live with jaws growing less forward. These smaller jawlines don’t always allow for the seamless appearance of wisdom teeth. When wisdom teeth are troublesome to erupt, your dentist may recommend wisdom teeth extraction.

Reasons for Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The main reason one of our skilled and caring dentists will recommend wisdom teeth removal is when one, several or all your wisdom teeth are impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are prevented from erupting into your mouth because they grow differently from standard teeth. Due to a lack of room, impacted teeth can often damage existing teeth by pushing into them, forcing them to shift position. Impacted wisdom teeth can also damage the jaw, cause pain and sensitivity as well as sinus problems.

Other reasons for wisdom teeth removal include:

  • decay
  • gum disease
  • infection of adjacent soft tissue.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure

Your trusted dentist will start the procedure by taking an OPG scan of your mouth in the comfort and convenience of our Mooroolbark dental clinic. An OPG scan is a panoramic X-ray of your lower face, showing the upper and lower jaw on a single shot. It shows the position, number and growth status of all teeth, including wisdom teeth that have not yet erupted. The scan also provides information to your dentist about the best way to approach the extraction.

After the OPG scan, you will receive a local anaesthetic injection at the removal site. When the removal site is numb, your dentist will be able to complete the straightforward extraction. You may feel pressure, but you won’t feel pain. However, more complex cases may need an oral surgeon to complete the removal. Your dentist will refer you to a local oral surgeon if this is the case.

Recovery from Wisdom Teeth Removal

After extraction of the tooth (or teeth), the total healing time will be approximately 2-3 weeks. Post-surgical pain and discomfort usually clears up within a week. Your dentist will also prescribe antibiotics and painkillers to help with the healing process.

Disclaimer: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

FAQs About Wisdom Teeth Removal

What can I expect from a local anaesthetic?

In the comfortable dental chair, your dentist will apply a localised injection of lidocaine (also known as lignocaine). This medicine completely numbs the area of tooth extraction. You will be aware of everything that happens during the removal, and you may feel some pressure. But importantly, you won’t feel pain.

How much does wisdom teeth extraction cost?

Your Mooroolbark Family Dental team will explain itemised costs to you before going ahead with the procedure. Costs will vary depending on the number of teeth that needing removal and the level of complexity required. If you have private health insurance, you can also contact them to work out your out-of-pocket expenses.

Can I get only one wisdom tooth removed?

The OPG scan taken by your dentist will show how many wisdom teeth need extraction. Some patients only need one wisdom tooth removed; others will need two, three or all four.

How long will the procedure take?

A standard procedure to remove all four wisdom teeth takes less than 45 minutes. More complicated presentations (often due to moderate impaction) may take longer.

Can I drive after the procedure?

Local anaesthetic does not affect a patient’s consciousness. Therefore driving is possible after the procedure. However, you may wish to attend the clinic with another person who can drive you home if needed.

Are there any risks associated with wisdom teeth removal?

Any surgical procedure carries risks. Your dentist will explain general and specific risks before going ahead with the surgery. Risks will often depend on the number of teeth requiring extraction, as well as the level of complexity.

What is dry socket and how can I avoid it?

Dry socket is an uncommon risk of wisdom teeth removal, and it happens when a blood clot fails to form in the socket of the extracted tooth. Dry socket can also occur if the existing blood clot becomes dislodged.

You could have dry socket if you feel moderate to severe pain and a foul mouth odour about three to four days after your extraction. It’s important to contact our clinic straightaway for follow-up treatment.

Can I be ‘put under’ for a wisdom teeth removal procedure?

If your dentist can’t extract your wisdom teeth while in the dental chair, you will need to see an oral surgeon. We will refer to you a trusted oral surgeon from our referral network. The surgeon will perform the extraction in hospital, under a general anaesthetic.

Are some wisdom teeth easier to remove than others?

Most upper teeth are easy to remove. However, wisdom teeth from the lower jaw can often be harder to remove.

How soon can I recover from the procedure?

You may need to take up to a week off work or education. Within a week, you should be able to resume all normal activities.

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Take the first step to achieving a fabulous smile and top oral health, by contacting us to make a dental appointment. Call us on 9726 7955 to experience the Mooroolbark Family Dental difference.

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