Will I need my wisdom teeth removed?

How wisdom teeth are removed

Wisdom tooth removal usually only requires a single appointment. Before your wisdom teeth are removed you will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding gum area. This ensures that you do not feel any pain while your wisdom teeth are being removed. In some cases conscious sedation or general anaesthetic can also be used to facilitate the removal of these teeth in anxious patients.

If the tooth has not come through the gum yet, a small incision will be made in the gum to access the tooth. The tooth may need to be divided into smaller parts to make it easier to remove through the opening. There is less need to make any form of incision if the tooth has broken through the gum. 

You may feel some pressure just before the tooth is removed. This is your oral surgeon widening the tooth socket by rocking the tooth back and forth before taking it out. 

Wisdom tooth removals can often take 15 minutes if it is a simple procedure. In some cases it can take longer than 30 minutes if it is a more complicated case.

Is wisdom tooth removal painful?

As the area surrounding your tooth will be numbed by using anesthetic, you should not feel any pain. You may feel slight pressure while the tooth is being removed but not any pain. Should you feel any pain during the procedure do not hesitate to tell the oral surgeon so that more anaesthetic can be administered and the procedure carried out in a relaxed pain free environment. Earlier this week we had a student coming straight from one of the local schools to our clinic, The American School in London, here in St John's Wood, to have one of his wisdom teeth removed. At the end of the appointment he commented on how easy and quick the procedure actually was.

Benefits of removing a wisdom tooth

There are three key benefits of removing your wisdom teeth. 

  • Removal of pain caused by wisdom teeth
    Wisdom tooth extraction has the benefit of easing the discomfort of having the wisdom tooth in your mouth. The removal alleviates the pressure on your jaw as well as lessened tooth and gum sensitivity.
  • Prevents damage to nearby teeth
    Wisdom teeth are often very difficult to reach and thus also difficult to keep clean. This leaves them and neighbouring teeth open to decay. The pressure caused by wisdom teeth can also weaken the roots of nearby teeth or grind away enamel leaving them vulnerable to cavities and bone loss. 
  • Decrease the risk of oral disease and inflammation
    A frequent consequence of impacted wisdom teeth is inflammation of the gums, which can be persistent and very difficult to treat. Removal of wisdom teeth decreases the risk of inflammation of the gums and also the risk of oral diseases. 

Problems if you do not remove your wisdom tooth 

Wisdom teeth are often removed because of the pain they cause when they either do not erupt at all or do not fully erupt from the gums. If you do not have your wisdom teeth extracted, a partially erupted wisdom tooth can often lead to a bacterial infection called pericoronitis. Meanwhile, a wisdom tooth that does not fully erupt can lead to the development of a cyst which can lead to further oral issues. Wisdom teeth can often come in crooked, this can happen often because there is not enough space in your mouth for them to emerge properly. If you do not have the wisdom tooth removed, a crooked wisdom tooth can permanently damage adjacent teeth and throw off the alignment of your bite. This, in turn, could also cause you further oral issues in the future. 

Don't miss out on our YouTube video regarding wisdom teeth to find out more on the topic!

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