There may be issues with a growing wisdom tooth (3rd molar), which usually begin to emerge from around the age of 18 years old. If the wisdom tooth grows out straight and does not have any accompanying long term problems, they can usually be left alone.
If the wisdom tooth does not grow out straight, there are varying problems that may arise.
Some of the more common problems include:
Frequent food trapping. This can cause gum swelling and inflammation. There is also an increased chance of the 2nd molar having tooth decay from the difficulty in proper cleaning. This decay on the 2nd molar is frequently a very deep decay that may lead to future problems if left unattended, and may even necessitate Root Canal Treatment or even extraction.
Swollen gums from infection or cysts. This leads to pain and may also cause difficulty in opening of the jaws.
Although there is a common misconception that wisdom teeth should be removed when there is pain, we do advise patients to remove wisdom teeth even in the absence of pain or swelling as a prevention to more complicated treatments.
We have very experienced oral surgeon specialists who are able to perform these surgeries.
Reduce chance of food trapping
This can cause gum swelling and inflammation. There is also an increased chance of the 2nd molar having tooth decay from the difficulty in proper cleaning. This decay on the 2nd molar is frequently a very deep decay that may lead to future problems if left unattended, and may even necessitate Root Canal Treatment or even extraction.
Reduce pain and swelling associated with wisdom tooth
Pus may form from an infection and the swelling can lead to airway obstruction in very severe cases. By removing wisdom teeth, this can eliminate this problem from occurring.
Reduce bad breath
Bad breath may result from the presence of bacteria that resides under the gum flap of the impacted wisdom tooth, or from food trapped there. By removing the wisdom tooth, this can reduce or completely eliminate the problem.
Reduce cyst formation
Cysts may form in an embedded wisdom tooth. Although rare, these cysts, if left untreated may even be cancerous in the long term.
Detailed consult and xray examination
A consultation will be done for our patients with xrays taken to determine the extent of the problem which include position of the wisdom tooth, the condition of the underlying bone, and the proximity of the lower dental nerve (for lower wisdom teeth).
If they dental nerve is close to roots of the wisdom tooth, there may be slight compression of the nerve and numbness of the lip may still be present even after the anaesthetic has worn off. Careful surgical procedures must be performed to reduce the risk of this happening.
During the consultation, our dentists will explain any possible complications in detail.
Tooth is numbed up and the procedure to remove the tooth is carried out
Our specialist will then numb up the tooth with local anaesthetic. Procedure to remove the tooth under sterile conditions will be carried out. Some sticthes may need to be placed to accelerate healing.
For more difficult cases, or cases where patients prefer to, we can also arrange to have the procedure carried out under IV sedation. A qualified anaesthesiologist will be asked to give and monitor the IV sedation.
We will do a post-op review usually after 7-10days. This is to ensure that the healing is satisfactory and any remaining stitches will be removed.
How long is the procedure?
A vast majority of cases can usually be completed within 30-45 minutes. The length of time required may increase for more difficult cases or where multiple teeth are imvolved.
Is the procedure painful?
Once the teeth have been numbed up, the treatment is virtually pain-free. For more anxious patients, we are able to offer IV sedation where you will be asleep during the procedure.
How long is the recovery period?
We do advise patients not to plan any major events for the first 2-3 days after the treatment. A majority of patients are able to eat normally after 2 days.
We do, however, provided a medical certificate of 5 days after the treatment. Any mild pain or discomfort can be controlled with painkillers.
Is the procedure safe?
Wisdom tooth surgery has been shown to be an effective and safe method of removing wisdom teeth.
A detailed explanation and examination will be performed, which include xrays, and if need be a 3D Scan of the jaw will be taken to determine the exact location of the nerve in deeply impacted cases.
With the pre-operative information obtained from these, the procedure will be performed more smoothly.