What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth appear at the back of your mouth as the third molars and tend to come through (erupt) in the late teens or twenties. Many wisdom teeth appear without causing any problems, however, some only partially come through and a few can be totally impacted. Others can grow too long, causing pain.
A wisdom tooth may need to be removed for several reasons, such as tooth decay, repeated infection, to make space for other teeth or to prevent damage to the cheek or gum.
What happens during the removal of wisdom teeth?
Most wisdom teeth can be removed easily under local anaesthetic. However, your Baddow Hospital Oral Maxillofacial Consultant may advise general anaesthesia as removing a wisdom tooth, or teeth, can involve cutting the gum, removing bone around the tooth and dividing the tooth with a drill.
Following wisdom tooth extraction
Tooth removal tends to be a day case procedure and you should be able to go home afterwards, although it may depend on the difficulty of the operation and whether infection is a possibility. You may be prescribed antibiotics.
You should avoid strenuous activities for the first 48 hours to reduce the risk of bleeding, swelling and bruising and you may need to take some time off work.
Most people recover very rapidly and return to normal activities very soon after having teeth removed although, as with any surgery there can be complications such as:
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Damage to nerves
- Sinus problems
- Broken jaw
- Inability to fully open the mouth and stiffness in the jaw
- Dry socket
- Retained roots.