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Wisdom tooth extraction
Smile Clinic London Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom Tooth Removal in London

Extracting wisdom teeth is a common dental procedure to remove one or more wisdom teeth (the four permanent adult teeth at the back of your mouth).

If your wisdom tooth does not have enough space to grow, it becomes impacted, resulting in infection, pain and other dental issues – this makes removing the tooth necessary. Wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure that requires the attention of an oral surgeon or dentist.

Most dentists and oral surgeons recommend removing the wisdom tooth even when it is not impacted to prevent problems in the future.

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Why is a wisdom tooth extraction necessary?

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are the last permanent teeth to come in, and they usually grow between 17 – 25 years. However, some persons do not develop wisdom teeth, and some have their wisdom teeth erupt normally – like the other molars – so they cause no problems.

Many people have impacted wisdom teeth which may not erupt or erupt partially. A wisdom tooth is impacted if it:
  • Grows at an angle towards the second molar
  • Grows at an angle towards the back of your mouth
  • Grows at a right angle to other teeth, making the wisdom tooth appear as though it is lying down within the jaw bone
  • Grows up or down like other teeth but remains within the jawbone
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Wisdom Tooth Removal - Smile Clinic London

Problems with impacted wisdom teeth

If you have impacted wisdom teeth, it may likely cause the following problems;

  • Pain
  • Gum disease or infection
  • Damage to the surrounding bone or teeth
  • Food and debris trapped behind the wisdom tooth
  • Decay in partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • Complication during orthodontic treatments for straightening the teeth
  • Development of fluid-filled sac (cyst) around the wisdom tooth

Preventing future dental problems

Some dental professionals are against extracting impacted wisdom teeth that do not cause symptoms. However, it’s difficult to know if an impacted wisdom tooth will cause problems in the future.

Below are some reasons for preventivewisdom tooth extraction;

  • Wisdom teeth without symptoms can still harbour disease
  • Older adults may find having surgery difficult and experience difficulty dealing with complications after surgery
  • Severe complications from wisdom teeth occur less in younger adults
  • If your wisdom tooth does not have sufficient space, it may be challenging to get to the tooth and clean it

Risks of Wisdom Teeth Extraction

In most cases, wisdom tooth extractions don’t cause long-term complications. Still, impacted wisdom tooth removal may require surgery which involves making an incision in the gum tissues and removing bone.

The following are complications from wisdom teeth removal, but they rarely occur;

  • Infection in the socket resulting from trapped bacteria and food particles
  • Painful dry socket or exposure of the bone through loss of blood clot from the tooth socket after the surgery
  • Damage to surrounding nerves, jawbone, teeth or sinuses

Preparing for wisdom tooth extraction

You may have your wisdom tooth extraction in your dentist’ office, but if the tooth is severely impacted or the extraction requires surgery, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon. The dentist or oral surgeon will give you a local anaesthetic before the procedure and may suggest administering a sedative to make you more comfortable during the tooth extraction.

While preparing for your wisdom tooth extraction, consider asking your dentist or oral surgeon the following questions: how many wisdom teeth you need to remove, how long the procedure will take, and how long it will take to heal.

Preparing for surgery

In most cases, tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure so that you can go home on the same day after the procedure. Your dentist or surgeon will advise you on what to do before and after the surgery.

The instructions will cover your medication, including prescribed and over-the-counter medication, foods to eat, and your oral hygiene routine.

During the Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure

Your oral surgeon or dentist may administer a local anaesthetic, sedation anaesthetic, or general anaesthetic, depending on how complex the wisdom tooth extraction is and comfort level.

During the procedure, the dental professional will:

  • Make an incision in your gums to expose the bone and wisdom tooth
  • Remove the bone restricting access to your tooth root
  • Divide the wisdom tooth into sections to make it easier to remove
  • Remove the tooth
  • Clean bone or tooth debris from the site of the removed tooth
  • Stitch the wound to aid healing, although this is not necessary in some cases
  • Place gauze on the extraction site to control bleeding and help the formation of a blood clot

After the Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure

If your dentist administered a sedative or general anaesthetic, you would need to stay in a recovery room after the procedure. If you have local anaesthesia, your recovery period will likely be in the dental chair.

Ensure you follow your dentist’ instructions for recovery. The instruction may include:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or prescription pain medication to manage the pain
  • Use an ice pack to ease the bruising and swelling
  • Avoid excessive spitting, so you don’t dislodge the blood clot in the tooth socket and replace the gauze on the extraction site after the procedure
  • Rest for the remaining part of the day after your surgery, but you can resume your normal activities the next day
  • Avoid strenuous activities within the first few days after the procedure
  • Drink plenty of water but avoid alcohol, hot, carbonated or caffeinated beverages
  • Eat only soft foods in the first 24 hours after the procedure, then subsequently, semi-soft foods but avoid chewy, hard, spicy, or hot foods
  • Avoid smoking, especially within the first 72 hours after the procedure
  • Don’t brush your teeth within the first 24 hours after the procedure, but you can resume your normal oral hygiene afterwards

When to call your dentist for Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Ensure you call your oral surgeon or dentist if you experience the following symptoms after your wisdom tooth extraction;

  • Fever
  • Pus or blood in your nasal discharge
  • Pus in the tooth socket
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Severe and persistent pain
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Swelling that worsens after 2 – 3 days
  • Persistent numbness
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

These symptoms are usually signs of an infection, nerve damage or other serious complications that need immediate attention.

If you have impacted wisdom teeth or are concerned about your wisdom teeth coming in, visit Smile Clinic London to see a dentist or call 020 7139 8611 to schedule an appointment for a check-up.