Wisdom Teeth

What are they?

Wisdom teeth are molars and are the 8th tooth each side of the mouth – two at the top and two at the bottom at the back of the mouth

They are completely normal as part of human development

Who has them?

Most people develop wisdom teeth and many of them have a normal development and do not cause any pain, discomfort or problem after they have appeared (erupted).

When do they appear

Wisdom teeth generally appear between the ages of 15 and 23

Why remove them?

It isn’t necessary to remove them unless they are contributing to an overcrowded mouth or are impacted (improperly erupted).

If they are doing either of these then they can lead to:

  • Gum Disease
  • Abscesses and (rarely) Cysts
  • Dental Decay

What are the alternatives?

Antibiotics can help treat an infection, but your symptoms may flare up again. Having your wisdom teeth removed is often the only way to permanently relieve your symptoms

What about leaving them?

If they have grown normally and are not causing pain, discomfort or overcrowding after they have fully erupted then there is no need to remove them.

If there is impaction or crowding then they are probably a bit of a ticking timebomb.

If they are actively causing problems then they should be removed on medical/dental advice.

What sort of procedure is needed?

The only option for Wisdom teeth is surgical removal – the remaining questions are really about the anaesthetic and who should undertake the procedure.

Local Anaesthetic, IV Sedation or General Anaesthetic?

The choice of anaesthetic is a personal thing.

We will discuss your treatment with you and work with you to offer the most appropriate approach.

Our recommendation will be made based on you, your preferences and our assessment of how you are likely to respond.

Who should undertake the procedure?

  • General Dentists can undertake this procedure.
  • Many now prefer to refer to specialist oral surgeons
  • If your preference is for a General Anaesthetic to ensure you are completely unaware of the procedure or it has been assessed as a complex procedure, it is advisable to have the surgery performed by a registered specialist.

Do I need to consider any risks?

All procedures carry some risks – this is as true for Wisdom tooth removal as it is for any surgery.

By ensuring that we have a complete picture of you and your health we aim to minimise these and help you select the least risky option.

Your oral surgeon will ensure that you understand the risks and help guide your decisions.

This is part of the informed consent that we need from you for any procedure.

What will it cost?

Costs will vary depending on whether the procedure is carried out in a Hospital or at our rooms

Another factor is the choice of anaesthetic as a general anaesthetic will attract hospital and anaesthetist fees as well as surgical. IV sedation attracts lower facility and anaesthetic fees and a local anaesthetic attracts only the surgical fee.

We will provide you with an itemised estimate at your consultation.

How do I prepare for wisdom teeth removal?

Your Oral Surgeon will explain how to prepare for your procedure. For example, if you smoke, you may be asked to stop as smoking increases your risk of getting a wound infection, which can slow your recovery.

The operation is usually done under local anaesthesia. This completely blocks pain from your gums and you will stay awake during the procedure. You may be offered a sedative to help you relax during the operation. At Bayside Oral Surgery we also offer the option for removal of wisdom teeth under IV sedation in our rooms at Brighton. Alternatively you can go to a hospital if your wisdom teeth are particularly challenging to remove, you may be given general anaesthesia. This means you will be asleep during the procedure. Your Oral Surgeon will let you know which type of anaesthesia is most suitable for you.

Your Oral Surgeon will discuss with you what will happen before, during and after your procedure, and any pain you might have. This is your opportunity to understand what will happen, and you can help yourself by preparing questions to ask about the risks, benefits and any alternatives to the procedure. This will help you to be informed, so you can give your consent for the procedure to go ahead, which you may be asked to do by signing a consent form.