Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars. They erupt when people get in their late teens or early twenties. The wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth. But sometimes if they grow horizontally or are not vertically aligned, they are considered as misaligned or impacted teeth and require removal.
Mal-alignment can be toward or away from the second molars, or be angled inward or outward. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can damage adjacent teeth or your jawbone.
How are the impacted teeth diagnosed?
A simple x-ray of your teeth will help to identify if any wisdom tooth is growing horizontally or causing any impaction.
How is the impacted tooth treated?
A wisdom tooth that is fully erupted through the gum can be extracted as easily as any other tooth. However, a wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone will require an incision into the gums and then removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth.
Will I need an anesthetic and is it painful?
Before removing the impacted tooth, the surrounding tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic, so that you do not feel any pain.
What to expect after impacted tooth removal?
- Facial swelling: To minimise it place a piece of ice, wrapped in a cloth, on that area of your face on a schedule of 10 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off.
- Bleeding from the gum: To control it, position a piece of clean moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly.
- Antibiotics are prescribed by your dentist.
- Liquid diet till the numbness has settled and thereafter soft diet for first few days.
- After 24 hours: Rinse your mouth with warm salty water.
- Complete healing: this will take few weeks for the area where the tooth was removed to get filled.
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Wisdom Teeth &
Frequently asked questions
Do I have 2 or 3 or 4 wisdom teeth?
- You may have 2 wisdom teeth or you may have 4. It is also possible that you may not have any wisdom teeth at all. In cases when the wisdom teeth appear they tend to push through the gums when you’re in your late teens or early 20s.
Does it mean that if I have wisdom teeth then they should be removed?
- If your wisdom teeth are not a source of any pain or problem, then there is no need to panic or have them removed. Sometimes the wisdom teeth can erupt horizontally and not vertically and can cause impaction as they erupt through the gum. This can cause pain and infection. It is then best to have dental opinion and if advised then to have them removed. If your wisdom teeth are not fully through the gum, they are more susceptible to decay, gum disease and pain.
How long will it take for the pain and swelling to settle after extraction?
- You will notice that things are getting more comfortable in 1 to 2 weeks following the extraction. The gum tissue will continue healing for up to 4 weeks. The healing of the bone can continue for up to 8 months following extraction.
What are the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth?
- It can start off with some swelling on your face, or most commonly pain. This can also be the case if you have swollen glands and a fever running alongside your toothache. If you have noticed any of these features, please give us a call to book a consultation.
Is the removal of the wisdom tooth done under anaesthesia?
- You may have local or general anaesthetic to numb the tooth before it is extracted. During the surgery the gum tissue is opened first and then the impacted tooth is removed. The gums are stitched back after the surgery.