Wisdom teeth: the whys and wherefores

640px-Wisdom_teeth_1Wisdom teeth tend to form during the late teens and early twenties. A throwback to an earlier era of human development, wisdom teeth are now superfluous at best and a very painful complication at worst.

When should wisdom teeth be removed?

As always, your dentist knows best. That moment will always occur before pain from wisdom teeth growth becomes an issue – but if you’re not getting your teeth checked regularly, they can come in without warning, causing tenderness, redness, swelling and pain.

Will I have to go to hospital?

In most cases, the work can be done in-house: in rare cases, your dentist will recommend a hospital visit. Don’t panic: this only means that the hospital is better equipped to deal with the problem, and you will be in and out on the same day.

How is the wisdom tooth removed?

As always, there’ll be a local anaesthetic injection to numb the tooth and surrounding area. If the tooth hasn’t broken through, there’ll be a small cut in the gum to get to it.

In some cases, the tooth will need to be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. In others, the tooth will need to be rocked back and forth to widen the socket before taking it out.

Dissolving stitches can be used on areas of the gum that have been opened. In some cases, you’ll be asked to bite on gauze in order to help a blood clot form in the empty socket, and you may be prescribed a course of antibiotics.

Here at CK Dental in Bristol, we understand the fears surrounding wisdom teeth removal. After all, for most patients, it will be their first adult experience with tooth extraction. But we always see the procedure as an essential preventative measure that can prevent future complications with the wisdom tooth itself and adjacent teeth.