Treatment to improve your oral health

Most people have four wisdom teeth, also known as third permanent molars, that grow in the very back of your mouth. The arrival of your wisdom teeth can cause you pain or create issues for your other teeth, especially if they become stuck, only partially emerge or are obstructed from erupting fully into the mouth by the tooth in front of it, or the surrounding bone or gums. Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common surgical procedures in the UK, and performed regularly at our practice.

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Why do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 16 and 21, when all other adult teeth are in place. They have a tendency to grow incorrectly or get stuck due to a lack of space in the mouth, and can cause issues. Improperly erupted wisdom teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria and may cause tooth decay, sometimes even affecting the neighbouring teeth. Infection of the overlying gums can take place as well, resulting in pain and swelling.

If your wisdom tooth is causing you pain, it is important to get it looked at. We can assess the impact of your tooth on the rest of your mouth and remove it if necessary, especially if it is causing unnecessary decay, infection or gum disease. However, some wisdom teeth will not need to be taken out, and can be managed with other treatments.

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What does wisdom tooth removal involve?

Your initial visit to the dentist includes an examination of your mouth and X-rays to determine the position of the wisdom teeth, their condition and the status of the adjacent teeth and bone. In some cases a 3D CBCT scan may be required to treat you safely.

To prevent problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth, it is advisable to remove them early. The best time to remove them would be during the teenage years, before the roots of the teeth are fully formed and firmly embedded in the jawbone. Healing is also better during this period, with less risk of complications.

This is a minor surgical procedure that can usually be performed with little discomfort. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthesia (with or without sedation to control anxiety) or general anaesthesia. Your surgeon will advise you on the type most appropriate for your needs.

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The surgery involves uncovering the tooth by lifting the overlying gums aside to expose the tooth and bone. The tooth may need to be sectioned in order to remove it. The gums are then stitched back.

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Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to remove wisdom teeth?

To prevent problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth, it is advisable to remove them early. The best time to remove them is during the teenage years, before the roots of the teeth are fully formed and firmly embedded in the jawbone. Healing is also better during this period, with less risk of complications.

Is the treatment painful?

We use local anaesthetic to minimise your discomfort during the extraction, and you should not feel any pain. You may experience some pressure as we loosen your tooth, but this will not be painful and should not take long.

What can I expect following wisdom tooth removal surgery?

After surgery, some minor bleeding from the wound can be expected, which can be controlled by biting on a piece of gauze over the operation area for about half an hour. Facial swelling and discolouration of the overlying skin will also develop, increasing for the first 72 hours and subsiding thereafter. You may not be able to open your mouth as wide as usual for a few days. Painkillers, antibiotics and an antiseptic mouthwash are usually prescribed after the surgery. You will be advised to maintain good oral hygiene and also to keep to a soft diet for a few days following surgery.

Are there any alternatives to wisdom tooth removal?

If your wisdom tooth is not causing any pain or discomfort, there is usually no need to remove it. Some infections can be treated with a course of antibiotics and the wisdom tooth able to be left, even if impacted, and kept an eye on at your regular dental examinations. However, if the problem persists, or the impacted tooth is causing issues with cleaning your teeth, we may decide it needs to be removed.

How long does it take to remove a wisdom tooth?

The procedure can take anywhere from a few minutes to around half an hour, depending on the complexity of the case. Your dentist will be able to give you an idea of the timescale at your initial appointment.

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01273 452 947 info@shorehamdentist.co.uk

The Dental Practice Mariner Point,
81 Brighton Road
, Shoreham-by-Sea,
West Sussex, BN43 6DG

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