Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third-last permanent molars. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw. These teeth are commonly called wisdom teeth because they usually erupt between the ages of 16 to 21, known as the ‘age of wisdom’. A wisdom tooth is impacted when it is obstructed from erupting fully into the mouth by the tooth in front of it or the surrounding bone or gums.

Problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth

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.

More serious problems such as the formation of cysts or tumours around an impacted tooth can occur, leading to destruction of the surrounding jawbone and neighbouring teeth. These conditions may require complex and extensive treatment. As problems can develop silently, without your knowledge, a check-up with your dentist is thus advisable.

Check-up and consultation

Your initial visit to the dentist would include 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.

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 or general anaesthesia. Your surgeon will advise you on the type most appropriate for your needs.

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.

After the 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.

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After being terrified of Dentist for almost 60 years, I have at last found in Greg one that I can trust. He is kind, thoughtful and advises you every step of the way. I was actually able to sit through and have an extraction without fear, Did not feel a thing!

Thank you Greg

- AB

Just wanted to say a big ‘Thank you’ to you for all the time & effort you put into making sure my veneer was just right. It really is a job well done , & the care you took is very much appreciated. I’ve had several veneers over the past 20 years, but none look as natural as this one. Please pass on my thanks to the laboratory too.

Best Wishes

- AC

To Greg, & all the staff at Rotherholme Dental Practice.

I just wanted to thank you for being so patient with me & helping me conquer my ‘fear of dentist!’ For saying that 6 months ago I couldn’t even go into the waiting room without panicking & crying….I shall almost miss my regular visits!

Thank you and see you in 6months – “with no fear at all”

- EL

Dear Judith

Just a short note to say thank you for being so patient with me. Thanks to you and all your friendly staff, I have overcome my fear of dentist again, and from now on shall be attending regular check ups. Thank you all once again.

- SH

Many, many thanks for your kindness and patience. Completely painless and restored my faith in dentist.

To Greg, Judith, Hannah, Kate & Sarah

Thank you for letting me experience a brilliant dentistry practice!

I wanted to say how very pleased I was with the last work you did on my teeth.

The crown and bridge blend beautifully with the rest of my teeth, and the denture was so comfortable that from the very beginning, I had to check whether I was really wearing it!

Thank you very much indeed, with all good wishes.

- AB