Wisdom teeth is the colloquial name given to the third and final set of molars, those at the very back of your mouth. They give their name to being the last teeth to emerge, and as such, people are generally older and supposedly wiser. However, often these teeth come with some complications and will need to be removed.
Why Should I Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth can cause several problems. One common problem is crowding, impaction and growing in abnormal angles, causing pain and increasing the risk of decay in surrounding teeth. There is also a chance of infection and bone loss as wisdom teeth grow. By removing wisdom teeth, the aim is to minimise pain and protect your other teeth giving you the best smile.
Removing wisdom teeth can:
- Resolves symptoms of pain and discomfort
- Can help with overcrowding of teeth
- Prevent misalignment and decay
- It can help to reduce the chance of cysts and bone loss
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure Explained
The precise nature of wisdom teeth extraction in each case will significantly depend on the results of the necessary consultation you will have with your dentist about whether full extraction is safe. Sometimes, if the root is too close to the nerve, a coronectomy may be required (this is the removal of the area above the gum line). General aspects of the wisdom teeth extraction procedure, however, often include:
- The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and a sedative. If patients have difficulty tolerating local anaesthetic or have dental-phobia, the general anaesthetic can be used
- If the wisdom tooth is covered, then a small incision around the gum is made to expose the wisdom tooth
- The offending tooth or teeth are removed using a variety of instruments
- If no implant or bridge is required, then the socket is sutured up using dissolvable sutures
- You can usually leave the hospital the same day as the procedure, although you will take a few days to a week to fully recover
What Are the Risks of Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
The risks of extracting wisdom teeth should always be discussed in length with the surgeon performing the procedure, but generally speaking, the risks include:
- Damage to other teeth
- Infection of the gums and in the rare case bone infection
- Failure wound heal around the gum
- Risk of damage to nerves
- Failure of complete extraction with roots or small fragments being left behind
- Trismus and difficulty opening mouth
- Necrosis (rotting and death) of mandible
How Much Does Wisdom tooth Extraction Cost?
- Privately, wisdom tooth removal can cost between £1,000-2,000 per tooth, but this depends on the condition of the upper or lower jaw, the number of teeth extracted, any complications during the extraction, and if general anaesthetic is required.
- This treatment is usually available on the NHS, as it is associated with symptoms of pain and discomfort; if wisdom teeth become infected, it can be dangerous to patient health. However, there are long waiting lists.