Wisdom Teeth

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third permanent molars that erupt around the age of 17-25 years. They are the very last teeth at the back of the mouth and the last teeth to come through.  For many people, there is insufficient room in the jaw for these teeth to erupt properly, and so they often get stuck or impacted.  This can cause problems such as gum inflammation and infection, pain, swelling, fever, headaches, jaw pain and limited opening and even decay on the adjacent teeth.

Are you experiencing pain from wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth can cause a mild ache or soreness from time to time and not cause too much concern. If however, the soreness is a constant pain or you have developed swelling or a fever, it’s time to have the wisdom teeth assessed for removal.  Removal of the wisdom teeth takes careful planning, especially for the lower ones. Your dentist will need to assess whether it is safe to extract your wisdom tooth in our practice or a referral to specialist surgeon is required.

Safe removal of wisdom teeth

We want you to have a safe and comfortable experience during and after your extraction. Before the tooth is removed, your dentist may refer you to have a special xray called an OPG taken. This xray shows your entire mouth, jaw, sinuses and facial nerves. If the extractions are straightforward, they will be done in our practice under a local anesthetic as carefully as possible. Often the upper wisdom teeth are simple to remove due to the conical shape of the roots. For more complex cases or to have a general anesthetic, a referral to an Oral Surgeon will be required. 

Removing wisdom teeth

  1. Consultation with one of our dentists to assess your wisdom teeth and provide some pain relief if necessary. A course of antibiotics may be required to reduce any infection and inflammation. If the gum is infected, a saline solution may be used to flush the area clear of plaque and debris.
  2. Referral for the OPG xray to aid in the diagnosis and planning of the extractions.
  3. The dentist will discuss the findings of the OPG xray, discuss options for treatment, costs and if a referral to the oral surgeon is required.
  4. On the day of extraction, the area will be numbed gently using local anesthetic. Only when you are profoundly numb will the teeth be removed.
  5. Sutures (stitches) may be required if a surgical extraction was necessary to remove the tooth. This is often the case with impacted teeth. 
  6. Your dentist will give you extra gauze, post-operative instructions and additional pain medication to take home.
  7. Once your home, rest for the remainder of the day and keep up with pain medication. Follow all the instructions to avoid pain and infection.
  8. We will call you to check how you are feeling and how the area is healing. You may need to return to us after a week to remove the sutures.
  9. If you experience severe pain 1-3 days after the extraction, please call us for immediate treatment.

Benefits of removing wisdom teeth

  • alleviate pain, inflammation and infections
  • alleviate constant ache and discomfort
  • avoid bite or alignment alterations
  • avoid destruction of adjacent teeth from impaction
  • properly clean other molars to avoid decay

Treatment FAQs

Can I claim or pay off my dental extractions?

Certainly! If you are covered for dental extractions, you will be eligible* for a rebate from your dental fund.  We also offer interest free payment plans* from Humm where you pay a portion upfront and pay off the remainder over 3 months.  Ask us to help you check your eligibility.  (*T&Cs apply)

When can I return to work or school after an extraction?

You may need between 1-5 days to recuperate after an extraction, depending on the complexity of the extraction. After a simple and straight forward extraction, you can return to work or school the next day, perhaps with some pain medication such as paracetamol just in case. After multiple extractions or a surgical extraction, you may need a few days for the swelling and pain to subside.

Can I have all four wisdom teeth out at once?

Most people who have all four taken out at once do so under a general anesthetic in day surgery with an oral surgeon. It is possible to have all four out under local anaesthetic in the dental chair, however it may be uncomfortable to be numb over most of your face. One option may be to take out one side first and return for the other side in a few weeks. You can discuss all your individual options with your dentist at your consultation.