Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The wisdom teeth, or third molars, grow at the back of your gums and are the last teeth to come through. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner.
Due to the lack of space, the wisdom teeth can sometimes emerge at an angle or get stuck and only emerge partially. Wisdom teeth that grow through in this way are known as impacted. At our London Dental practice, we can remove impacted wisdom teeth getting you out of pain in one hour. If your wisdom tooth is infected, our emergency dentist might need to treat the infection with antibiotics prior to attempting the removal of the wisdom tooth.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
There are different types of impacted wisdom teeth, depending on the way the tooth has grown through:
Mesial impaction – where the tooth grows at an angle facing towards the front of the mouth
Vertical impaction – where the tooth is straight but can’t break through the gums properly because it’s stuck against the tooth next to it
Horizontal impaction – where the tooth grows horizontally
Distal impaction – where the wisdom tooth grows away from the tooth next to it and becomes lodged in that position
The Removal Procedure
The dentist at our London Dental practice will take an X-ray of your wisdom teeth to help determine whether or not they need to be removed. If they do, the dentist may be able to carry out the procedure or they may refer you to an oral surgeon.
After your wisdom teeth have been removed, you may experience some swelling and discomfort, both on the inside and outside of your mouth. This is usually worse for the first three days but it can last for up to two weeks.
Your jaw may be stiff and sore and your face may be bruised. The bruising will begin to disappear, although it may take about two weeks to fade completely.
Before having your wisdom teeth removed, you’ll be given local anaesthetic by injection to numb the tooth and surrounding area.
If you’re particularly anxious about the procedure, your dentist or surgeon may give you a sedative to help you relax. This may come in the form of a tablet (diazepam or temazepam), or gas (nitrous oxide) that you breathe in through a mask. A numbing gel may also be rubbed into the area to be injected.
General anesthetic (where you’re put to sleep) is rarely needed. When wisdom tooth removal under general anesthetic is needed, it is done in hospital.
Removing The Wisdom Tooth
If an incision has been made, it may be necessary to use dissolving stitches to seal the gum. Your dentist will tell you if this has been done and how long the stitches will take to dissolve (usually 7 to 10 days).
Your dentist may place some gauze over the site of the extraction and ask you to keep pressure on it by biting your jaws together for up to an hour. This is to allow a blood clot to form in the empty tooth socket. Blood clots are part of the healing process, so try not to dislodge them.
For the 24 hours after removing your wisdom tooth, your dentist will advise you to avoid:
- Rinsing your mouth out with liquid
- Smoking and drinking alcohol
- Drinking hot liquids, such as tea or soup
- Lots of physical activity
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