Understanding Wisdom Teeth
Have you ever had a toothache right at the back of your mouth? That’s probably a wisdom tooth acting up. These back-corner residents of our mouths have a reputation for causing a bit of mischief — and sometimes discomfort.
If you’ve ever had a nagging pain at the back of your jaw or wondered why wisdom teeth may need their own ‘check-up’, you’re not alone.
Many of us will face the prospect of wisdom teeth extraction, a procedure that sounds more daunting than it truly is. But fear not, because gaining knowledge about this common dental milestone can turn uncertainty into confidence.
Whether you’re curious about the signs that signal a trip to the dentist or looking for the ins and outs of wisdom tooth removal, we’re here to guide you through it all, step by step. And if you find yourself pondering where to turn for care, at Acts Dental Clinic in Perth, we offer a helping hand and a friendly smile to ease your journey towards oral health.
What You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth
Did you know that most of us have four wisdom teeth? These teeth are also called third molars, the last set of chompers that try to join the party in your mouth. Think of wisdom teeth as the late guests who show up when the room is already full. Sometimes, they slide right in without a fuss, but other times, there’s just not enough room for them.
When there’s not enough space, a wisdom tooth might get stuck or only partly break through the gum tissue. That is what we call an impacted wisdom tooth. Imagine a door that won’t open all the way because there’s something behind it — that’s what an impacted tooth is like. It can push against neighbouring teeth, which might hurt or mess up how your teeth line up.
Most people’s wisdom teeth grow in their late teens or early twenties. By this time, all the other teeth have found their spot, so these latecomers might have to squeeze in. And if there’s insufficient space, they can make things a bit crowded. That’s why sometimes, our South Perth dentists will say your wisdom teeth may need to come out. Getting your wisdom teeth removed is pretty common, and it can help keep your mouth happy and healthy.
If a dentist says you need your wisdom teeth removed, it’s to stop problems now or to prevent ones that could happen later. Think of it like making more room in that crowded room so everyone can have a good time. And don’t worry; your dentist will make sure you’re comfortable and know what to do every step of the way.
Signs You Need a Wisdom Teeth Check-Up
Sometimes, your body sends you little signals that it’s time to see a dentist about your wisdom teeth. If you’ve got a partially erupted tooth, that means the tooth has only come out partway from the gum, which can make it hard to brush and keep clean. Think of it like a door that’s stuck partly open; it can let in dirt and bugs if you’re not careful.
You might also feel some jaw pain around the back of your mouth or experience severe pain that comes and goes. It isn’t the kind of ache you ignore because it can get in the way of enjoying your day. Sometimes, when a wisdom tooth is causing trouble, it can make your breath smell not so great. Yep, bad breath can be a sign that one of those wisdom teeth needs a look from a dentist.
Other tip-offs include red, swollen, or bleeding gums around the back teeth. If you find it tough to chew or keep biting your cheeks, that’s another clue. And if you see some swelling around your jaw or your face on one side, that could be your wisdom teeth saying, “Hey, we need some help here!”
Long-term Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Getting a troublesome wisdom tooth extracted can feel like a big step, but it has many good things for your mouth in the long run. First off, it helps stop tooth decay in its tracks. Without those hard-to-reach places that wisdom teeth create, you can brush and floss much easier, keeping your mouth clean.
Then there’s gum disease. It’s not fun and can hurt, but taking out a wisdom tooth that’s causing trouble can lower your chances of getting it. Your neighbouring teeth will thank you, too, because they don’t have to deal with a crowded space or get pushed out of place.
Plus, if your wisdom teeth are out, you won’t have to deal with that jaw pain anymore. It’s like removing a big rock from your shoe — instant relief! In the long run, your whole mouth works better, and you can say goodbye to that pain and bad breath that can come from partially erupted wisdom teeth troubles.
Remember, every mouth is different, and your dentist can tell you if taking out your wisdom teeth is the right move for you. They’re the pros at helping you keep a healthy, happy smile for years to come.
The Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
When it’s time for wisdom teeth removal, knowing what to expect can make things much easier. If you’ve got impacted wisdom teeth—those are the ones that can’t come in all the way—it might be a bit more complex, and that’s where an oral surgeon comes in.
Upper wisdom teeth, in particular, tend to be easier to remove than lower wisdom teeth because they’re more accessible and not as deeply rooted in the less dense bone of the upper jaw.
The process starts with an x-ray to see where your wisdom teeth are and how they sit in your mouth. The dentist or surgeon will use a local anaesthetic to numb the area so you won’t feel a thing during the wisdom tooth extraction.
In some cases, if you’re nervous in the dental chair, have special needs, or maybe get all your wisdom teeth removed at once, the dentist might use IV sedation or even general anaesthetic to make sure you’re comfortable and pain-free.
Once the area is numb, or you’re asleep if you’re under general anaesthetic, your South Perth dentist will carefully remove the wisdom teeth. If it’s an upper wisdom tooth, it can sometimes be easier than a lower wisdom tooth. If your tooth is stubborn, it may need surgical extraction, a common oral surgery. But don’t worry, the dentist or surgeon will make sure to take out the whole tooth, and you’ll be looked after the whole time.
Recovery Process and Aftercare
After your wisdom teeth surgery, you’ll have a little recovery period to rest and heal. Your mouth may feel sore, but don’t fret—pain medications and over-the-counter painkillers will help you feel better. You’ll munch on a soft diet for a few days; think yogurt, applesauce, and your favourite ice cream. It is easy on your mouth and doesn’t require much chewing.
Taking care of your mouth is super important now. So, no sipping drinks through straws or smoking, okay? We don’t want to mess up the blood clot that is healing in the spots where your teeth were. Avoid drinking alcohol, too, as it can slow down the healing process and how fast you get better. Stick with your dental care routine gently, and you’ll be on the mend in no time.
Risks and Complications
Every surgical or invasive procedure carries risks, but knowing what they help you avoid them. With wisdom teeth removal, sometimes a condition called dry socket can happen if those blood clots get disturbed.
A dry socket can be painful, but following your aftercare instructions lowers that risk a lot. Your dental professional will be there to guide you through everything and make sure you stay as pain-free as possible.
If anything feels off, your Perth dentist is just a call away. Remember, getting your wisdom teeth removed is a way to keep your smile bright and healthy for the long haul. With a little care and some help from your dentist, you’ll be back to your best in no time.
Does Private Health Insurance Cover Wisdom Tooth Removal?
Most times, your private health insurance will help pay for wisdom teeth removal. It’s seen as a standard dental procedure, but coverage can differ. It is best to call your insurance and ask how much they’ll cover, especially if an oral surgeon or a maxillofacial surgeon is needed.
Can I See My Regular Dentist for Wisdom Teeth Removal, or Do I Need a Specialist?
Your regular dentist can often handle removing wisdom teeth. If they’re straightforward, no special help is needed. But if you’ve got impacted wisdom teeth, they might send you to a specialist—like an oral surgeon—who deals with trickier teeth.
Is the Removal of Wisdom Teeth Painful?
Nobody loves the idea of pain, right? Well, with numbing meds and care from your dentist, wisdom teeth removal shouldn’t hurt. You might feel some pressure, but the actual dental procedure is designed to be pain-free, with your dentist administering a local anaesthetic.
How Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth Different from Regular Ones?
Impacted wisdom teeth are like doors that can’t open all the way because they’re stuck. They can push on nearby teeth and might need more work to get out.
Soft tissue impaction occurs when a wisdom tooth has penetrated the bone but has not fully emerged through the gum line, leading to gum covering part of the tooth.
Hard tissue impaction is when a wisdom tooth is encased in the jawbone, making it difficult to emerge.
These impacted teeth are trapped and can cause discomfort or damage to other teeth. Unlike regular wisdom teeth that grow without obstruction, impacted ones often require surgical intervention for removal.
What Happens if You Wait Too Long to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted?
If you don’t get those wisdom teeth out when your dentist suggests it, they can cause a bit of a headache—well, more like a toothache. The longer they stay put, especially if they’re impacted, the more they can press on nearby teeth.
This pressure can make it tough to keep your teeth clean because food debris and germs find sneaky places to hide, leading to icky stuff like decay or gum problems. Plus, if wisdom teeth push against your teeth, they can mess up how they fit together when you bite. Over time, this can lead to sore jaws and even headaches.
Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Crooked Teeth?
Wisdom teeth may cause surrounding teeth to become crooked. If your mouth is already crowded, incoming wisdom teeth can push against other teeth. It can make them shift out of place, leading to a misaligned bite or crooked teeth. Your dentist may suggest removing wisdom teeth early to prevent this.
Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?
Not everyone has wisdom teeth. Some people may have all four, while others may have fewer or none. If wisdom teeth don’t cause any issues, they can stay. However, if they create problems or crowd the mouth, your dentist might suggest removing them.
Discover Gentle Dental Care at Acts Dental Clinic!
Need wisdom tooth removal but worried about comfort and cost? At Acts Dental Clinic, we provide affordable wisdom teeth removal without compromising on care.
Whether under local or general anaesthetic, we prioritize your oral health and peace of mind. Start your journey to wellness with an initial consultation at our friendly clinic—where your dental well-being is our mission.
We take pride in being a Bupa preferred provider, Medibank preferred provider, HBF preferred provider, HCF preferred provider, and Nib preferred provider, allowing us to offer flexible payment plans and accommodate various health fund benefits.
Need a stress-free appointment? Call us at (08) 9474 5083; let us blend expertise with care to give you back your best smile. You can also book online.