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Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth, typically appearing between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth are not essential for good oral health, and their presence can sometimes create problems. This article delves into the world of wisdom teeth, exploring their development, potential issues, and considerations for removal.

Eruption and Potential Problems

Wisdom teeth erupt when the jawbone has completed most of its growth. However, due to evolutionary changes in diet leading to smaller jaws, there may not be enough space for these additional molars to emerge properly. This can lead to several complications, including:

  • Impaction: When a wisdom tooth gets stuck, partially or completely, beneath the gum tissue or bone, it becomes impacted. This can cause pain, inflammation, and difficulty chewing.
  • Crowding: Impacted wisdom teeth can push against other teeth, leading to misalignment and overcrowding. This can affect not only the appearance of your smile but also your ability to properly clean your teeth, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease.
  • Infection: Food particles can easily get trapped around impacted wisdom teeth, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and potentially leading to infection. Symptoms of infection include swelling, redness, pain, and bad breath.
  • Cysts and tumours: In rare cases, impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to the formation of cysts or tumours in the jawbone.

Signs and Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Issues

If you experience any of the following, it’s crucial to contact us at Verve Dental Collins Street for professional dental advice:

  • Persistent pain or discomfort in the back of your mouth
  • Swelling of the gums or jaw
  • Difficulty opening your mouth wide
  • Redness or tenderness around the wisdom teeth
  • Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Changes in the position of other teeth

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Based on X-rays and a thorough examination, our dentist will determine if your wisdom teeth need to be removed. Removal is often recommended if the teeth are impacted, causing problems, or at high risk of future issues. 

The wisdom teeth removal procedure typically involves local anesthesia or sedation to numb the area. Our dentist will then carefully remove it. Sutures (stitches) may be used to close the incision, and medication may be prescribed to manage any pain or swelling after the procedure.

Recovery and Aftercare

Following wisdom teeth removal, it’s essential to follow our dentist’s instructions for a smooth recovery. This usually involves:

  • Applying ice packs to reduce swelling
  • Taking pain medication as prescribed
  • Eating soft foods and avoiding hot beverages for the first few days
  • Gentle rinsing with salt water to keep the extraction site clean
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly

Considerations for Wisdom Teeth Removal

While wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, it’s not without considerations. Factors to be aware of include:

  • Age: Generally, younger individuals heal faster and experience fewer complications compared to older adults.
  • Medical history: Certain medical conditions and medications may influence the decision to remove wisdom teeth or require additional precautions during the procedure.
  • Cost: The cost of wisdom teeth removal can vary depending on factors like the complexity of the case, location, and type of anesthesia used. Dental insurance typically covers a portion of the cost. We will be able to provide you with the dental item codes you can share with your dental health fund if you would like to have a clear understanding of your gap payment prior to the procedure. As an NIB First Choice Provider, we now offer the maximum rebate on general and major dental treatments when visiting us. We also offer payment plans.

While wisdom teeth don’t serve a crucial function, they can sometimes cause problems requiring removal. Consulting your dentist at Verve Dental Collins Street for regular checkups and discussing any concerns about your wisdom teeth is crucial for maintaining good oral health and preventing potential complications.

If you have any questions or concerns please let us know. We can happily run through your wisdom tooth options during a consultation with us.

Book online, or call our friendly team at Verve Dental Collins Street on (03) 9654 5881 to speak with our team.

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