Hi, Dr James here, and I’m one of the principal dentists at Elevate Dental.
The other day, I was speaking with one of my patients, Dotti from Toorak. She needed to have a few wisdom teeth removed and she asked me, “What’s the process of wisdom teeth removal?” As this is a very common question, I thought I’d make this video to share with you what I shared with her.
Most patients have four wisdom teeth. They grow through and erupt in their late teens or early twenties, one in each corner of the jaw. In many cases, there isn’t enough space in the jaw for these wisdom teeth to erupt correctly in their normal position. Wisdom teeth, therefore, can be found growing towards one side or facing forwards into the tooth in front, what’s known as an impacted wisdom tooth. This can often cause gum infections, difficulty chewing or opening the jaw, and constant and recurring pain.
For some fortunate patients, wisdom teeth just never develop in the first place, so this doesn’t become a problem they need to deal with.
For everyone else, most upper wisdom teeth will actually erupt vertically into a fairly normal position, with some leaning slightly towards the cheek side. If these teeth are healthy and free of dental decay or infection, they can be left in place as long as it’s being kept clean. If these teeth need removal, however, most are very simple and quick, just like extracting any other tooth in the jaw.
Many issues with lower wisdom teeth are caused by an impaction, that is they don’t actually erupt normally in a vertical position and end up facing one direction. This impaction can mean it’s locked in and prevented from erupting further, either by the soft gum tissues, overlying hard jawbone, or the neighbouring tooth in front.
If these wisdom teeth require removing, a surgical approach may be needed. This involves removing the cause of the obstruction, be it the soft tissues or surrounding jawbone. Where the obstruction is a neighbouring tooth in front, the healthy neighbour tooth is left untouched and the wisdom tooth is removed in segments or sections. All this is completed under local anesthetic and we design the best approach to ensure it’s done as quickly and with minimal discomfort as possible, and for a smooth and quick recovery.
I hope this video gives you a greater understanding of the process of wisdom teeth removal at Elevate Dental. So if you want to get a clearer idea of the status and condition of your wisdom teeth, we would love to look after you. We are conveniently located at both Hawthorn and Richmond, with onsite parking. Simply call us on 1300 2 SMILE, complete the form on our website or direct message us on social media, and we’ll be in touch to help you organise your consultation. See you in the next video.
Note: All content and media on the Elevate Dental website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.