Tooth Extractions (inc. Wisdom Teeth)
Why do teeth need extractions
We always try our best to keep teeth in the mouth but sometimes they can be too far gone to save. Tooth decay, heavy wear, fracture and nerve damage can all lead to a tooth needing extraction. The dentist will usually judge this by how much tooth remains outside of the gum to hold a potential restoration- if there’s not enough tooth to hold a crown or cap in place, extraction is best.
Lower wisdom teeth often don’t have enough space to erupt fully as usually they sit where the jaw curves upwards to the TMJ. When partially through the gum there is often a flap of gum at the back of them that easily traps plaque, leading to a painful gum inflammation called pericoronitis. Partially erupted wisdom teeth often lie diagonally, making plaque trap easily behind the 2nd molar. This increases the chance the 2nd molar will develop tooth decay or gum disease. Upper wisdom teeth often erupt very far back and angled towards the cheek, making them difficult to clean and prone to tooth decay.
For these reasons, wisdom teeth often need extraction. Once this has been decided, an OPG is taken (x-ray that rotates around your face showing all your teeth flattened into one image). This will show the roots of the wisdom teeth and their relation to the lower jaw nerve, allowing the dentist to decide on the best way ahead. Either a referral will be made to a specialist or a simple surgery will be planned here in the chair.
We can prescribe anti-anxiety medication to appropriate patients, provided you have someone to drive you home. This would involve us giving you a prescription for a relaxant drug and you arriving here 1 hour before your appointment to take it and be supervised in the waiting room. Then, when your appointment arrives, you will feel much better during this sometimes difficult procedure.
We give all our patients very specific instructions to ensure you don’t have too much pain post-operatively. We will call you 2 days later to ensure you’re feeling fine and encourage you to call us if you feel anything untoward. Sometimes, if a stitch has been placed, we will make an appointment 1-2 weeks later to remove the stitch and examine the wound.