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What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the 3rd molar teeth and can erupt into your mouth from your late teenage years onwards.

Why do they need to be removed?

Sometimes wisdom teeth become impacted (or trapped) and can cause pain, swelling, infection or damage to the adjacent tooth.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

The procedure involves injecting local anaesthetic into the gum, lifting the gum back and dividing the tooth into pieces to remove it. Stitches are placed in the gum to help the wound heal quickly. The procedure can be performed under intravenous sedation if you are nervous about having it done. 

What are the risks of wisdom tooth removal?

Most risks associated with wisdom tooth removal are temporary and improve within 7 days of surgery. Below the lower wisdom teeth lies a nerve that supplies feeling to the lip, chin, teeth, gums and tongue on that side of the mouth. This nerve is not a movement nerve. There is a small risk that this nerve can get bruised during the procedure and it can feel different afterwards. This risk is low and usually the altered feeling resolves spontaneously. Sometimes we may take a 3D scan of the wisdom tooth and the nerve if they look close to one another on the X-ray. In some cases if the wisdom tooth and nerve are too close to each other a procedure called a Coronectomy can be performed.


How long is the recovery following wisdom tooth removal?

Pain and swelling usually lasts between 3-7 days after tooth removal. Most patients can return to work between 24-48 hours after the procedure. 

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