Looking To The Future
Issues with wisdom teeth can bring discomfort and deserve skilled care. At our Harley Street clinic, your consultation treatment and removal if required are carried out by a consultant maxillofacial surgeon.
Their experience helps to ensure correct choices are made for treatment. Possible physical, or nerve damage will be considered, precise planning is required to deal with a problem evolution has given us.
A wisdom tooth (also called the third molar) is the last type of tooth to grow into place. We generally have four wisdom teeth, which arrive in our late teens, or early twenties.
They can be fine, although are a quirk of nature and lack of space for them to sit well is common. This may result in horizontal, or angular misalignment, or impacted teeth, which fail to break through the jaw, or gum.
Impacted teeth can become infected, bringing pain and swelling, misaligned wisdom teeth make cleaning awkward, leading to decay, This can spread to other teeth, cysts, bone loss, nerve damage, or periodontitis are further risks.
At least one impacted wisdom tooth is almost normal, yet should not be treated as such. Having your wisdom teeth assessed by a specialist makes sense and can avoid future issues, or solve any you have.
There is no pre-decision, you are welcome to read more on whether wisdom teeth should be extracted, which is a health based, individual decision.
A Personal Assessment
If you have immediate problems with your wisdom teeth, removal may be the answer. Even removing apparently trouble free teeth can be best in certain cases, where this is a forward looking solution.
Your consultant will use scans, physical examination and their experience, to identify a likely growth path and judge the need for removal.
A tooth may be stuck, or fully impacted, your mouth unable to make room. One which has broken through could be growing at an angle, liable to push against a nerve, or nearby teeth and cause damage.
One factor to bear in mind is that apart from the risk of direct damage, time acts against you. As you age, your jawbone changes and teeth may be more complex to extract, making other medical issues more likely.
Potential nerve damage needs thought before extraction in a few cases and will be assessed by your consultant. An uncommon issue but if you are at risk, this will be discussed and suitable procedures adopted.
Whether extraction is needed will also be a core point, symptoms could be temporary, or other treatment options be viable for a tooth likely to grow safely. Removal proving to be the best solution is still quite common.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
In most cases, wisdom tooth removal is not a major task, or takes too long. Local anaesthesia should be fine, which can be used in conjunction with intravenous sedation to reduce anxiety. General anaesthesia is also available.
An impacted wisdom tooth may require deeper surgery, to cut the gum and remove any bone above the tooth. This is again not too invasive, although stitches are likely to be required, self dissolving, or removed a week later.
A little bleeding is common after dental surgery, which can be stemmed with a gauze pad and gentle pressure if not stopping naturally. Rinsing with warm salt water for a few days will keep the area clean and help avoid infection.
Depending on sedation choice, you may need to be driven home and take time off work. The latter is not a bad idea for the rest of the day, after wisdom tooth extraction.
You may feel a changed sensation, tingling, or numbness in your lips, tongue, or cheek. The nerves supplying them are close to your lower wisdom teeth, an aspect which is considered and the feeling is normally short term.
Care At Our London Clinic
We never rush you, or try to impose decisions you are not comfortable with. They should be joint decisions, based on understanding of why wisdom teeth exist and on your present, or future medical needs.
Requirement for skilled assessment and understanding of related risk are critical to wisdom tooth decisions. The reason we ensure you see a consultant maxillofacial surgeon at stage one.
They will also carry out surgery required to remove any wisdom teeth. In dedicated facilities, at a London clinic with the finest equipment, sterilisation and safety procedures.
Every staff member you deal with will understand your case and support our ethos of personal care. If we can help with current, or potential wisdom tooth issues, please get in touch at any time.