Read our second part of Wisdom Teeth series of blogs and find out when to remove or not to remove wisdom teeth, learn about the treatment and recovery process.
Generally, wisdom tooth ‘treatment’ implies the removal of the tooth. In Australia, it is common for dentists to advise the removal of all four wisdom teeth in many cases, in adolescence. In the UK, the ‘official’ recommendations are those wisdom teeth only be removed if there is existing ‘pathology’ i.e. there is already some infection.
Our own approach is simply this:
I would recommend removal of the wisdom tooth if:
Usually, it takes between 15 minutes and an hour and a half to remove (particularly) a lower wisdom tooth. In some cases, the whole tooth is removed quite easily; in others, one may have to cut the tooth into segments and take each one out separately. There are times , one may decide to leave part of the tooth root in the bone (where it can harmlessly remain ’for life’).
Sometimes it is appropriate to refer to a specialist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, who may or may not remove the tooth/ teeth under local anaesthetic with or without sedation or even, under general anaesthetic. The surgery is sometimes done in a private clinic; sometimes in hospital (particularly if general anaesthetic is needed or required). More often than not sutures ( stitches) are placed over the tooth socket wound, which if not self resolvable, are removed after about a week. Painkillers are prescribed and antibiotics may or may not be.
Recovery from wisdom tooth removal can sometimes be a bit ‘unpredictable’ . This generally depends on a number of factors:
Any possible post-operative ‘complications’ should obviously be explained to the patient, although in the relatively rare event one of these does occur, it is resolved within a week or two.
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