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Wisdom Tooth Extraction and Surgery

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are teeth that grow at the back of the mouth.

They are the last teeth to appear, and will typically appear between ages 18 to 25. Each individual will have a total of 4 wisdom teeth.

Patients are generally advised to remove impacted wisdom teeth if they are present. Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that have partially erupted through the gum or can be completely buried in the soft tissue or jawbone.

If not removed, they may cause the following issues:

  • Tooth Decay

    Wisdom teeth grow at the back of the mouth, making them hard to clean which may accumulate food particles and cause plaque buildup.

    Leaving this untreated can lead to the decaying of the wisdom tooth and surrounding teeth. Thus, it is best to remove your wisdom teeth as soon as possible to prevent this.

  • Gum Disease

    Impacted wisdom teeth may impede oral hygiene, causing gum disease.

    Symptoms can include aching gums and teeth, swollen gums and persistent bad breath. In such cases, you will need to seek gum treatment.

  • Teeth Crowding

    At times, your wisdom tooth may be misaligned which can push your existing teeth and cause them to become crooked.

    This negatively affects your appearance, bite and oral hygiene. If you have had any orthodontic treatment done, your teeth may become misaligned again.

  • Jaw damage

    In rare cases, cysts can form around the wisdom teeth. If left untreated, they can damage the jaw bone and infect surrounding teeth.

    When this happens, you will need to undergo a complex and comprehensive treatment.

It is important to note that the need for extraction is generally determined by the severity of your condition. For example, you are strongly advised to remove your wisdom tooth to prevent future complications if it is fully impacted.

Note!
A lack of pain does not indicate that there are no underlying dental issues. You are encouraged to go for an X-ray during your dental check ups to identify any potential problems as early as possible.

Your wisdom tooth will be extracted either by a simple or surgical extraction. This depends on the state of your wisdom teeth.

Simple Extraction

A simple wisdom tooth extraction is mostly used to remove upper and lower wisdom teeth that are visible but not impacted.

During this procedure, local anaesthetic will be administered so that you will not feel any pain. Thereafter, the dentist will loosen the tooth and extract it.

Surgical Extraction

Surgical extraction is required when your tooth is partially erupted, has not fully erupted and/or is impacted.

During the surgery, you will receive

  • Local anaesthetic

Local anaesthetic is injected to numb the area, preventing you from feeling pain during the procedure.

  • IV sedation

You might also be given IV sedation during the surgery. Patients given an IV sedation will be semi-unconscious.

This means that you will not feel any pain and will not be aware of what is going on during the procedure.

Simple and surgical wisdom tooth extractions are done as outpatient procedures, so patients can head home on the same day after it is done.

To prepare for the procedure, your dentist should give you tailored advice on what to do but here are some general guidelines to follow:

1. Eat well before the procedure

After the procedure, your jaw will be numb for about 2 to 3 hours and it will be challenging to eat or drink. Hence, you are advised to have a light meal 1 to 2 hours before your appointment.

Your dentist will be able to advise on eating and drinking before the procedure, depending on the sedation used.

2. Brush and clean your teeth thoroughly

Cleaning your teeth thoroughly will ensure that all plaque is removed, decreasing any risks of an infection after the extraction.

3. Wear loose and comfortable clothes

You will not be changing into any surgical attire for the procedure, so it is best to wear loose and comfortable clothes.

4. Arrange for someone to bring you home after the procedure

You may feel groggy after the extraction procedure if it involves IV sedation. To ensure your safety, please arrange for someone to bring you home.

Part 1: Consultation

  • Understanding Concerns

    During your consultation, our dentist will have a chat with you to learn about your concerns, lifestyle habits and dental condition.

  • Dental Check Up

    Next, a dental check up will be conducted to check on the condition of your teeth and gums.

    This usually includes X-rays, if necessary, to locate the position of your wisdom teeth.

  • Customised Treatment Plan

    Once the check up is complete, our dentist will advise whether a simple or surgical extraction is required and explain the entire procedure to you.

    They will also brief you on how to prepare for the procedure and answer any of your questions.

Part 2: Wisdom Tooth Extraction

  • Administration of Anaesthetic

    To ensure that you do not feel any pain, the area around the wisdom tooth will be injected with local anaesthetic to numb it.

    General anaesthesia or IV sedation may also be used if required, based on your treatment plan.

  • Wisdom Tooth Extraction

    The dentist will then cut your surrounding gum, exposing the tooth and bone to gain access to your wisdom tooth. Thereafter, the tooth will be extracted.

    It is normal to feel some pressure and hear cracking noises, but you should not feel any pain.

  • Stitching of Gums

    After your tooth has been extracted, the dentist will clean the area and use stitches to close the extraction hole.

    These stitches aid in the formation of blood clots to promote healing. They should be removed 1 to 2 weeks later.

For the first few days after the extraction, it is normal to experience the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding

    Some light bleeding from the wound may occur. Ensure that you avoid rinsing your mouth or gargling vigorously and prevent chewing on the extraction site.

  • Pain and stiffness

    You may feel pain and stiffness in your jaw for up to 10 days, depending on how complicated the extraction was.

  • Swelling in face or cheeks

    In the next 2 to 3 days after the procedure, you may notice some swelling in your face or cheeks.

  • Bruising on face

    Other than swelling, there may be bruising which is part of the healing process. This should subside after 1 week.

These symptoms should wear off after 1 to 2 weeks. However, if they persist, do consult our dentists immediately.

Recovery Tips After Extracting Wisdom Teeth

After wisdom tooth extraction, you may take up to 2 weeks to fully recover. Here are some recovery tips as pointed out by our dentist, Dr. Pua.

  • Do’s
    • Go about your daily activities after the procedure
    • Use the gauze pads provided to stop the wound from bleeding
    • Use mouthwash as instructed to ensure the mouth and wound are kept clean
    • Apply cold compress during the first 24 hours to reduce swelling
    • Brush your teeth as per normal while avoiding the area around the extraction
    • Have a soft food diet
    • Take the prescribed medication, if any
  • Don’ts
    • Avoid strenuous activity for the next couple of days
    • Do not swish when cleansing your mouth as this can dislodge blood clots
    • Avoid spicy food
    • Avoid hot, caffeinated, carbonated and alcohol beverages
    • Avoid smoking for at least 48 hours to prevent infection in the wound

Risks of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

As with any type of procedure, wisdom tooth extraction comes with some risks. However, the risks are usually small and rare. Some of them include:

  • Dental Trismus

    Trismus is a temporary dental condition characterised by pain and restricted mouth movement. This can happen due to trauma to the jaw from dental surgery.

    If you experience this, avoid forcing your mouth open and stick to a soft food or liquid diet to facilitate recovery.

  • Dry Socket

    Dry socket is a dental condition that occurs when the blood clot at the extraction fails to develop, dissolves or dislodges. Some tell-tale signs of a dry socket are dull, throbbing pain in your jaw, bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

    Speak to your dentist if the pain worsens in the days after the surgery or if you suspect that you have a dry socket.

  • Nerve Damage

    Wisdom tooth extraction may potentially cause damage to your inferior alveolar nerve and the lingual nerve. These nerves are in charge of supplying sensation to your lower teeth and tongue.

    Fortunately, the risk of nerve damage is relatively low and the effects of these damages are seldom permanent.

The cost of wisdom tooth extraction at i.Dental ranges from $192.60 to $267.50 for simple extractions and $695.50 to $1,658.50 for surgical extractions.

Prior to the extraction, you will have to go for a consultation with our dentists. This will cost between $21.40 to $53.50, which includes a basic oral examination. X-rays or orthopantomogram X-rays will be charged separately if necessary.

  • Cost of a Simple Extraction

    A simple wisdom tooth extraction will cost you $192.60 – $267.50 per tooth (includes GST).

    You will not be able to use your MediSave for this procedure.

  • Cost of a Surgical Extraction

    Surgical wisdom tooth extraction will cost between $695.50 – $1,658.50 per tooth (includes GST).

    MediSave can be used to pay for the partial cost of the procedure. You can claim up to $1,550 per tooth and this amount depends on the complexity of your surgery.

Patients with at least $2,000 in their MediSave accounts

You will only be required to pay the difference between the total amount payable and the amount you can claim from MediSave. 

Here is an example of how the payment scheme will work:

Cost of surgery$2,000
Amount claimable from MediSave$1,900 ($950 per tooth)
Amount you need to pay$100

Patients with Less than $2,000 in their MediSave Accounts

If you have less than $2,000 in your MediSave account, the full sum of the procedure will be collected. Thereafter, your MediSave claim will be processed and a cheque made payable to you will be issued. This process will take approximately 2 months.

Patients with No MediSave Accounts

If you do not have a MediSave account, you have 2 options:

  • Option 1: Pay using an interest-free credit card instalment plan. Payment will be spread out over 12 months.
  • Option 2: Use your immediate family’s MediSave account to pay for your surgery. This includes your siblings, parents, grandparents, spouse or children.
  • Decades of Experience

    With over 30 years of experience, our team of qualified dentists have accumulated the expertise and knowledge required to provide you with quality treatment.

  • Our Technology

    Planmeca Cone Beam CT Scan (CBCT): With this 3D x-ray system, it allows for informed treatment planning, avoiding vital structures like nerves.

FAQs

It is recommended if the wisdom tooth is decayed or impacted. If not removed, they could cause gum infection, gum disease and also, decay on adjacent teeth.

Aside from that, if you experience the following recurring issues, it is advised to get your teeth checked.

  • Recurring gum pain (aka pericoronitis)
  • Regular food trap
  • Improper hygiene potentially leading to decay of both the wisdom teeth and their neighbouring teeth

Yes, you do! Delaying the procedure may lead to further complications.

If you are prone to dental anxiety, an IV sedation can be administered via an intravenous line in your arm.

  • If wisdom tooth erupts during orthodontic treatment

You can have your wisdom teeth extracted during orthodontic treatment if necessary.

For braces: wisdom teeth removal will not affect the braces treatment and braces will not affect your recovery from the removal.

For Invisalign: your dentist may advise you to stop wearing aligners for a while during healing. However, this should not affect your progress.

Each case is unique so it’s best to consult the dentist who planned your treatment, before removing your wisdom teeth.

  • If wisdom tooth erupts after orthodontic treatment has completed

According to Dr. Pua, to maintain your results, it is important to wear retainers. A fully erupted wisdom tooth is usually less troublesome than an impacted wisdom tooth which can potentially pose a problem after your treatment.

Working closely with your dentist can help to reduce the severity of the problems resulting from your wisdom tooth.

A simple wisdom tooth extraction will typically take below 30 minutes to complete.

A surgical wisdom tooth extraction, on the other hand, will generally take between 30 – 60 minutes.

Simple wisdom tooth extraction:
You will not be allowed to use your MediSave for this procedure as it is non-surgical.

However, you may use your CHAS, Merdeka Generation or Pioneer Generation cards to get subsidies for simple extractions.

Surgical wisdom tooth extraction:
MediSave can be used to pay for the partial cost of the procedure. You are allowed to claim up to $1,550 per tooth and this amount depends on the complexity of your surgery.

FAQs

You will be given 1 – 2 days of MC for a simple extraction.

Depending on your dentist, you will typically be given 5 days of MC after a surgical extraction.

It can take up to 2 weeks for you to fully recover from your wisdom tooth extraction.

Bleeding is normal after surgical extraction and may last for another 24 – 48 hours. But in general, it should stop before you leave the clinic.

You may control bleeding by trying the following:

  • Place a clean gauze pad over the wound and bite for 10 minutes. Repeat this as required.
  • Avoid chewing on the gauze as it might increase bleeding.

24 – 72 hours.

Pain control medication should be taken as prescribed not only after feeling the pain. Note that the medication may cause drowsiness, so do not partake in activities such as driving or machinery work.

It is essential to keep up with your oral hygiene and dental health to prevent complications.

You are advised to

  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Avoid the wound when brushing
  • Cleanse your mouth with warm salt water or an antibacterial mouthwash

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