niamh boyle | oral surgery | implant dentistry| conscious sedation
BA BDent Sc MFD FFD(OSOM) RCSI

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Wisdom teeth removal

We realise that many patients are apprehensive about the prospect of an Oral Surgery procedure and aim to provide a caring, stress-free environment to help alleviate your worries.
We hope that the following information will give you a little more info on any questions you have prior to your visit.

Below are a number of questions commonly asked by our patients:

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth usually appear in your late teens or early twenties. They are the last molar teeth. Some people never develop wisdom teeth. Others can have up to four teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. Sometimes wisdom teeth do not come through the gums properly. This may occur if there is not enough room for them or they are pointing in the wrong direction. This is called impaction. Wisdom teeth can be partially or completely impacted. Not all wisdom teeth require removal.

Why am I having mine removed?

The main reasons for removal of wisdom teeth are: Recurrent infection with pain and swelling. Decay in the wisdom tooth or neighbouring teeth. Gum disease around the wisdom tooth or neighbouring teeth. If the wisdom tooth has a cyst associated with it.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

This depends on the position of your tooth and the way it is impacted. Some can be quite straightforward to remove. If simple extraction is not possible surgery will be necessary to remove the tooth. The type of surgery required will depend on the position of the wisdom tooth. For this reason wisdom teeth can be removed under local anaesthesia or with additional intravenous sedation. When you attend the practice your case will be assessed both clinically and with an x-ray. Your surgeon will discuss your treatment options with you.

How long will the operation take?

This will depend on whether you are having the procedure performed under local anaesthesia alone or with additional intravenous sedation. An appointment for surgery under local anaesthesia usually lasts approximately 45 minutes. You will be fine to drive after the appointment. When intravenous sedation is used your appointment usually last approximately 90 minutes. The longer time allows for the recovery period after having sedation. This is needed before you can be sent home. If you have sedation you MUST have an escort attend with you and drive you home afterwards.

What will happen after having a wisdom tooth removed?

This depends on the operation but in general following wisdom tooth removal you may experience soreness, swelling of the face, stiffness of the jaw and some bruising of your face. Any pain or swelling is usually at its worse 2- 3 days following your operation and then gradually improves. You may also have dissolvable stitches. These usually disappear within 2 weeks. Your surgeon will advise you on pain relief and may prescribe antibiotics. One of the specific risks with the removal of lower wisdom teeth concerns damage to nerves in your jaw. These nerves supply the feeling, but not the movement, to your lower lip, chin and tongue on the side of the wisdom tooth. Sometimes the lower wisdom tooth lies close to the nerve and removal of the tooth may bruise or damage these nerves. If there is nerve damage you may experience numbness or a tingling sensation in the lip, chin or tongue on the affected side. This change in sensation is usually temporary but on rare occasions it can be permanent. Following an examination your surgeon will discuss this risk with you and advise you of your particular risk.

Will there be any stitches?

Sometimes stitches are placed in the gum after your procedure. They are usually dissolvable and can take up to two weeks to dissolve.

When can I return to work/school?

This depends on your occupation and how you feel after your treatment. It may be possible to return to work the next day. We will discuss this with you when you attend for you consultation.