Wisdom Tooth Surgery
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood. While some individuals experience trouble-free growth, many encounter complications due to a lack of space in the jaw. Common issues include impaction (when a tooth doesn’t fully emerge), overcrowding, pain, and infection. These problems can have a ripple effect, impacting adjacent teeth and overall oral health. As a result, dentists often recommend wisdom tooth extraction to prevent these potential complications.
Difference between Wisdom Tooth Extraction & Wisdom Tooth Surgery:
- Wisdom tooth surgery can involve more complex cases, such as impacted wisdom teeth (teeth that are trapped beneath the gum line and bone) or teeth that are growing at an angle that affects surrounding teeth.
- Surgical procedures could involve making incisions in the gum tissue, removing bone, and potentially dividing the tooth into smaller sections for easier removal.
- Wisdom tooth extraction refers to the straightforward removal of fully erupted wisdom teeth without the need for extensive surgical procedures.
In Singapore, Medisave is claimable for Surgical procedures, not for Extractions. CHAS is applicable for both surgical and extraction cases.
The Surgical Procedure:
Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine outpatient procedure usually performed by a dentist or oral surgeon specialist. Prior to the surgery, X-rays will be taken to assess the positioning of the wisdom teeth and plan the procedure accordingly. At Neo Smiles, wisdom tooth surgeries can be carried out under local anesthesia, or under sedation.
The process involves making an incision in the gum tissue if necessary, removing any bone that obstructs access to the tooth, and then carefully extracting the tooth. In cases of impacted teeth, a more involved surgical approach may be required, which could involve cutting the tooth into smaller pieces for easier removal. Once the tooth is extracted, the area is cleaned, and stitches may be used to close the incision if needed.
Proper aftercare is crucial to ensure a smooth recovery process. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Rest: Allow yourself time to rest and recover after the surgery. Avoid strenuous activities for a few days.
- Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers or those prescribed by your dentist can help manage any discomfort. Applying cold packs to the outside of your cheek can also help reduce swelling.
- Oral Hygiene: Gently brush your teeth but avoid the surgical area for the first day. Afterward, you can rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to keep the area clean.
- Diet: Stick to soft foods for the first few days, gradually reintroducing regular foods as you heal. Avoid chewing on the side of the extraction site to reduce infection risk.
- Avoid Irritants: Stay away from smoking, alcohol, and using straws, as these can hinder the healing process.
- Follow Instructions: Adhere to any specific aftercare instructions provided by the oral surgeon.
While wisdom tooth extraction is generally safe, there are potential complications to be aware of. These might include infection, dry socket (a painful condition that occurs when the blood clot in the extraction site is dislodged), nerve damage, or prolonged swelling and discomfort. These complications are relatively rare, especially when post-operative care instructions are diligently followed.
At Neo Smiles, wisdom tooth surgery is a very common dental procedure designed to alleviate discomfort, prevent potential complications, and promote overall oral health. Our oral surgeons can determine whether extraction or surgery is necessary and to discuss the best approach for your specific situation during the initial consultation.
Book an appointment with Neo Smiles for your wisdom or impacted tooth surgery.