Prevention is always better than recovery
Wisdom teeth aren’t always problematic; however, they can result in a lot of problems, particularly as you get older. The most common problems to do with wisdom teeth if not removed include:
- Tooth decay of adjacent teeth as well as the wisdom tooth (as they’re difficult to clean)
- Gum disease (increased bacteria)
- Bad breath
- Pain, swelling, and inability to chew on the affected side
- Problems with adjacent teeth including overcrowding, and the resulting need for adult braces
- Cyst formation
Why it’s recommended to have wisdom teeth removed sooner rather than later
Removal is easier when you’re younger
Removing your wisdom teeth is usually easier whilst still a teenager, as the longer teeth develop, the stronger the relationship between the roots and jaw. This can make them more difficult to extract and increase healing time.
You could be protecting your smile from becoming crooked
A straight smile always becomes a more important asset to have as you progress in your career and social life. If your wisdom teeth caused crooked teeth due to overcrowding, you may require adult orthodontics which may be avoided by timely wisdom tooth removal.
Is it better to remove all wisdom teeth at once?
This is one of the most common questions that patients ask regarding wisdom teeth, second only to ‘will it hurt?’ Without an individual consultation, and with the aid of a recent OPG radiograph (x-ray), we simply can’t tell you. If there are multiple teeth to be removed, particularly if you are to have a general anaesthetic, then the answer to the question of removing all teeth at once is frequently yes, as wisdom teeth can be problematic as you get older.
Why you shouldn’t ‘freak out’ about having more than one removed
Your dentist will never recommend anything that will put you in unnecessary pain. Sedation options are there so you can be comfortable throughout all stages of treatment, and after treatment you will be provided with, or prescribed the appropriate pain medication. General anaesthesia (going to sleep!) is often a great option if there are multiple extractions required, especially if they are going to be of greater than average difficulty. We are happy to talk through all the options as a part of your consultation at Marriott and Hand. In cases where we feel it is more appropriate, we will refer you to a specialist for further consultation and treatment.
Your dentist will recommend soft or liquid meals the day of your procedure, though you should avoid straws as these can dislodge your stitches. You will probably want to stick to soft meals for a couple of days until chewing is comfortable. Naturally, this will also depend on how many teeth you are having removed.
What is normally recommended with wisdom teeth?
You will need have a recent OPG x-ray to determine if you have impacted wisdom teeth. At Marriott and Hand, we are able to take this x-ray for you. If one of your teeth is impacted your dentist may recommend you have one tooth out, or sometimes all of them out. This is sometimes recommended because of the problems that dentists can foresee that can occur later in life if potentially problematic wisdom teeth are left in place. Talk to your dentist about what you’re comfortable with, and only make the fully informed decision once you have the complete picture.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion
Before you take your dentist’s advice without question, think about what they’re recommending. If you have had a look at your x-ray and have doubts about their recommendations, we recommend consulting Marriott and Hand and getting a second opinion. This doesn’t always result in a different outcome, but can give you peace of mind. Here at Marriott and Hand we offer confidential appointments so that you can get a second opinion without your own dentist being aware of your visit.
We’re happy to tell you the benefits and downfalls of your different treatment options.
Marriott and Hand offer wisdom teeth extraction at their dental practice in Airport West. If you need a dentist in Tullamarine, Essendon, Keilor East or any other surrounding suburbs please contact our friendly team on 03 9330 2455.