Wisdom Teeth

The team at Vintage Surgical Specialists have many years’ experience extracting wisdom teeth. At the initial consultation we will assess your wisdom teeth, answer your questions and advise you on your treatment options. The following information has been provided to assist you to understand the procedure.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars and the last adult teeth to develop. There are usually two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw, but many people do not develop all four. They are known as wisdom teeth because they generally erupt at about eighteen years of age – when a person is said to have acquired some worldly wisdom.

Why do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

Most commonly, the wisdom teeth do not have sufficient space to erupt into a functional position. Hence they become impacted, either in the bone (often up against the neighbouring second molar), or by the overlying soft tissue.

Usually the first indication that your wisdom teeth are coming through is when they start to give discomfort or pain. This can be due to pressure as they try to erupt or because they become infected or a food trap.

While good oral hygiene and sometimes the use of antibiotics may help in the short term, the only viable solution in the long term is to have the wisdom teeth surgically removed.

What does the procedure involve?

The procedure involves the surgical removal of your wisdom teeth using a drill and elevators. It is usually an uncomplicated procedure that can take about 20 minutes per tooth but is often quicker.

Will it be painful?

For single or less impacted teeth, a local anaesthic will be administered to ensure that you feel no pain throughout the procedure. For multiple or difficult teeth, it is better to proceed under general anaesthic as a day case in hospital.

For information about preparing for wisdom teeth extraction and follow up care, please refer to Patient Information.