Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery
Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery
Wisdom teeth are the very last teeth to come through at the back of your mouth,
and generally erupt into the mouth from the age of 18 onwards.
Most people have 4 wisdom teeth; 2 in the upper jaw and 2 in the lower jaw. However, some people do not develop all their wisdom teeth and can be missing one or more.
In many cases there is not enough space at the rear of the mouth/jaws for wisdom teeth to fully erupt and be functional. This causes the teeth to become wedged or ‘impacted’.
If this occurs, the removal of the teeth is recommended before any discomfort or pain from infection eventuates.
All our surgical procedures can be performed under a local anaesthetic, oral sedation, inhalation sedation or IV sedation. For more information about our sedation options please click here.
Types of impacted wisdom teeth illustration
OPG of a patient's impacted wisdom tooth. The green dot shows where it is pushing on the adjacent molar and the blue line shows the unnatural angle of growth.
Wisdom teeth information and removal procedure:
Symptoms of a wisdom tooth being unable to erupt into normal occlusal function (erupt at the correct angle with enough room) include:
- Redness and swelling behind the second molar
- Frustrated healing of the soft tissue over the crown (top) of the wisdom tooth
- Swelling in the pharyngeal regions (side throat area) and at the angle of the mandible (side of the jawbone)
- Inability to bite together
- Pressure on adjacent teeth
- Pre-disposition to decay on both the wisdom tooth and the second molar (due to food compaction)
- Rotation and mal-alignment of the dentition with potential ill-effects post orthodontic treatment (tooth movement due to eruption forces of the wisdom teeth)
- Referred pain to the TMJ (temporomandibular joint – just in front of your ear)
- Disturbance (pain) in the muscles of mastication (your 'chewing' muscles, around your jaw).
Types of impactions include:
- Normal vertical or upright impactions
- Mesio-angular impactions (where the tooth is leaning forward and creates a pocket behind the second molar)
- Disto-angular impactions (where the tooth is leaning backwards into the body of the mandible). These are more difficult to extract due to the required amount of bone removal.
- Horizontal impactions (where the wisdom tooth is lying completely flat, and the top of the crown is usually resting against the back of the second molar). These teeth lay at right angles to the rest of the dentition.
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