A wisdom tooth is the permanent third molar located in the rear of the upper and lower jaws, giving most people four wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the final to emerge (usually between the ages of 17 and 25), at which point people will have gained more wisdom than at the youthful age of 12 when we lose our baby teeth and begin to grow our permanent set of adult teeth.
However, not everyone experiences the emergence of these four wisdom teeth since they lie dormant in the gums with no symptoms. Many things must come into play before wisdom teeth can become impacted. This covers tooth size, jaw size, age, genetics, and gender.
When the wisdom tooth shifts or grows and begins to influence the neighbouring teeth, the gum tissue above it may become inflamed and infected. If an impacted wisdom tooth does not erupt beyond the gum or only partially erupts, it can cause infection, crowding, cysts, and cavities on the wisdom tooth or the second molar next to it.
However, even if the impaction does not affect the surrounding area, it may pose an oral hygiene problem, making proper cleaning difficult. As a result, our dentists typically advise patients to extract their wisdom teeth to avoid future oral health problems.
Non-surgical methods of removing wisdom teeth are generally cheap, but it becomes expensive when surgery is on the table. Luckily, you can claim your wisdom tooth extraction with Medisave!
Impacted wisdom teeth are distinguished by localised discomfort, oedema, and bleeding of the surrounding gum tissues. This occurs when food and germs build up around the afflicted location. Because most diseases do not produce symptoms early on, an impacted wisdom tooth may remain asymptomatic (symptom-free) for many years before painful symptoms develop.
A clinical examination is sufficient to diagnose whether the impacted wisdom tooth can be seen in terms of angulation and depth.
In contrast, a dental X-ray is recommended if the tooth cannot be diagnosed with in-chair clinical examination. This will determine the ratio of space between the wisdom tooth crown length, the amount of space available in the jaw, and the angle of the wisdom tooth to make a precise diagnosis.
Firstly, your dentist will advise you on the steps you will take during the extraction, making you more comfortable during an understandably frightening procedure for most people. The extraction procedure can be simple or complex, depending on the impaction’s depth and tooth angle. You can choose between local anaesthesia and general anaesthesia for the surgical extraction, but this is best left to the dental surgeon to determine based on your personal health condition.
An incision is made to reveal the impacted tooth and the bone to extract the tooth in whole or pieces. The gums will then be stitched back together to allow for healing. Depending on the variants involved, the entire process should be completed in an hour or less.