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Wisdom teeth can be a real pain, both literally and figuratively. Like a lot of people, you probably have at least one wisdom tooth impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth occur when there isn't enough room in the jaw for a full-sized wisdom tooth to emerge. This can lead to pain, infection, cysts, and damage to adjacent teeth. In some cases, surgery is necessary to remove the impacted wisdom tooth.



Here, we'll discuss the causes of wisdom tooth impaction and the benefits of extracting wisdom teeth.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are extra molars at the back of your mouth. They are also often called third molars. Although they're called "wisdom" teeth, some people never get them at all or have one or two that appear. These sets of teeth may start growing out one by one between the ages of 17 and 21. 
 
Adults have 32 permanent teeth, and four of those are wisdom teeth. So if you have counted all your teeth and got less than 32, you may be dealing with an impacted wisdom tooth.

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What causes Wisdom Teeth to be Impacted

If a patient's jawbone does not form correctly or does not support full eruption of all four wisdom teeth, these conditions may also lead to impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the jaw does not have enough room to erupt properly. This can be caused by genetics or simply a lack of available space if other teeth are already crowding the area where the tooth should emerge.

Wisdom teeth often require extraction as they become impacted in the back of the mouth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause various issues, such as pain, infection, and crowding. It is estimated that up to 85% of people worldwide have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.

It is important to note that impacted wisdom teeth can cause various issues, such as pain and infection. If a tooth partially erupts, bacteria may accumulate in the area, leading to decay or gum disease. Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to cysts, fluid-filled sacs that develop around the tooth.

A way to prevent potential complications from impacted wisdom teeth is early detection through regular oral examinations with an experienced dentist who can assess your dental health and determine whether your wisdom teeth will eventually become impacted. If so, your dentist may recommend an extraction procedure to prevent further problems.

Why Removing the Impacted Wisdom Tooth is Needed?

It is important to remove impacted wisdom teeth as soon as possible because of the potential for serious complications. If left untreated, the impacted wisdom tooth can cause:

Tooth Decay

Food and bacteria can become trapped in the area where the tooth is stuck, which can lead to decay.

Gum Disease

Impacted wisdom teeth may cause gum inflammation or infection due to difficulty cleaning this area properly.

Cysts

Fluid-filled cysts can form around the impacted tooth and damage surrounding tissue and neighbouring teeth if left untreated.

Damage to Adjacent Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to overcrowding and misalignment of adjacent teeth.

Pain and Discomfort

Impacted wisdom teeth may cause pain or swelling in the area.

If these issues are present, wisdom tooth removal is recommended promptly to avoid further damage or complications.

When Wisdom Tooth Surgery is Required?

Wisdom tooth surgery is usually recommended to ensure the patient's long-term dental health if the impacted tooth is causing any issues or poses a risk for future problems.

Here are the symptoms and conditions when wisdom tooth removal is necessary:
• Severe pain and throbbing in the area of impacted wisdom teeth
• Swelling or tenderness near the affected area
• Redness or bleeding around the gums
• Difficulty opening mouth or eating due to jaw pain
• Bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth are often caused by infection of the impacted tooth.
• Changes in bite pattern that may cause misalignment of adjacent teeth
• The formation of cysts around an impacted wisdom tooth can damage the surrounding bone and other surrounding teeth and also cause nerve damage.

For those who have already developed impacted wisdom teeth, seeking prompt treatment to alleviate discomfort or reduce the risk of future complications is important. Contact a qualified dental professional immediately if you have an impacted tooth or are experiencing related symptoms.
Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding issues with wisdom teeth. Regular check-ups and cleanings with an experienced dentist can help detect potential problems early on and provide guidance on preventing further damage. You can keep your smile healthy for years with the right approach and care.

Benefits of Extracting Wisdom Tooth

Lowers the risk of oral disease

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause infection, pain, and other problems. Bacteria can get stuck in the area where the tooth is stuck and cause tooth decay or gum disease. Having wisdom teeth extractions helps to stop these issues.

Reduce headaches

You might be wondering why you have been getting headaches lately, but it could be due to your wisdom teeth. Headaches can be caused by impacted wisdom teeth irritating the jaw and surrounding muscles. Having a wisdom tooth extraction can provide relief from these headaches.

Have cleaner teeth

A healthy mouth is clean, and having an impacted wisdom tooth can make it difficult to keep your teeth clean. Removing the wisdom tooth allows easier access to brushing and flossing all your teeth.

Prevents overcrowding

Impacted wisdom teeth can push on other teeth and cause them to become crowded or misaligned. Extracting the impacted tooth helps prevent this by giving room for the other teeth.

Overall, extracting an impacted wisdom tooth may be necessary to maintain good oral hygiene and avoid potential complications down the road.

Types of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

When it comes to extraction, there are two types of procedures:

Non-surgery

Non-surgery wisdom tooth extraction is a minimally invasive procedure. Simple wisdom tooth extractions do not involve incisions and instead rely on using dental tools to loosen the tooth to allow for wisdom teeth removal. This procedure can be done on patients with healthy gums and no signs of infection.

The type of anesthesia used during non-surgical wisdom tooth removal depends on the patient's level of discomfort and age. Local anaesthesia, which numbs the area where the tooth will be removed, is often used for younger patients. For complex cases, intravenous sedation may be recommended because it induces a deep sleep that removes bodily sensations during the procedure.

Surgery

Surgery wisdom tooth extraction is an intricate procedure requiring an incision in the gums to remove the impacted tooth. This type of extraction is usually recommended for patients with severe cases of impacted teeth and those with signs of infection, such as gum inflammation, pain, and swelling.

When it comes to the anesthesia used for surgical wisdom tooth removal, a lot of dentists will opt for general anesthesia because it induces deep sleep and removes sensations from the body during the procedure. General anesthesia is also preferred when removing multiple impacted teeth at once or if the procedure is expected to take longer than usual. The dentist may also recommend intravenous sedation for younger patients who can't handle general anesthesia or those with severe anxiety about the surgical

Surgery with Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR)

Surgery with GTR is an advanced technique used to preserve bone in the jaw during wisdom tooth extraction. This type of procedure involves making a small incision to access the impacted tooth, followed by carefully removing the tissue around it. This helps to minimize any damage done to adjacent teeth or bone structures. After the extraction, GTR is used to stimulate healing and recovery from the surgery.
Casadental does not yet currently provide this service.

Cost Of Wisdom Tooth Removal In Singapore

The cost of wisdom tooth extraction in Singapore depends on the case's complexity. Simple cases can cost $150, while more complex cases requiring surgery can range from $650 to $1250.

It is important to note that simple extractions are not medisave claimable, but surgical ones are.

If you have any questions or concerns about wisdom tooth removal, it is best to consult a dentist for advice and treatment options. With the right approach and care, wisdom teeth extractions can help maintain good oral hygiene and reduce the risks associated with impacted wisdom teeth.

Simple Wisdom Tooth Extraction

$150 - onwards             not Medisave claimable

Wisdom Tooth Extraction that requires surgery

$650 - $1250                  Medisave claimable

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Pre and Post Surgery - What to expect

Pre-Surgery: Consultation & Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Before the wisdom tooth surgery, your dentist will conduct a comprehensive oral examination to determine what procedure is needed to remove the impacted tooth. They may also take X-rays and other imaging tests to get a clearer view of what's going on inside your mouth. During this time, you should ask questions about the procedure and discuss potential risks and complications with your dentist.

Post-Surgery

After wisdom tooth removal, your dentist will provide you with instructions for recovery. This includes eating soft foods for several days after wisdom tooth surgery and keeping the area clean by brushing gently. Your dentist or oral surgeon may also prescribe pain medications to help manage discomfort during the healing process.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Recovery Tips

Paying attention to your diet and oral hygiene routine is important during the healing process from wisdom teeth removal. Here are the dos and don'ts of recovering from wisdom tooth extraction:

Do's

  • Eat soft foods after wisdom tooth surgery.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed.
  • Brush your teeth gently, but do not touch the extraction site.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water or an antiseptic rinse to prevent infection.
  • Apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling or bruising in the area.

Don'ts

  • Smoke and drink alcohol for at least 48 hours after wisdom tooth surgery.
  • Engage in activities that may cause the extraction site to bleed.
  • Touch or poke the extraction area with your tongue or finger.
  • Eat hard and spicy foods for at least a week after wisdom tooth surgery.
  • Drink through straws.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction FAQs

What are some side effects of removing wisdom teeth?

Side effects of wisdom tooth extraction can range from mild to severe and may include swelling, soreness, dry socket, bleeding gums, pain, tenderness in the jaw muscles and lip numbness.

How long does it take to recover from wisdom tooth surgery?

The recovery time for wisdom tooth removal depends on the type of procedure and how severe the case is. Complete healing can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Is removing Wisdom Tooth Painful?

Wisdom tooth extraction can be done under local anaesthesia or general anesthesia and sedation, so the procedure is usually not painful. After wisdom tooth surgery, discomfort may occur, but it can be managed with pain medicine prescribed by your dentist to relieve pain

Required days of MC after wisdom tooth removal?

A lot of dental specialists recommend one to two days of rest for a simple wisdom tooth removal. However, a longer period may be needed in some cases. The dentist may suggest up to five days of MC for complicated extractions, such as those involving a surgical procedure.

What are some risks of removing wisdom teeth?

Removal of wisdom teeth carries several potential risks. In some cases, these risks can be serious and even life-threatening. Potential risks include dry socket, lip numbness, nerve damage, tooth loss, fractured jaw, infection and sinus problems.

Dry socket is a common complication after wisdom teeth removal that occurs when the blood clot at the surgery site fails to form or is lost. This can cause extreme pain, bad breath and a foul odour from the mouth.

Lip numbness can occur if the facial nerve, which runs alongside the lower jaw, becomes damaged during surgery. This can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis of some muscles in the face.

Nerve damage is another risk associated with wisdom teeth removal. In some cases, the dentist may accidentally cut a nerve when removing the tooth, leading to permanent numbness or paralysis of certain muscles in the mouth and face.

Tooth loss can occur if a surgical instrument is dropped during surgery and breaks off part of another tooth.

How long does wisdom tooth extraction take?

Non-surgical wisdom tooth removal usually takes about an hour. However, it may take longer if the procedure is complicated or several teeth are removed simultaneously. Surgical wisdom tooth removal generally requires longer and may last anywhere from one to two hours.

Can I use Medisave for my treatment?

Yes, Medisave can partially or fully cover wisdom tooth extraction treatment. Eligible patients can use their Medisave to fund up to $500 each time, provided that the withdrawal is within the patient's current year's annual withdrawal limit. If you want to make a Medisave withdrawal, you can check the process here.

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