What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually do not push through the gums until people are in their late teens, twenties or even older. Wisdom teeth are usually the last teeth to come through the gums. Most people have four wisdom teeth. Some people have no wisdom teeth. In many people, there is not enough space at the back of the jaw for wisdom teeth to easily come through. If the jaw does not have enough space for a wisdom tooth to come through, the tooth will become wedged in or “impacted”.

Some impacted wisdom teeth remain in place and cause no trouble. However, other impacted wisdom teeth may cause severe problems.

Commonly, one or more wisdom teeth will cause problems and must be removed.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted?

Not all wisdom teeth require extraction. Often, if the teeth have not come through, or have come through and are easily cleaned, they will not need to be removed.

However, wisdom teeth should be removed for the following reasons:

• Decay that is unrestorable

• Decay and the tooth contacts other teeth

• Decay into the pulp of the tooth

• Repeat gum infections around the wisdom tooth

• Abscess or infection in the bone surrounding the wisdom tooth

• Where impaction has caused damage to the adjacent tooth

• Fracture of the tooth

• Pathology (cysts/tumours) surrounding the tooth

How are Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

The method of extraction will vary depending upon the individual tooth, its roots and the position in the jaw. Some wisdom teeth are relatively easy to remove, whilst others can be difficult. In difficult cases, the tooth may need to be divided into segments and the gum and bone may need to be adjusted so it can be removed safely and easily.

Does it hurt to have wisdom teeth removed?

During the procedure, there will be no pain, but patients often report being able to feel some mild pressure as the tooth is loosening. This is not pain, but is an unusual feeling. Once the anaesthetic wears off, the area will be sore. Over the counter pain medication such as Panadol and Nurofen might be needed for the first 3-7 days. The socket will feel strange for another week or two, but this shouldn’t impact your day to day activities.

How much does wisdom tooth removal cost?

Top wisdom teeth often come through straight and can be extracted for $219 per tooth. Bottom wisdom teeth are usually impacted or stuck into the bone. The cost to remove bottom wisdom teeth is $450 per tooth.

If we need to refer you to Dr Christopher Chahoud for extraction under general anaesthetic, the whole procedure, including anaesthetic, hospital fees and extraction of four wisdom teeth, could cost as much as $3500. If you have private health insurance, this will cover most of the hospital and anaesthetic fees.


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