Let us help you achieve a smile that you can be proud of!
Call (02) 9068 1369

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth extraction is commonly recommended when they pose problems or have the potential to cause complications. However, it’s important to note that removing asymptomatic wisdom teeth does not offer proven health benefits, and the procedure itself can be uncomfortable with potential side effects.

In Australia, a significant number of individuals experience incomplete eruption or partial emergence of their wisdom teeth. It is estimated that up to 80% of young adults in the country have at least one wisdom tooth that hasn’t fully broken through the gum line.

This occurrence is more frequently observed in the lower jaw, often due to limited space and obstruction from surrounding teeth, leading to misalignment or impaction.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the mouth. They are called “wisdom teeth” because they typically appear during a person’s late teenage years or early twenties, a time often associated with increased maturity or wisdom.

The purpose of wisdom teeth dates back to our evolutionary ancestors who had larger jaws and a different diet. These teeth were useful for chewing tough and coarse foods like roots, nuts, and raw meat. However, as humans have evolved, our jaws have become smaller, and our diets have changed. As a result, wisdom teeth are now considered vestigial, meaning they serve no significant purpose in modern-day oral function.

When wisdom teeth erupt properly, align with the adjacent teeth, and contribute to a healthy bite, they may not require any intervention. However, more often than not, problems can arise when wisdom teeth do not properly emerge, leading to various complications.

Regular dental check-ups are essential for monitoring the development and condition of wisdom teeth. These check-ups help detect potential issues early, allow for preventive measures, monitor healing after removal, provide customized treatment plans, and offer professional guidance.

Indications for Wisdom Teeth Removal

While not all wisdom teeth require extraction, specific indications may suggest the necessity for removal. These indications are carefully evaluated by your dentist to determine the appropriate course of action. The following conditions may necessitate wisdom teeth removal:


Insufficient space in the jaw can lead to overcrowding when wisdom teeth try to emerge. This can cause misalignment and disrupt the bite.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth may become impacted when there is limited space for them to develop. Impacted teeth can grow at various angles, such as towards adjacent teeth, towards the back of the mouth, or remain trapped within the jawbone. Partial eruption or failure to erupt at all is common.

Infection and Gum Disease

Partially erupted wisdom teeth create openings in the gum tissue, making proper cleaning difficult. Bacterial growth can occur, leading to infection, inflammation, and gum disease.

Decay and Cavity Formation

Wisdom teeth located at the back of the mouth are challenging to clean thoroughly, increasing the risk of tooth decay and cavities.

Pain and Discomfort

Impacted, partially erupted, or teeth pushing against adjacent teeth can cause significant pain and discomfort.

Assessing the Need for Wisdom Teeth Removal

During a dental examination, your dentist will thoroughly assess the condition of your wisdom teeth to determine if removal is necessary. This evaluation involves several key factors:

Clinical Examination

Your dentist will visually inspect your mouth, checking for any symptoms or signs of complications related to the wisdom teeth. This includes assessing pain, swelling, infection, or gum disease.

X-rays and Imaging

Diagnostic imaging, such as panoramic X-rays or dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), provides detailed views of the wisdom teeth and surrounding structures. These images help determine the position, orientation, and potential impact of the wisdom teeth.

Evaluation of Oral Health

Your dentist will consider your overall oral health, including the alignment of your existing teeth, the presence of gum disease, and any previous oral health issues associated with the wisdom teeth.

Based on the examination and imaging results, your dentist will discuss the indications for wisdom teeth removal and provide personalized recommendations.

Preparing for the Procedure

Preparing for wisdom teeth removal is essential to ensure a smooth and successful procedure. Here are some steps patients should take before their wisdom teeth removal:

Consultation and Treatment Planning

Schedule a consultation with your dentist or oral surgeon to discuss the procedure, review your dental and medical history, and address any concerns or questions you may have. During this appointment, a treatment plan will be established based on your specific needs.

Pre-Operative Instructions

Follow any pre-operative instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon. These instructions may include:

Fasting: You may be required to fast for a specific period before the procedure, typically 6-8 hours.

Medications: Inform your dentist about your current medications, including over-the-counter drugs, for guidance on their usage before the procedure.

Smoking: It is advisable to stop smoking before the procedure, as smoking can impair the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

Transportation: Arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you to the appointment and drive you home afterwards. The effects of anaesthesia may impair your ability to drive safely.

Comfort Measures: Dress in loose, comfortable clothing on the day of the procedure. Avoid wearing jewellery, contact lenses, or any unnecessary accessories that could interfere with the process.

Communication: Inform your dentist about any changes in your health, such as the onset of a cold, flu, or other illnesses, as this may affect the timing of the procedure.

Follow-Up: Discuss the post-operative instructions with your dentist or oral surgeon to ensure a smooth recovery. Arrange any necessary post-operative appointments for follow-up care.

Preparing Your Home for a Smooth Recovery

Before the procedure, ensure that you have a clean and comfortable recovery space at home. Stock up on soft foods, such as soups, yogurts, smoothies, and ice cream, as these will be easier to consume during the initial healing period. Have ice packs, gauze pads, and any prescribed medications readily available.

Remember to communicate openly with your dental care team and address any concerns or questions you may have before the day of the surgery.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure at Appin Dental Surgery | Comfortable and Safe Dental Care

On the day of the surgery, our friendly staff will guide you to the treatment room. We will review your medical history, address any last-minute questions, and ensure your readiness for the procedure.

Anaesthesia Options

To ensure your comfort, we offer a range of anaesthesia options, including local anaesthesia, oral sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation. If IV sedation is required for your procedure, it will be administered at our affiliated clinic, Bradbury Dental Surgery, by an experienced sedationist who will also monitor your vital signs. The choice of anaesthesia will be discussed with you beforehand, taking into consideration your preferences and the complexity of the extraction.

Types of Tooth Extractions

The extraction method depends on the position and condition of your wisdom teeth. There are two primary types:

Simple Extraction: Used when the wisdom tooth has fully erupted and is easily accessible. The area is numbed with local anaesthesia, and the tooth is carefully removed with specialized instruments.

Surgical Extraction: Necessary when the wisdom tooth is impacted or partially trapped. An oral surgeon makes a small incision, may remove a portion of bone, and extracts the tooth. This procedure is performed under local anaesthesia or IV sedation for your comfort.

Post-Extraction Care

After the procedure, you will receive post-operative instructions for optimal healing and to minimize complications. These instructions cover pain management, swelling reduction, oral hygiene, and dietary restrictions during the recovery period. Our dedicated team will ensure that you fully understand the instructions and will be available to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Recovery and Aftercare | Guidelines for a Smooth Healing Process

After the wisdom teeth removal, proper post-operative care is crucial to promote healing and minimize complications. Here’s what you can expect during the recovery period:

Immediate Post-Operative Period

  • Swelling: Apply ice packs to reduce swelling for 15 minutes at a time during the first 24-48 hours.
  • Discomfort: Take prescribed pain medications or recommended over-the-counter pain relievers as directed to manage any discomfort.
  • Bleeding: Bite down gently on gauze pads placed over extraction sites to control bleeding and replace them as instructed.

Oral Hygiene

  • Brushing: Avoid brushing the extraction sites for the first 24 hours. Afterwards, gently brush your teeth, avoiding the extraction sites.
  • Rinsing: Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water) several times a day, starting 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Mouthwash: Avoid using mouthwash or alcohol-based rinses to prevent irritation.

Diet and Nutrition

  • Soft Foods: Stick to a soft food diet, including soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, smoothies, and well-cooked pasta, to avoid irritating the extraction sites.
  • Avoid Irritants: Steer clear of hot, spicy, or crunchy foods that can disrupt healing.
  • Hydration: Stay hydrated but avoid using straws, as they can dislodge blood clots and hinder healing.

Follow-Up Appointments

Schedule and attend follow-up appointments to monitor healing progress and address any potential complications.

Remember, everyone’s recovery experience may vary. If you experience excessive bleeding, severe pain, persistent swelling, or signs of infection, such as fever or pus, contact your dental care provider immediately.

Potential Risks and Complications | Ensuring Awareness and Prompt Action

While complications associated with wisdom teeth removal are rare, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. By following proper post-operative care instructions and seeking prompt professional help if any concerns arise, these risks can be minimized. Here are some potential risks and complications to be aware of:


Although relatively rare, the infection can occur after wisdom teeth removal. Following post-operative oral hygiene instructions, such as rinsing with warm salt water, can help reduce the risk.

Dry Socket

Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, is a condition that can occur when the blood clot in the extraction socket becomes dislodged or dissolves prematurely. It can cause severe pain and delay healing. To minimize the risk, avoid smoking, use straws, and follow our post-operative instructions for oral hygiene and wound care.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage is uncommon but possible during wisdom teeth removal, especially with lower wisdom teeth. Temporary or, rarely, permanent numbness or altered sensation in the lips, tongue, or chin may occur.


Some bleeding is normal after extraction, but excessive or prolonged bleeding may indicate a complication. Applying firm pressure with gauze pads or moist tea bags can help control bleeding.

Other Potential Complications

Although rare, complications may include damage to adjacent teeth or restorations, sinus problems (with upper wisdom teeth removal), jaw stiffness or pain, and allergic reactions to medications or anaesthesia.

At Appin Dental Surgery, your well-being is our top priority, and we are dedicated to providing exceptional care during your wisdom teeth removal process. If you experience any of the mentioned indications or notice any other concerning changes, please do not hesitate to contact our dental professionals immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the wisdom teeth removal procedure take?

The duration of the procedure depends on various factors, including the complexity of the extraction and the number of wisdom teeth being removed. On average, the procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide you with a more accurate estimate based on your specific case.

Will I experience pain during the wisdom teeth removal procedure?

During the procedure, you will be given anaesthesia to ensure your comfort. Local anaesthesia is typically used to numb the extraction sites, and if needed or preferred, additional sedation options may be available. This helps minimize any pain or discomfort during the procedure. After the procedure, some level of discomfort or soreness is expected, but your dentist will provide instructions and prescribe appropriate pain medications to manage any post-operative pain.

Will removing wisdom teeth affect my facial appearance?

Wisdom teeth removal typically does not have a significant impact on facial appearance. In some cases, the removal of impacted wisdom teeth may even improve facial symmetry and reduce any associated swelling or discomfort. Your dentist or oral surgeon will take into consideration the position and condition of your wisdom teeth and provide guidance specific to your case.

What is the recovery time after wisdom teeth removal?

The recovery time can vary from person to person. In general, most individuals can expect to recover within a week to ten days. However, it is important to note that everyone’s healing process is unique. Following post-operative instructions, managing pain appropriately, practising good oral hygiene, and adhering to a soft diet can help promote a smoother and faster recovery.

Will I be able to eat normally after the procedure?

Initially, it is recommended to stick to a soft diet for a few days following the procedure to allow for proper healing. As the healing progresses, you can gradually reintroduce solid foods into your diet. Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide specific dietary recommendations and guide you on when it is safe to resume your regular eating habits.

Are there any long-term consequences if I choose not to remove my wisdom teeth?

Leaving impacted or problematic wisdom teeth untreated can lead to various oral health issues in the long run. These may include tooth decay, gum disease, cyst formation, damage to adjacent teeth, and potential misalignment of surrounding teeth. It is best to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to understand the specific risks and potential consequences based on your unique situation.

Can I drive myself home after the procedure?

If you undergo a procedure involving IV sedation or general anaesthesia, it is not safe to drive yourself home afterwards. The effects of anaesthesia can impair your coordination, reflexes, and judgment. It is important to arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you to the appointment and drive you home afterwards. Plan ahead and ensure you have someone available to assist you.

Are there any alternatives to removing a wisdom tooth?

Yes, there are alternatives to removing a wisdom tooth. Here are a few options:

  1. Antibiotics and rinsing: In cases of infection around the wisdom tooth, antibiotics may be prescribed, and rinsing with hot, salty water or chlorhexidine mouthwash can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing.
  2. Operculectomy: If a wisdom tooth has partially erupted and is causing issues, it may be possible to remove the gum tissue covering the tooth (operculectomy) to alleviate symptoms and facilitate better oral hygiene.
  3. Coronectomy: In situations where the root of a wisdom tooth is close to the nerve that supplies sensation to the lower lip, a coronectomy may be performed. This involves removing only the crown of the tooth while leaving the roots intact, reducing the risk of nerve damage.

It’s important to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to determine the most appropriate treatment option based on your specific situation

Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Wollondilly

Your oral health is our priority, and we are here to support you in making informed decisions regarding your wisdom teeth. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a consultation and embark on your journey towards optimal oral health.

Contact us at (02) 9068 1369 or conveniently book online