Wisdom teeth often known as third molars are the last teeth to erupt. One usually gets them in late teens or early twenties. However, even instances of eruption in late adulthood are common. If they erupt smoothly and without any discomfort, then they can be considered as an asset. But the problem with third molars is that in many instances they are misaligned or blocked inside due to aberrant angulation or lack of space to erupt. If they are blocked or poorly aligned, they can cause recurring discomfort and damage the adjacent teeth. In such cases they need to be removed.

During wisdom tooth extraction, the dentist or oral surgeon:

  • Makes an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone.
  • Removes bone that blocks access to the tooth root.
  • Divides the tooth into sections if it’s easier to remove in pieces.
  • Finally removes the tooth.

While a common procedure, it is associated with pain and something that many people dread. However, wisdom tooth extractions can be safe, mostly painless (except for some soreness after) and can result in less pain for the patient after the procedure. You shouldn’t feel any pain as your wisdom teeth are removed because the area will be numb. However, if you do feel pain during the procedure, tell your dentist or oral surgeon so they can give you more anaesthetic.

It can take up to 2 weeks to fully recover after having your wisdom teeth removed. During this time, you may have: a swollen mouth and cheeks – this will be worse for the first few days but will gradually improve; gently pressing a cold cloth to your face helps reduce the swelling.