When wisdom teeth begin to grow in, it can be hard to predict how they’ll behave. For some lucky people, the process is seamless—their new teeth come through perfectly straight and don’t cause any trouble or impact the teeth around them. 

However for many of us, the wisdom teeth experience is painful and leads to oral health problems such as overcrowding or infection. When this occurs: one, multiple or all four wisdom teeth may require removal.

Want to learn more about wisdom teeth? Let’s take a closer look at what they are and what to expect if you need to have them extracted by a dentist or oral surgeon.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are molars (back teeth) that sit at the ends of the top and bottom jaw. They’re known as wisdom teeth because they’re the last to erupt—usually coming through during late adolescence and early adulthood. 

While wisdom teeth are a normal part of mouth development, not everyone has them and they’re not necessary for our survival. It’s believed that wisdom teeth are simply a hand-me-down from our prehistoric ancestors who needed a set of backup molars when they wore down their teeth chewing on tough plants, seeds and foliage. 

As we’ve evolved, and our jaws have decreased in size, not only do we no longer require wisdom teeth, many mouths simply don’t have the space to accommodate them.

Problems with wisdom teeth

When wisdom teeth try to come through, they can be prone to problems. There are four key reasons this happens:

  • There isn’t enough room in your jaw for the wisdom teeth to fit
  • Your wisdom teeth grow on an angle and impact surrounding teeth
  • Your wisdom teeth only partially erupt—resulting in infection
  • Your wisdom teeth are particularly painful as they grow and break through the skin

If you’re experiencing one or more of these problems, your dentist may require you to have your wisdom teeth extracted. Removing problematic wisdom teeth is important for the aesthetics of your smile as well as your oral and overall health.

This is because impacted wisdom teeth can cause your other teeth to move, creating an overcrowded and uneven appearance. When overcrowding occurs, it can be difficult to properly clean in-between the teeth, leading to decay and potential cavities. Partially erupted wisdom teeth are easily infected and can be significantly painful.

How to know if you need your wisdom teeth removed

The only way to know if you need your wisdom teeth removed is to book an appointment with a dentist who can assess your mouth and how well your wisdom teeth have already come in, or are coming through. If you believe your wisdom teeth are causing you problems, it’s important to have them removed as early as possible. If a dentist identifies any of the following issues, they may recommend you for wisdom teeth extraction:

  • A serious or repeated gum infection
  • Signs of tooth decay caused by impacted wisdom teeth
  • The tooth positioning makes them difficult to keep clean
  • If your cosmetic dentist needs more space to move other teeth
  • You’ve developed a cyst
  • Your wisdom teeth obstruct proper jaw movement

How are wisdom teeth removed?

Some people feel anxious about having their wisdom teeth removed because they’ve heard it’s painful and that they will require a long recovery period. However, like many things in life, the anticipation is often much worse than reality. With the right dentist or oral surgeon, wisdom teeth removal doesn’t have to be scary. 

At Bond Street, your wisdom teeth removal process begins with a thorough examination of your teeth, including x-rays to see how the teeth are sitting under the gum line. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may book in for extraction with your dentist or see one of our experienced in-house surgeons who will perform your surgery in our state-of-the-art, fully equipped surgery. This is particularly appreciated by our patients—as it means they won’t have to have their treatment performed in a hospital.

In most cases, the removal of a wisdom tooth is straightforward and because you’ll be provided with anaesthesia, you won’t be able to feel the process or you may even sleep through your procedure.

Before treatment

Before your wisdom tooth removal treatment, your dentist or surgeon will have a thorough consultation with you to discuss everything you need to know. This will include a conversation on the level of anaesthetic that you’ll require, as this will affect how you prepare for treatment. Depending on the complexity of your surgery, you may require:

  • Local anaesthetic
  • Twilight sedation
  • General anaesthetic

Remember that you’ll also require some time off work or school to recover at home, so this will need to be organised before your appointment.


During treatment

Wisdom teeth removal can take up to approximately one hour. Your dentist or surgeon will begin by giving you anesthetic. Once you are comfortable or asleep, they’ll remove the wisdom teeth before placing tiny stitches that will help the gum and jaw heal quickly. These stitches will take about a week to dissolve.


After treatment

Everyone responds slightly differently to wisdom teeth removal surgery but it’s likely that you’ll have some swelling for around 3 days. Most people spend this time at home resting. It’s essential that you follow your dentist’s instructions for the next few weeks to ensure that you recover quickly and completely. It can take a few weeks for your mouth to completely heal but you should be back to your usual routine a week after your surgery.


How to feel better after having your wisdom teeth removed

While you’re recovering from wisdom teeth removal, there are some simple things you can do that will help you feel better, quicker:

  • Use an ice pack to combat swelling and bruising
  • Eat soft foods like pasta or soup
  • Increase your fluid intake
  • Wait 24 hours after surgery before brushing your teeth
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol
  • Don’t push yourself—get plenty or rest before you return to your normal routine
  • Follow you dentist’s instructions and contact them if you’re concerned about how your mouth is healing


What to eat after wisdom teeth removal

After you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed it’s important that you’re enjoying a nutritious diet. Getting the right nutrients will help you recover quickly and without any complications. However, it’s also important that the food you eat is soft and easy to chew and swallow. Ideal foods to eat after having your wisdom teeth removed include:

  • Soups
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Broths
  • Mashed vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Homemade fruit ‘nice-creams’
  • Avocado
  • Juices and smoothies
  • Soft cheese
  • Salmon

Avoid foods that are crunchy, sticky, spicy or grains and seeds that can easily irritate the sensitive area around your wound.


What’s the cost of having wisdom teeth removed

The cost of wisdom teeth removal depends on who’s performing the treatment, the complexity of your case, and other factors including the type of anaesthesia you require. At Bond Street, we pride ourselves on being completely transparent with our costs, which our treatment coordinator will personally discuss with you as we put together your tailored treatment plan. We also offer a variety of flexible payment options to suit different needs.


Wisdom teeth removal with Bond Street Dental

If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, you don’t need to book a hospital appointment. Come visit the experienced Bond Street Dental team at our fully equipped surgery in the heart of South Yarra, Melbourne. As well as being able to perform your wisdom tooth removal in-house, our team of dentists and surgeons are highly sought after and know how to make your experience as comfortable, efficient and welcoming as possible.