A few of you have reached out to me through the Vivid Dental Surgeons main website and asked questions regarding wisdom teeth extractions. Therefore, in this series of Ask Dr Ryan, I will be addressing the top 5 most commonly asked questions about wisdom teeth extractions.
1. How do I know when my wisdom tooth is coming in?
Wisdom teeth, or formally known as the third molars, grow out typically between ages of 17-25. One tell-tale sign is the growth of molars at the rear end of the mouth.
*Refer to the diagram below for clearer understanding of the position of wisdom teeth
Some other symptoms include :
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Jaw ache
- Jaw swelling
- Bad breath
These symptoms could also suggest that your wisdom teeth could be impacted or partially erupted. Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that are not able to erupt through the gums. Unfortunately, these conditions can lead to bigger problems and more severe oral health complications which brings me to the next commonly asked question. Would like to know more about the impacted wisdom tooth? here.
2. Is it necessary to extract wisdom teeth?
While some of us are have properly grown wisdom teeth which do not need to be extracted, the rest of us are not as lucky. An impacted/partially erupted wisdom tooth can cause an array of problems such as :
- Tooth decay — Irregular positioning of wisdom teeth makes it much harder to clean and can cause food to be stuck easily. This will allow cavities to form which can cause tooth sensitivities and ache.
- Gum Disease (also known as pericoronitis) — Similarly, the difficulty of cleaning wisdom teeth can also increase one’s risk of bacterial infection that will result in bleeding and inflamed gums.
- Shifting and damage to neighbouring teeth — The erupting wisdom tooth can push against its neighbouring molars which may result in an overcrowding problem. This can increase one’s risk of tooth decay, gum disease as well as crooked teeth especially within that region.
- Cysts or tumours under gums — Cysts are a closed bag of tissues which could be filled with air or other soft material/fluid. These cysts have an inflammatory nature which can weaken the bone structure of that affected wisdom tooth and even go on to damage the roots of neighbouring teeth.
Ultimately, you have the liberty to make the decision of whether or not to undergo wisdom tooth extractions, but we would advise you to closely monitor your own condition as well as consider the above problems that may arise before coming to a conclusion.
3. Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Painful?
While I will not promise zero discomfort, pain is often something that patients “overestimate”. Anaesthesia would be injected before the surgery. You should let your dentist know if the pain is unbearable during the surgery so that your dentist can decide if the dosage needs be upped.
Anaesthesia normally wears out a few hours after surgery and you can consume the medication (painkillers) as prescribed by your doctor.
4. What is the cost of wisdom teeth removal?
The cost of extraction varies depending on whether it is a surgical procedure (mostly for lower wisdom teeth) or a normal extraction (mostly for upper wisdom teeth).
Costs of non-surgical wisdom tooth extractions generally starts from $120. For surgical procedures with the use of local anaesthesia, it can range from anywhere between $1200-$2000 per tooth.
5. Can “Medisave” be used for wisdom teeth extractions?
Medisave can only be used at participating private dental clinics under the Medisave Scheme and you can only use your Medisave savings to pay for the wisdom tooth extraction provided that it is a surgical procedure. For more information regarding claiming limits, please check with your respective clinic.
Here at Vivid Dental Surgeons, we aim to educate our patients on matters regarding oral hygiene and health. Especially amidst this COVID-19 period, we encourage everyone to stay safe and maintain good oral hygiene. Let’s all do our part in keeping the community and ourselves healthy.
If you are interested in learning more about wisdom tooth extractions, you can click here to read other related articles on our blog. Dr Ryan is also open to answering any questions you have regarding oral health matters, drop him a message here.
Dr Ryan and the Vivid Dental Team wishes everyone a pleasant and virus-free day ahead!