Oral Surgery & Wisdom Teeth

Our dentist Dr Krystal Tarak’s extensive experience in Oral Surgery stems from her two year residency at Wellington Regional Hospital as Oral and Maxillofacial House Surgeon, and since that time she has successfully extracted tens of thousands of teeth. We are able to provide oral surgery services including extraction, tissue biopsy and extraction of wisdom teeth, including those which may be impacted.

The utilisation of laser technology often means that healing time and post-operative discomfort is minimised, as soft tissue procedures can be augmented to include laser treatment instead of the traditional scalpel. Our dentist’s have passed examinations in the use of Lasers for Dental Clinical Applications. We are also able to offer conscious sedation in the form of both oral sedation and intravenous sedation to ensure your treatment is as comfortable as possible.

Most people have four wisdom teeth, two in the upper and two in the lower jaw. It is not uncommon for these teeth to become impacted. An impacted tooth is one which has not managed to grow through the gum into the mouth or has grown only part way through, and is in an abnormal position. This is an unhealthy situation and the tooth should be removed to prevent problems with cavities in adjacent teeth, cysts, infection or crowding.

Problems that can arise with impacted wisdom teeth:

  • Infection may develop in the gum flap overlaying the tooth, or decay may develop in the tooth
  • Impacted teeth may damage the teeth beside them
  • Wisdom teeth can be difficult to clean, making them prone to decay and infection
  • Should the tooth fail to erupt, a cyst may form and, by gradual enlargement, endanger the health of the nearby bone and teeth
  • These problems can be prevented by the timely surgical removal of the teeth, which we are able to ensure is completed as stress-free as possible with our various sedation options.

How are My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

A cut is made in the gum to expose the whole tooth. Some of the surrounding bone may need to be removed, and sometimes the tooth may be divided into pieces to assist in its removal. The area from which it has been removed is cleansed, and stitched to restore the normal contour of the gum and to help keep food out of the socket. The stitches used may dissolve or may require removal at a later date.

Will I feel pain during the operation?

We will assess the difficulty of extracting the wisdom tooth and discuss your options.  A wisdom tooth can be removed with a simple local anaesthetic to numb the area, so no pain is felt during the procedure.  We can also offer sedation to help you feel more relaxed during the surgery or ensure you have limited memory of the procedure.  If general anaesthetic is required, then this is done by a specialist in a hospital, to whom we can refer you.

How will I feel after the operation?

After the operation, you may have pain and swelling which may last up to one week.  Painkillers will be prescribed to help you with the pain, and all instructions for care of the surgery site will be discussed with you prior to you leaving the clinic.  The swelling will make it difficult for you to open your mouth wide, and you will need to eat soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing.  Plan to take rest after your extraction so you can allow your body to heal.  We review all surgical extraction sites a few days after the treatment to ensure that healing is on track.

Are there any risks with this surgery?

Yes, as there are with all operations, and these will be discussed with you in depth prior to treatment starting.  Firstly, you could develop an infection in the wound site.  This delays healing and can cause pain.  To help prevent this, you will be given care instructions and sometimes an antibiotic to take during the healing period.
Secondly, there are two nerves that run close to the wisdom teeth.  If they are damaged, they cause a tingling or numbness of the chin, tongue or lip on the side worked on.  This numbness usually subsides over a few months.  Xrays are taken prior to commencement of treatment to assess the degree of risk of nerve damage in your particular case.