For some people, wisdom teeth may grow in smoothly - or not at all. For others, wisdom teeth can feel a little like party crashers, showing up late and causing problems.

Wisdom teeth tend to grow in much later than other permanent teeth, usually during late adolescence or early adulthood. If there isn't enough room in your mouth for these new teeth or they erupt in a problematic way, you may experience infection, discomfort or other issues. In that case, there's a good chance a dental professional will recommend removing some or all of your wisdom teeth.

*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek an opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

When do wisdom teeth need removal?

While you usually have about 32 teeth in your mouth, sometimes your jaw can be too small to accommodate them all. If there’s not enough space for a wisdom tooth to come through properly, it may erupt at an angle. Before too long, it can start pushing against an adjacent tooth, causing pain and irritating the cheek and gums. The wisdom tooth will have become an impacted tooth.

Impacted teeth can lead to gum infection, tooth decay, damage to other teeth and even jaw cysts. Sometimes lymph glands under the jaw become swollen and sore as a result of recurring infections. Extraction of the wisdom tooth or teeth may be the best solution.

Does removal happen with Local Anaesthetic or General Anaesthetic?

This depends on your individual case. Your dentist can explain your circumstances, work with you to understand the benefits, risks and costs of both.


Local Anaesthetic (LA)

If you and your dentist opt for LA, you need not fear of feeling any pain! The LA will numb all the necessary areas and you will only feel pressure when the removal begins. You will be fully alert and aware of your surroundings, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy watching a movie or TV show of your choice! If you are nervous, we can talk you through every step of the procedure as it occurring.

General Anaesthetic (GA)

If multiple wisdom teeth are to be extracted, having it under GA with a professional anaesthetist can be more comfortable for patients. GA is done in a hospital setting, generally for patients with a more complex medical history and more invasive surgery.

Recovery time

Your dental surgeon can explain instructions for recovery and what you can expect based on your procedure and circumstances.

Wisdom teeth tend to be large, so you may need stitches after they're removed. Removal may cause swelling or some bleeding for the first few days, but over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can help alleviate the pain. Your dental surgeon will provide instructions; don't hesitate to ask for take-home material like a pamphlet or print-out that explains recovery instructions, or ask for a number you can call if you have questions about your
recovery.