Wisdom teeth extractions

wisdom teeth removal

The removal of wisdom teeth, or third molars, is one of the most common procedures carried out in our Melbourne dental clinic.

The wisdom teeth grow at the back of your gums and are the last teeth to come through. Most people have four wisdom teeth – one in each corner of the jaw. These teeth are commonly called wisdom teeth because they usually erupt between the ages of 16 to 21, known as the  ‘age of wisdom’.

As wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to come through there is often not enough room left in your mouth to accommodate them. This can lead to impacted wisdom teeth – teeth that are trapped beneath the gum tissue by other teeth or bone, emerge at an angle or get stuck and only partially emerge.

wisdom teeth removal

Why are wisdom teeth removed?

Your wisdom teeth don’t usually need to be removed if they are NOT causing any problems. There’s no proven benefit of doing this and it carries the risk of complications.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth do not have enough space to form at the back of your mouth or haven’t fully broken through the surface of the gum can cause dental problems. This can lead to pain, swelling or infection. Also food and bacteria can get trapped around the edge of the wisdom teeth, causing a build-up of plaque, which can lead to:

  • Tooth decay (dental caries) – this develops when plaque begins to break down the surface of your tooth. When tooth decay becomes more advanced, it leaves holes (cavities) in the tooth, which can affect the surrounding teeth.
  • Gum disease (also called gingivitis or periodontal disease) – this occurs when plaque releases toxins that irritate your gums, making them red, swollen and painful. Gum disease can also affect the surrounding teeth and the bone around the wisdom teeth.
  • Pericoronitis – when plaque causes an infection of the soft tissue that surrounds the tooth.  It is most common when only part of the wisdom tooth has emerged from underneath your gums, a condition known as “partial eruption”.
  • Cellulitis– a bacterial infection in the cheek, tongue or throat.
  • Abscess– when pus collects in your wisdom teeth or the surrounding tissue due to a bacterial infection.
  • Cysts and benign growths– very rarely, a wisdom tooth that hasn’t cut through the gum develops a cyst (a fluid-filled swelling).

Many of these problems can be treated with treatment such as antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwash, so removing your wisdom teeth is only recommended when other treatment hasn’t worked.

When to see a dentist

You should make an appointment to see us if you’re experiencing severe pain or discomfort from your wisdom teeth. Our Caulfield dentist will check your teeth and advise you on whether they need to be removed; in some rare cases we may refer you to a specialist surgeon for hospital treatment.

We will carry out an X-ray to get a clearer view of the position of your teeth, their condition and the status of the adjacent teeth and bone.

Before the procedure, you’ll usually be given a local anaesthetic injection to numb the area around the tooth. You’ll feel some pressure just before the tooth is removed. Our dentist will widen the tooth socket by rocking the tooth back and forth. In some cases a cut may be needed in your gum, and the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces before it’s removed. After removing your tooth dentist will close your wound with stitches, usually dissoluble ones.

The time it takes to remove the tooth will vary. Some procedures only take a few minutes, whereas others can take 20 minutes or longer.

After your wisdom teeth have been removed, you may experience swelling and discomfort, both on the inside and outside of your mouth. This is usually worse for the first three days, but it can last for up to two weeks. Painkillers, antibiotics and an antiseptic mouthwash are usually prescribed after the surgery. You will be advised to maintain good oral hygiene and also to keep to a soft diet for a few days following surgery.

Possible complications

As with all surgery, there are risks associated with removing a wisdom tooth.

  • Infection or delayed healing, both of which are more likely if you smoke during your recovery
  • Dry socket“, which is a dull, aching sensation in your gum or jaw, and sometimes a bad smell or taste coming from the empty tooth socket. Dry socket is more likely if you don’t follow the after-care instructions given by your dentist
  • Small risk of nerve damage, which can cause pain or a tingling sensation and numbness in the tongue, lower lip, chin, teeth and gums. This is usually temporary, but can be permanent in some cases


Cost of Wisdom teeth removal in Melbourne

The cost of removal of wisdom teeth vary depending upon the difficulty of extraction. As a general guide, it is under $2000 for removal of all four wisdom teeth. Lower wisdom teeth generally cost more than upper wisdom teeth extractions.

We encourage you to make a consultation appointment with our dentists and bring in any previous xrays you may have. By having the extraction done in the chair under a local anaesthetic while you are awake, you can save costly hospital, anaesthetic and specialist fees which can run into thousands of dollars. We having the training and experience in providing safe, effective and affordable wisdom teeth removal in the dental chair.


Contact us on (03) 9571 4500 to have a consultation with one of our friendly GlenHuntly dentists to have your wisdom teeth extracted safely.

Comment on "Wisdom teeth extractions"

  1. Laula Graham

    Hi There,
    How do I proceed to book the extraction under general anesthetic to remove 4 of my wisdom teeth?

Leave comment