Frequently Asked Questions on Wisdom Teeth

From what wisdom teeth are, to pre and post-surgery care, we provide the answers to all the frequently asked questions on wisdom teeth.


FAQs
  • At What Age Do You Get Wisdom Teeth?
At What Age Do You Get Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars and are found on each of the four corners of our jaws. The namesake is derived from the fact that they generally come out when you’re older, around the ages of 17 to 21.

  • Why Do I Need To Remove My Wisdom Tooth?
Why Do I Need To Remove My Wisdom Tooth?

It is beneficial to remove your wisdom tooth if it is:

  • Impacted: If there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth to erupt, they can become impacted, causing them to grow in at an angle. You may experience pain or discomfort while eating due to impaction.
  • Causing damage to other teeth: Impacted wisdom teeth can push against other teeth, potentially damaging them and making them more susceptible to tooth decay.
  • Resulting in diseases: Impacted wisdom teeth can result in narrowed spaces between molars. This encourages bacteria to form more easily, putting you at risk of inflammation, cysts, and periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Is Removing Wisdom Teeth Painful?
Is Removing Wisdom Teeth Painful?

You should not feel pain during the procedure as the area will be numbed. However, you may feel some pressure as the dentist will have to move the forceps back and forth in order to remove the tooth.

  • Is A Lot Of Strength Required For Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Is A Lot Of Strength Required For Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

In a simple extraction, the dentist will grasp the tooth with forceps and try to loosen it by moving the forceps back and forth. Generally, if the correct technique is employed, minimal strength is required. On the contrary, if too much force is exerted, the chances of tooth breakage are high.

Do not worry as a local anaesthetic injection will be given to numb the tooth. Patients will only experience some pressure being exerted.

  • What Are The Risks Of Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery?
What Are The Risks Of Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery?

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery is commonly performed and generally safe. There may be facial swelling, pain, jaw stiffness and some bleeding for up to 2 weeks. These symptoms are usually at their worst for the first 2 or 3 days and will gradually improve.

Specific complications of having wisdom teeth removed are uncommon but may include:

  • Infection
  • Accidental damage to other teeth and jaw during surgery
  • Severe pain caused by infection (dry socket) – this is when the blood clot breaks away from the wound
  • Numbness in the lower lip or tongue – this can be caused by nerve damage and there is a small risk that this could be permanent
  • Jaw stiffness – the mouth may not be able to open fully when the wound is healing
  • What Are The Other Types Of Oral Surgery?
What Are The Other Types Of Oral Surgery?

Gum surgery or oral surgery encompasses a wide range of procedures. In Singapore, there are certain surgical procedures that are Medisave-claimable (full or partial).

The most commonly known procedure is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery. You can learn more about Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery here. If a tooth is very decayed and broken down, it may also result in surgical removal.

Another surgical procedure is Frenectomy – removal of the Frenum muscle, which may be required post-braces treatment to prevent a gap between front teeth from occurring again. Frenectomy might also be performed if there is tongue-tie resulting in reduced mobility of the tongue. Oral pathology such as growths or suspicious lesions in your mouth may require surgical removal for biopsy and diagnostic purposes.

Other surgical procedures include gum and bone grafting to address gum recession or bone loss. If there is a jaw misalignment, surgery may also be required to achieve a good bite and aesthetic smile in conjunction with braces treatment.

Dental Implants which are used nowadays to replace missing teeth also require surgical placement. Learn more about implant procedures here.

  • Are There Subsidies For Wisdom Tooth Removal?
Are There Subsidies For Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Yes, subsidies are available for wisdom tooth extraction and surgery. We accept CHAS cards for routine extraction only and Medisave is not applicable.

For wisdom tooth surgery, the procedure is Medisave Claimable.


Post-Wisdom Tooth Surgery Care
  • Can I Smoke After Surgery?
Can I Smoke After Surgery?

Smoking after oral surgery interferes with the normal healing process, and can increase your chances of developing a dry socket and infections. After your extraction, clotting will form at the extraction area and these clots need to stay intact. Smoking does not allow your extraction site to heal properly and there is a risk of it becoming dislodged. This can lead to dry socket, which is an extremely painful infection.

  • How Long Must I Wait Before I Can Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
How Long Must I Wait Before I Can Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

We recommend waiting at least an hour after surgery to consume food. This is to ensure that the bleeding would have subsided. Remember to eat foods that are soft in the first 24 hours after surgery.

  • What Foods Should I Avoid Eating After Wisdom Teeth Surgery?
What Foods Should I Avoid Eating After Wisdom Teeth Surgery?

Avoid hot foods and drinks. Acidic and spicy food can also cause stinging at the site of the wound, and lead to pain and discomfort. Sticky and chewy foods are also not a good idea, as they require your mouth to be opened very wide. These precautions will give your mouth a better chance to heal properly.

  • Bleeding After Wisdom Tooth Surgery
Bleeding After Wisdom Tooth Surgery

Bleeding from the surgical site is common after an extraction. This may occur for up to 48–72 hours following surgery. Please bite hard on the gauze for at least an hour, and avoid changing the gauze too frequently (keep gauze for at least 20min) as it prevents effective clotting.