From what wisdom teeth are, to pre and post-surgery care, we provide the answers to all the frequently asked questions on 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.
It is beneficial to remove your wisdom tooth if it is:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.