A quick guide to wisdom teeth removal in New Zealand

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Having trouble with that extra wisdom tooth in your mouth? With modern technology, it’s a lot easier to knock all that wisdom out.

Wisdom tooth or teeth are the last set of permanent teeth to come through. This generally occurs between the ages of 17 and 25, although sometimes they never appear at all. While they don’t cause problems some people, for many others, wisdom teeth can be incredibly difficult and painful for some.

When people experience problems with wisdom teeth, it could be due to a number of reasons:

  • Tooth is growing towards or next to the second molar
  • Growing towards the back of the mouth
  • Growing at an angle against other teeth 

What happens when we don’t have enough room for wisdom teeth?

Thanks to the kind of food we eat and the modern diet,  which lacks we know our jaws are relatively smaller than they used to be. The modern diet lacks Vitamin K2 which is responsible for jaw development. 

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If you have a wisdom tooth that is bothering you, you’re likely to face problems including:

  1. Excruciating pain in the gums and jaws
  2. Food residue getting stuck behind the teeth
  3. Gum disease or infection
  4. Tooth decay 
  5. Nearby teeth or booth becoming damaged

What does wisdom tooth removal entail?

Wisdom teeth removal or extraction is a common procedure. If you’re nervous about getting it removed, relax and speak to your dentist about the process, their familiarity with the procedure and how the removal of the teeth will alleviate pain in the long term. 

Wisdom tooth removal is a type of oral surgery that requires the skills of an oral surgeon or a specialist. Before your wisdom tooth is removed, you will often be given medication to help you relax and numb the nerves so you don’t feel anything during the procedure. This is done by administering either general or local anaesthetic. The wisdom tooth/ teeth are then removed and often the gun will be stitched up.

Post the minor surgery, you will be given a list of instructions to follow while you recover.

How much does it cost to get wisdom teeth removed NZ?

Wisdom teeth removal cost can be anywhere between $500-3000 depending on the complexity of the tooth and how many need to be removed.

A simple extraction could cost you between $500-1000 while complex wisdom tooth removal could cost a lot more. Other costs are determined based on the procedures that entail the extraction process including level of sedation required, imaging of the mouth and any other treatments (such as for gum disease). 

Before you go in for surgery, there are some things to do beforehand to make the process easier. Ensure you’ve brushed and flossed since you won’t be able to for a few days after surgery. Stock-up on pre-made soft and easy to eat food as after surgery, you won’t want to cook anything for yourself.  

How long does it take to recover from surgery?

Once the extraction is done, it could take anywhere between three days to a week to completely recover from the surgical pain. 

As you recover from your procedure, keep a close eye on the following:

  1. Bleeding gums: After the first few days of surgery, you may notice some blood. Try to avoid spitting and replace the gauze over where the wisdom teeth were as instructed by the oral surgeon.
  2. Pain management: Apart from the pain-reliever prescribed by the oral surgeon, you may be expected to hold a cold-pack against your jaw which is effective in relieving pain. Don’t be tempted to stop taking pain medication because you’re not feeling pain—once that pain arrives, it’s hard to remove.
  3. Post-surgery care: Following surgery, rest and plan to resume normal activities the next day. However, strenuous activities and sports should be kept at bay and be aware that bending over causes a rush of blood to the mouth area and can be painful.
  4. Hydrate yourself:  Drink plenty of water following surgery. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks and hot beverages until completely recovered. 
  5. Eat soft food: You must avoid eating hard, chewy, spicy foods and eat soft foods such as yogurt, applesauce or smoothies.   
  6. Cleaning your mouth: Brushing your teeth is out of question until a few days into recovery. Rinse your teeth with saltwater (this also helps in reducing the pain and avoiding infection). Do use mouthwash, brush your teeth, spit for 24 hours following surgery. Be gentle while you’re cleaning your mouth. 
  7. Avoid smoking: You are expected to abstain from tobacco for at minimum, three days after surgery. A week is even better. Using tobacco oral surgery can slow healing and cause complications.

If you strictly follow the aftercare protocol, you can avoid complications such as dry socket. Remember to call your dentist if you experience the following problems or symptoms. These may indicate an infection, dry socket, potential nerve damage or complications:

  • Problems swallowing or breathing
  • A lot of bleeding
  • Running a temperature
  • Bad pain that isn’t alleviated by medications
  • Swelling, particularly if it gets worse after one- two days
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth that doesn’t go away after rinsing
  • Pus/ oozing from the socket
  • Numbness after a few days
  • Blood or pus in nasal discharge

If you have your wisdom teeth and you’re uncertain about their removal or not you can schedule an appointment with a skilled oral surgeon.  If your wisdom teeth are not fully developed, impacted or crooked, it’s easiest to remove it to avoid further problems. If your wisdom teeth are healthy, continue good oral health practices and make sure you brush and floss the wisdom teeth. Maintain regular monitoring and enjoy all that extra wisdom your teeth provide. 

Choosing the right NZ provider for your wisdom teeth removal is important, so find a qualified, experienced dentist that comes highly recommended. 

 

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