Dr Lim Kheng Ann has more than two decades of experience in the management of wisdom teeth and other conditions where teeth and lesions of the mouth and jaws are involved. Our wisdom teeth appear in our mouths between 15 and 23 years of age. It is known as the wisdom tooth because it appears at the point where we cross over into adulthood. In most patients, there is not enough space for the wisdom tooth and the wisdom tooth therefore becomes buried or ‘impacted’. In some situations, the gums around the tooth become painful and patients can complain of gum soreness or swelling around the gums. In severe cases, the swelling can spread to the face and patients will experience severe pain, fever and inability to open the mouth. In cases where the tooth is partially erupted, foodstuff can be trapped between the wisdom tooth and the adjacent tooth. In such situations, the food cannot be properly cleaned out and the wisdom tooth may become decayed. If not detected early, the adjacent tooth may also become decayed and may need to be removed as well. The removal of wisdom teeth is usually by a minor surgical procedure. The gum is pushed aside and the bone may need to be removed. The tooth is then separated into smaller pieces and delivered. There will usually be swelling around the gums and sometimes to the face for between three to five days. The sutures are usually removed in one week and the review will include some instructions on the cleansing of the wound.
In our clinic, we offer IV Sedation for patients who are apprehensive about the procedure. In these cases, a consultant anaesthetist gives a small injection to the hand and the patients goes to sleep. The entire surgery to remove the wisdom tooth is done while the patient is asleep. This is a very comfortable method and is much less complicated than general anaesthesia.