Removing wisdom teeth

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the teeth at the back of your mouth (the third molar teeth). They tend to come through (erupt) in the late teens or twenties. Some wisdom teeth do not come through fully (partly erupt) and get stuck (or impacted). This often leaves a flap of gum over the tooth (see figure 1).

Removing wisdom teeth 

Others grow too long (over erupt).

A wisdom tooth may need to be removed for several reasons such as tooth decay, repeated infection, to make space for other teeth or to prevent damage to the cheek or gum.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Surgery can prevent symptoms returning or allow nearby teeth to be treated.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Simple painkillers can help control mild pain.

Antibiotics and rinsing with hot, salty water can help when the area around the wisdom tooth is infected. These measures only give temporary relief of symptoms and do not treat the underlying cause.

Removing the gum lying over the tooth (operculectomy) may be carried out in certain cases if a wisdom tooth has partly erupted.

What does the operation involve?

Most upper wisdom teeth can be removed easily under a local anaesthetic. Lower wisdom teeth are usually more difficult to remove. The operation usually takes between a quarter of an hour and three-quarters of an hour.

Sometimes a general anaesthetic is needed. Removing a wisdom tooth can involve cutting the gum to uncover the tooth, removing bone around the tooth and dividing the tooth with a drill.

What complications can happen?

1. General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Infection

2. Specific complications of this operation

  • Dry socket
  • Retained roots
  • Damage to nearby teeth
  • Sinus problems
  • Broken jaw
  • Not being able to open the mouth fully (trismus) and jaw stiffness
  • Damage to nerves

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day.

Depending on the difficulty of the operation and the likelihood of infection, you may be prescribed antibiotics.

You should avoid any strenuous activities for the first 24 hours to reduce the risk of bleeding, swelling and bruising. You may need to take up to a week off work.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Summary

Wisdom teeth can sometimes cause serious problems. Removing a wisdom tooth is usually a safe and effective way to prevent symptoms coming back.

Paying for your operation

Removing wisdom teeth costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr Sat Parmar FDSRCS FRCS This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Copyright © 2008 EIDO Healthcare Limited The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by BMI Healthcare. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Pricing

Removal of dental roots

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £2,213 Included £2,213
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £2,413
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £2,213
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £2,413

Wisdom tooth removal

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £2,132 Included £2,132
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £2,332
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £2,132
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £2,332

Terms & Conditions

Treatment prices displayed are a guide for initial consultation, and a guide price for our fixed price packages which include pre-assessment, procedure and aftercare. Your Consultant will be able to discuss costs in greater detail at your consultation, after which a quote of your fixed price package will be provided [which is subject to results of any pre-assessment tests]. Prices can be subject to change.

For more information please refer to our terms and conditions (large print version).

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