Wisdom Teeth Removal: Everything You Need To Know

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Nervous about getting wisdom teeth removed? It’s natural to feel anxious or worried. If your final set of adult teeth is troubling you, then this could be the only option to solve them before the problem become too big. However, if you leave it as such, it will not get solved on its own and may cause trouble with daily activities such as eating or talking.

Your overcrowded or misaligned wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection, tooth decay, abscess, and many other problems. Wisdom teeth removal could be the best way to prevent oral issues. In addition, it will give the remaining teeth plenty of room to grow to remain healthy in the future.

In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about wisdom tooth removal so that you can make an informed decision and feel relaxed about the extraction process.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars most people get in their late teens or early twenties. They are known as wisdom teeth because they usually come in when a person is considered “wise” enough to make decisions for themselves.

Some people never get wisdom teeth, some only get one set, and others get four wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can be helpful if they come in correctly and the person has enough room in their mouth for them. But if they don’t come in correctly or if there isn’t enough room, they can cause problems like pain, cavities, and gum disease.

Why Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Required?

There are many reasons for removing wisdom teeth. But the common reason is that they can cause pain, infection, and other dental problems.

Most people have four wisdom teeth, but some may have fewer or more. Wisdom teeth erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. They often come in crooked or do not erupt at all. When they do erupt, they can crowd and damage other teeth. They may also grow into the jawbone or gums, causing pain and infection. So, wisdom teeth are often removed.

Some of the common dental issues that wisdom teeth can cause include:

  • They may not erupt properly and can become impacted (trapped) in the jawbone, leading to pain, swelling, and infection.

  • They may grow at an angle towards the other teeth, causing them to crowd or damage adjacent teeth.

  • They can form cysts (fluid-filled sacs), which can destroy bone and cause tooth loss.

  • They may develop cavities or gum disease.

Most people have their wisdom teeth removed before they cause any problems, which is why it is important for all children, teenagers and adults to consult their dentist to see if their wisdom teeth are causing issues and require extraction.

Signs You May Require Wisdom Teeth Extraction

If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or infection in your jaw, where your wisdom teeth are located, you may require wisdom tooth extraction. Other signs that indicate the need for wisdom teeth removed include the following:

  • Your teeth are not erupting properly

  • The surrounding gum tissue is swollen or red

  • You have bad taste in your mouth or difficulty swallowing

  • You are having difficulty eating or opening your mouth wide

  • There is discharge coming from the extraction site

  • If there is bone damage or infection around the tooth

  • If your dentist finds decay on the wisdom teeth during a dental exam

Additionally, if your wisdom teeth have not yet erupted and you are experiencing any symptoms, they will likely need to be extracted eventually. Consult with a Highett dentist to determine whether extraction is necessary in your case.

Although wisdom teeth extraction is a standard procedure, it’s always best to consult a professional to ensure it’s the right course of action for you.

Are There Any Age Criteria For Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Most dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth in your late teens or early twenties. It is because the roots of wisdom teeth are often not fully developed until this age, and the teeth can be more challenging to remove if they are not removed during this time. Additionally, there are many other reasons, such as:

  • The jaw is still growing, and the bones are softer, making removal more accessible and with less risk of damage.
  • The roots of wisdom teeth are not as firmly anchored in the jaw as molars, so they are more likely to become loose and infected.
  • Many people have difficulty properly cleaning their wisdom teeth because they are located at the back of the mouth. It can lead to gum disease and other dental problems.

Removal at an earlier age may only be necessary for some people. But if it helps, removing them before they cause extensive damage is typically advisable.

However, extraction isn’t always necessary – especially if your wisdom teeth are not causing problems. Moreover, dentists may decide on alternative solutions if your symptoms are mild. For example, they may prescribe antibiotics or put a small incision into your gum to encourage proper growth.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Dentists generally take two approaches to remove your wisdom teeth. It depends on the number of teeth and the severity of the case. However, the extraction procedure generally takes ten minutes to an hour. These approaches include:

  • Extraction under local anaesthetic
  • Surgery with a general anaesthetic
  • Surgery with a general anaesthetic

Wisdom Teeth and Pregnancy

Wisdom teeth can be a concern when managing your oral health during pregnancy. These third molars, often associated with dental issues, may require attention before or during pregnancy.

Here are some important considerations:

  • Timing Matters: If you’re planning to become pregnant and have concerns about your wisdom teeth, it’s advisable to address them beforehand. Removing problematic wisdom teeth before pregnancy can help reduce the risk of dental complications during this crucial

    time. Pregnancy can make women more susceptible to tooth decay and inflammation, so that pre-emptive action can be beneficial.

  • Risks During Pregnancy: While it’s generally best to avoid elective dental procedures during pregnancy, sometimes severe pain and inflammation may necessitate wisdom tooth extraction. You must consult a qualified dentist to weigh the risks and benefits in such cases.
  • X-rays and Precautions: Routine dental X-rays are typically postponed during pregnancy unless there’s an emergency. In cases where X-rays are necessary, your dentist will employ strict safety measures to protect your baby. Lead shielding and other precautions will be taken to minimise radiation exposure

Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost

Here are the key factors that influence the cost of wisdom teeth removal:

  • Number of Extractions: The most significant factor in determining the cost of wisdom teeth removal is the number of teeth being extracted. Whether you have removed one, two, three, or all four wisdom teeth will directly impact the total cost—naturally, the more teeth that need extraction, the higher the price.
  • Complexity of the Case: The complexity of your specific case can also affect the price. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, meaning they haven’t fully erupted through the gumline, the extraction process can be more complicated and time-consuming. Complex cases may require specialised surgical techniques, resulting in higher costs.
  • Type of Anaesthesia: The choice of anaesthesia can influence the overall cost. Wisdom teeth removal can be performed using local anaesthesia, sedation, or general anaesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure and your preferences. Sedation and general anaesthesia typically come with additional fees, contributing to a higher total cost.

How To Prepare for Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The first step is to schedule a consultation with your oral surgeon or dentist. During this appointment, you will discuss the entire process and can ask questions.

It’s important to inform your healthcare provider about any existing health problems or medical conditions. This information helps them tailor the procedure to your needs and ensure safety.

You must list all your medications, including over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and vitamins. Your surgeon needs to be aware of these to avoid potential interactions.

Be prepared to provide a comprehensive medical history, including allergies and past surgeries.

Extraction Under Local Anaesthetic

This procedure involves simple extractions that your dentist performs at the dental clinic. Your dentist will use it when the tooth has emerged from the gums with no significant issues. Wisdom tooth extraction under local anaesthetic can be painless and relatively simple. It is a good option for people who fear needles or injections since the anaesthesia is delivered directly to the surgery site.

The tooth is first numbed with a small anaesthetic injection, then the surrounding gum tissue is cut away to expose the tooth. The tooth is then extracted using forceps, and the gum tissue is stitched closed. Most people report that the procedure was painless and felt no pain. Recovery time is usually minimal, and most people can return to normal activities within a day or two.

Surgery With General Anaesthetic

Surgery is usually performed by a specialist oral surgeon under general anaesthetic. Your dentist uses this option to solve complex cases. For example, the tooth is trapped beneath the gums (impacted) or any other obstacles like roots getting in the way.

Wisdom teeth surgery is a standard procedure that can be done with a general anaesthetic. A general anaesthetic puts you to sleep and numbs the area around the surgery site. It is used for more complex surgeries.

It involves administering drugs that cause you to become unconscious and unable to feel pain.

The benefits of general anaesthesia include:

  • You will be unaware of any pain or sensations during the surgery.
  • The surgery can be performed quickly without any discomfort.
  • You will not remember anything about the surgery once it is completed.
  • There is a very low risk of complications occurring.

After the procedure

The period following wisdom tooth extraction is crucial for a smooth and comfortable recovery

  • Immediate Post-Procedure Care:

    If you received sedation anesthesia or general anesthesia, you’ll be moved to the recovery room after the surgery. For those with local anesthesia, a brief recovery period likely occurs in the dental chair.

    It’s normal to experience some bleeding from the surgical site initially. Your dentist will provide instructions on managing this.

  • Pain Management:

    You may experience discomfort or mild pain after the extraction. Your dentist will prescribe or recommend pain relief medications to manage this. Follow the prescribed dosage instructions carefully.

  • Swelling and Bruising:

    hese may occur around the extraction site. Applying an ice pack to the affected area in intervals can help reduce swelling during the first 24 hours.

  • Activity:

    Rest is essential for a smooth recovery. Avoid strenuous physical activities for a few days after the procedure.

  • Beverages:

    Stay hydrated by drinking clear liquids, but avoid using straws during the initial days, as the suction motion can dislodge blood clots and hinder healing.

  • Food:

    Stick to a soft-food diet during the early stages of recovery. Opt for items like yogurt, mashed potatoes, and soup.

  • Cleaning Your Mouth:

    Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater multiple times daily to keep the surgical site clean and promote healing.

  • Tobacco Use:

    Smoking and tobacco use should be avoided significantly after wisdom tooth extraction. These habits may disrupt the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

  • Stitches:

    If you have stitches, your dentist will guide you when they need removal. Follow their instructions regarding post-operative care to minimise any potential issues.

  • Follow Instructions Carefully:

    It’s crucial to adhere to all post-operative instructions your dentist or oral surgeon provides. These instructions are tailored to your case and designed to ensure a successful and comfortable recovery.


While wisdom tooth extractions are common and generally safe procedures, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks and complications that can arise, although they are relatively rare. Here are some of the potential risks associated with wisdom tooth extraction:

  • 1.Dry Socket

    One of the most common complications is developing a painful condition known as dry socket. This occurs when the blood clot that forms in the surgical site is dislodged or dissolves prematurely, exposing the underlying bone. A dry socket may lead to severe pain and discomfort in the days following the extraction.

  • Infection

    The surgical site may get infected due to bacteria or trapped food particles. While oral hygiene and post-operative care instructions are given to patients to minimise infection risk, they can still happen in some cases.

  • Damage to Surrounding Structures

    During the extraction process, there is a slight risk of damage to nearby teeth, nerves, the jawbone, or sinuses. The expertise of the oral surgeon or dentist typically minimises this risk. However, unintentional damage can occur in complex cases or unique anatomical situations.

It’s essential to remember that most wisdom tooth extractions are successful without any long-term complications. Most dentists well-trained to perform these procedures safely. To minimise the risks associated with wisdom tooth extraction, following all pre-operative and post-operative instructions provided by your dental care provider is crucial.

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Covered by Dental Insurance or By Medicare?

Depending on your insurance plan, your health insurance might pay for part of the wisdom teeth removal procedure. You must examine your policy to see if it covers this procedure and how much it will pay.

Medicare generally does not cover the wisdom tooth extraction cost for most individuals. However, there may be exceptions if you are eligible for public dental services, often with waiting periods and eligibility criteria.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the cost of wisdom teeth removal in Australia?

The wisdom teeth removal cost in Australia depends on the complexity of the procedure and where you live, along with the dentist’s rate. Depending on your policy, dental insurance may cover a portion of the cost.

If you’re considering having your wisdom teeth removed, it’s essential to consult with a dentist to determine whether they need to be removed. Sometimes, they may not require extraction and can be monitored. However, if they are impacted or cause pain, tooth decay or other dental problems, they will likely need to be removed.

Your dentist may charge more for complicated procedures. However, if a dental practice is located in a major metropolitan area, people may have to pay more than those in rural areas.

It’s also essential to make sure you choose a reputable dentist with a good reputation and plenty of experience with wisdom teeth extractions.

Is it safe to extract wisdom teeth during pregnancy?

Each pregnancy is unique. So, it’s best to discuss this with your doctor or dentist. They are the best person to determine whether it’s safe in your case.

However, it is generally safe to remove wisdom teeth during pregnancy if they are causing pain or other problems. There is no evidence that wisdom tooth removal during pregnancy has adverse effects on the baby.

The main concern with removing wisdom teeth during pregnancy may be the potential for increased risk of infection. However, this risk can be minimised by taking appropriate precautions, such as antibiotics and proper wound care.

If you are considering wisdom teeth removal during pregnancy, it is essential to consult your dentist to discuss this in detail.

Your dentist can advise you on whether the removal of your wisdom teeth is necessary and whether it can be safely performed during pregnancy. In most cases, if the teeth are causing pain or other problems, they can be safely removed – even if you are pregnant.

Is it essential to get my wisdom teeth extracted before I get braces or Invisalign?

If you are getting Invisalign or braces, it is generally recommended that wisdom teeth be removed before treatment. It is because the braces or Invisalign will help to move your teeth into the correct position, and if your wisdom teeth are in the way, they can interfere with this process.

If you wait to have your wisdom teeth removed until after you have completed your orthodontic treatment, there is a greater chance that they will need to be removed again–which can add time and expense to your treatment.

In addition, if your wisdom teeth are impacted (stuck in the jawbone), they can cause even more problems and may need to be removed surgically. Impacted wisdom teeth can damage the roots of nearby teeth and cause pain, swelling, and infection. They can also crowd and crooked your other teeth.

So, if you’re considering braces or Invisalign, it’s best to have your wisdom teeth removed first, so there is less chance of interference with the treatment. Talk to your dentist about whether removal is recommended for you and what would be the best time to have it done.

What if I can’t afford wisdom teeth removal in Australia?

Wisdom teeth removal is a relatively common procedure and is generally not too expensive. In most cases, the cost of wisdom teeth removal will be less than the cost of having the teeth extracted later if they become infected or cause problems.

There are several things you can do. First, you could investigate dental insurance plans, which can help reduce the cost of procedures. Additionally, dental clinics often offer flexible payment plans or financing options. Contact your local dentist to learn more about your options.

How to determine that I need wisdom teeth extraction service?

There are certain ways to determine if you need wisdom teeth extraction service. Some of the signs that show that you may need wisdom teeth removal service are:

  • Your jaw feels stiff or painful, especially when opening wide.

  • You have trouble chewing food or swallowing.

  • You experience a lot of gum swelling and irritation.

  • Wisdom teeth have not erupted completely, and they’re causing crowding in your mouth.

  • The Wisdom tooth has a cyst or abscess around it.

If you have any of these, it is best to consult your dentist to see if wisdom teeth extraction is necessary.