Wisdom teeth are the last molar teeth to come through at the back of your mouth (the third molars); this usually occurs in late teens to early adulthood. They are the most commonly absent teeth; about a third of the population do not develop wisdom teeth at all.
You should not feel any pain immediately after the operation as the area of surgery will be numb from the local anaesthetic. As the numbness wears off, the area tends to become uncomfortable; we usually advise you to take painkillers before the numbness wears off in order to prevent this. We can supply you with these and inform you regarding dosages and timings.
This depends on the operation; your surgeon will have discussed any specific issues of concern with you beforehand. There may be swelling and bruising in the area of surgery and this can limit jaw opening. This is usually at its most obvious two to three days after surgery and varies between patients; it normally settles after one to two weeks.
All lower wisdom teeth are situated close to nerves supplying the lower teeth, lip, chin, cheek and tongue but some are especially close. In these cases, the nerves can get bruised when the tooth is removed, resulting in a sensation of numbness, discomfort or tingling in these areas. This change in sensation only affects a small proportion of patients and is usually temporary. It can take up to six months to fully resolve and only very rarely becomes permanent. We will discuss these issues with you during your consultation.
If appropriate, we may recommend a specialised CT scan that provides a three-dimensional image of the area to further assess this potential proximity between your wisdom tooth and the adjacent nerve. In this case, a written report of the scan’s findings would be provided and a further consultation appointment arranged to discuss the findings before deciding on surgery.