Wisdom Teeth FAQ

Q: How much experience does Dr Acton have in removing Wisdom Teeth?

A: Dr Acton has been a specialist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon since 1990, during which time has removed the wisdom teeth of approximately 500 patients per year.  More information on Dr Acton’s experience and training is available on Dr Acton’s page.

Q: Does Dr Acton have to stand on my chest or have to break/dislocate my jaw to extract the teeth?

A: Definitely Not!  Dr Acton uses specifically designed surgical instruments to remove wisdom teeth with minimum trauma.  Jaw fracture is a very remote risk of wisdom tooth surgery, however; Dr Acton can advise you accordingly after examination of you and your x-rays.

Q: How swollen will I be after the operation?

A: Swelling is very variable between people and depends upon the difficulty of the surgery.  However, in most cases, for the first three days there will be cheek swelling which is uncomfortable but not excessively painful.  The application of specifically designed CAOS ice-packs to the face reduces this considerably.

Q: How much pain is experienced after having my wisdom teeth out?

A: Unfortunately, all surgical procedures involve some post-operative soreness and most facial operations involve discomfort.  However, with carefully prescribed medications, this can be well controlled.

Q: Do I have to have my wisdom teeth out and if so, when is the best time?

A: Impacted wisdom teeth left unattended will cause problems at some time for the majority of people.  Recovery following surgery is invariably less problematical the younger you are.  However, modern surgical and anaesthetic techniques have made post-operative recovery much smoother for a broader spectrum of ages.

Q: When can I go back to work after my operation?

A: Post-operative recovery times vary between people due to age, difficulty of procedure etc.  An average recovery time after four wisdom teeth removals is one week.  However, Dr Acton would discuss this further after examination.

Q: How will Dr Acton remove my teeth?

A: Dr Acton uses specifically designed surgical instruments to remove wisdom teeth from inside the mouth.

Q: What is a “dry socket” and how likely is the chance I’ll get one after my operation?

A: A dry socket occurs when the blood clot washes out of the surgical removal site.  This results in considerable pain and sometimes an associated bad taste.  A dry socket is rare, however; Dr Acton stitches closed all surgical sites; thus reducing this complication to almost nil.

Q: What can I eat after my operation?

A: Most people prefer a “soft diet” after their wisdom teeth removal but anything that can be tolerated as long as the mouth is cleansed after meals to reduce the chance of contamination of the surgical sites.

Q: Will wisdom teeth removal affect my appearance?

A: After the swelling has subsided, wisdom teeth removal will not alter your appearance.

Q: How likely is nerve damage during the operation?

A: Unfortunately, due to the proximity of the mandibular (lower jaw) nerve to most wisdom teeth, there is a small risk of nerve damage during the procedure.  Accurate localization of this nerve through x-rays serves to minimize this risk.

Q: Do I have to have to be asleep for the operation?

A: Usually we would recommend a general anaesthetic (asleep) for the removal of four wisdom teeth for your comfort.  However, this is a decision that would have to be made co-jointly between yourself and Dr Acton at the time of consultation.

Q: Do I have to go to hospital for the operation and if so, for how long?

A: If you decide to have a general anaesthetic, a hospital environment is the safest to cater to your needs.  Wisdom teeth removal is usually a day procedure only.

Q: How long will my operation take?

A: This varies according to the difficulty of the surgery and will be discussed in your consultation with Dr Acton.

Q: Will I need my stitches removed after surgery?

A: Dr Acton uses dissolving stitches in most procedures so stitch removal is not usually required. Dr. Acton likes to review your healing two to three weeks after surgery however.

N.B. The above FAQ is only a guide and patients do need to see Dr Acton for a preoperative consultation, during which, individual needs and medical conditions are discussed more thoroughly.  Therefore, please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries by either telephone or email.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.  Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.