Wisdom teeth

Wisdom Tooth Procedure

Around our late teens or early twenties, our wisdom teeth (also known as rear or third molars) begin to erupt. These teeth can sometimes cause overcrowding in the mouth, or can become impacted in the gum when there is not enough space in the jaw to accommodate them. In most cases, it is recommended that wisdom teeth be removed if they cause any problems.

Common problems caused by wisdom teeth

Overcrowding of teeth
Damage to adjacent teeth
Cysts
Decay & gum infections
Ulcers on the cheek
Chewing problems
Movement of other teeth
Interference with your bite

For more information, please read Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch’s public fact sheet for wisdom teeth.

Wisdom tooth extraction

In your initial consultation, we examine the current condition of your wisdom teeth and use x-rays to determine which wisdom teeth will be functional and which ones need to be removed. Once you are familiar and comfortable with our recommendation, we will provide you with all the pre- and post-surgical information you require, including details about your anaesthetic and postoperative care.

Book a dental consultation

To book a consultation, please call us on (03) 8608 8969 or book online by clicking the button below. 

Dr Nicole Chong answers your FAQ below. Dr Nicole Chong is located at our Westfield Doncaster location. 

How long does wisdom teeth surgery take and how serious is surgery?

Every wisdom tooth operation is different. The length of a wisdom tooth surgery depends on your tooth’s shape and position. It can take anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours. 

Post Op swelling and pain is normal, and most people generally need one or two days off work.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of removing wisdom teeth? 

Some wisdom teeth never come through and stay hidden inside your jawbone forever. These are generally fine to leave, and we take X-rays every few years to monitor them. 

Wisdom teeth that do come through often only come through partially, or crooked. The gum flap over a tooth that is only partially through often gets infected. These are best removed because the infection can grow and spread. 

As wisdom teeth come through right at the back of the mouth, they’re generally quite challenging to keep clean. Food and bacteria get trapped around it, and they often rot, or the gum gets infected. Sometimes the tooth in front of it also gets affected with rot or gum disease. It’s best to remove these teeth early, before the rot gets through to the nerve and causes a severe toothache, and before the tooth in front of it is badly affected. 

Hooked wisdom teeth and teeth very close to or sitting directly on your nerve are best referred to a specialist, especially if there is a high risk of nerve damage.

Is it safe to get all four wisdom teeth out at once?

Yes, some patients do prefer to do it one by one, or one side and then the other. At MC Dental we can accommodate you however you wish to have your wisdom teeth procedure done.

Does my medical or dental insurance cover wisdom tooth surgery?

It depends on the level of your insurance cover – we highly suggest you check your level of cover with your private health provider before booking an appointment. We can give you the item numbers relevant during your consultation appointment. Usually, at least part of the fee is covered. 

What happens if you wait too long to get wisdom teeth out? 

It depends on the position and location of your wisdom tooth, but generally the longer the wait, the higher the risk of an infection developing and spreading. There is also a small risk of cyst formation. 

Is it better to be awake or asleep during a wisdom tooth extraction?

Most patients are fine being awake during a wisdom tooth extraction (don’t worry, you’ll be numb!), but some people prefer to be asleep. It depends on how nervous and stressed you’ll be, and how well you feel you will cope.

Being put to sleep does increase the cost substantially as you will need to be referred to a specialist, who will then have to hire a theatre with an anaesthetist and theatre nurses.