Wisdom Teeth Removal

Most people will either have their wisdom teeth out or know someone who will; I’m sure you’ve heard all the horror stories. At SA Dental Specialists we are here to help you through the procedure. We aim to make the process as painless as possible, with the option of having removal under a general anaesthetic.

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth right at the back of your mouth. They start growing when you are 12-14 and try come through around the age of 17-22. Sometimes they get stuck in the jaw or under the tooth in front.

Why do I need to take them out?

  • The gum that covers the wisdom teeth can get food caught underneath, causing pain and swelling. Antibiotics can help in severe cases, but the best treatment is local cleaning and possibly the removal of the gum or the tooth.
  • The same food that gets trapped can cause decay on the wisdom tooth or the tooth in front. The tooth would need a filling, which is often difficult because of the way the wisdom tooth is angled.
  • Some orthodontists believe that wisdom teeth can move the teeth in front of them, some don’t. Regardless, when there isn’t enough room in the mouth for all of the other teeth, wisdom teeth are taken out before, or straight after, orthodontic treatment.
  • In rare cases, the wisdom tooth can push on the tooth in front causing the body to eat away at the tooth; if this process goes unchecked, both teeth will need to be removed.

Deeply buried wisdom teeth can develop cysts which may or may not be associated with a tumour. If the jaw under the wisdom tooth is thin, there is a chance that an accident or a fall could cause the jaw to break.

Just like when you were younger, when a tooth tries to poke through the gum there is a build up of pressure or “teething pain”.

If your wisdom teeth are playing up and you are young, it’s easier to take them out rather than when you are older. Older clients who have their wisdom teeth out tend to take longer to recover.

The removal of wisdom teeth ranges in complexity based on the amount of bone and the angle of the wisdom tooth. In some cases of multiple teeth or a difficult procedure, it is easier to have the procedure done at a day surgery centre or in hospital.

Sometimes we have to remove bone, in which case we will place stitches. Swelling, pain and bruising are all normal and expected after-effects from the procedure. The following after-effects may also occur depending on the tooth:

  • Pain/discomfort, bleeding and minor swelling after the procedure for a few days is normal and will subside on their own.
  • Trismus – difficulty in opening the mouth due to swelling, bruising, infection.
  • Altered sensation – sometimes things don’t feel right because of the swelling.
  • Heavy bleeding.
  • Severe pain.
  • Severe swelling.
  • Dry socket – dislodgement of the blood clot causing an intense throbbing pain that spontaneously resolves after three days(there is a higher risk if you smoke).
  • Nerve damage – painful burning, tingling, puffy or numb sensation. Some resolve on their own, in some cases it can be permanent.
  • Fracture of the bone surrounding the tooth or the jaw bone.
  • Removal of upper teeth may expose the lining of the sinus, causing a communication. A simple repair with sutures may be required with additional post-op care. Further management may be required if it does not resolve which may include a referral to a specialist.
  • Sutures or dressing packs may be required if there is damage to the soft tissues, excessive bleeding or as part of on-going treatment.
  • Damage to adjacent or opposing teeth or soft tissues during the procedure, including but not limited to: fractures, lost fillings, damage to the periodontal ligament, lacerations.
  • Damage to the jaw joint due to the force of extraction.
  • Additional surgery may be required to remove or re-define bone ridges, abnormal soft tissue healing, or other anomalies.

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

Please feel free to contact our friendly staff to make an appointment.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are designed to provide the foundation that supports teeth that will look, feel, and chew like natural teeth. The implants are screws made from titanium that are placed surgically into the jawbone and once these heal or mesh with the bone, these titanium screws are the stable anchors for which artificial teeth can be attached. Dental implants also help preserve facial features and prevent further bone deterioration that occurs naturally once teeth are lost.

Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason; please contact us for further information.

The different levels of dental implant treatment:

  • Single tooth dental implant where one missing tooth is replaced with an implant and then restored with a crown.
  • Multiple implants which are individually placed and then restored with crowns.
  • Multiple implants which may be used as supports to fit permanently fixed bridges — these are also sometimes referred to as “all on four” dental implants although sometimes more than four implants are used in each jaw
  • To stabilise and retain loose dentures.

Who can benefit from dental implant treatment?

  • Nearly everyone can benefit from dental implants.

How much does dental implant treatment cost?

Costs vary significantly concerning individual requirements. It is important that we understand your dental history, lifestyle and expectations before we can plan treatment to meet your needs.

We provide excellence through predictable and ethical treatment and will tailor an implant treatment specific and unique for you. All costs will be discussed in advance of your treatment.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

  • Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth, and they become a permanent fixture.
  • Improved speech. Dental implants allow you to speak clearly and laugh with complete confidence.
  • Improved comfort and eating. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat and enjoy the textures and flavours of your favourite
  • Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your confidence and smile.
  • Conservative treatment. The placement of dental implants is often described as the conservative dental treatment because the adjacent tooth or teeth are not affected as compared to conventional bridge work. Conventional crown or bridgework requires the cutting and reduction of teeth to accommodate the seating of the bridge fixture.

What are the success rates?

Well-maintained dental implants can last a lifetime. Studies show that with proper care, implants have a success rate of up to 96 – 98%.

Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) / Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR)

Guided bone regeneration (GBR), and guided tissue regeneration (GTR) are procedures that are generally carried out under local anaesthetic. These surgical procedures use membranes to direct the growth of new bone and gingival tissue (gum) at sites with insufficient volumes of bone or gingiva for proper function, aesthetics or prosthetic restoration. Currently, GBR is mainly applied to support tissue growth for dental implant stability. Bone grafting used in conjunction with sound surgical technique, GBR is a reliable and validated procedure.

GBR is similar to guided tissue regeneration (GTR) but is focused on the development of hard tissues in addition to the soft tissues of the periodontal attachment.

The membranes used by SA Dental Specialists are cadaver and collagen-based membranes. It is important to note, that collagen-based membranes are animal based.

Sinus Augmentation

In the back of the upper jaw, where premolar and molar teeth are located we can find the maxillary sinuses very close to the root tips of the teeth. In some cases, these roots even protrude into the sinus.

After tooth extraction, the bone that used to host the tooth is undergoing partial resorption, and the sinus enlarges (we call it “pneumatisation”), so the overall bone height between the crest of the bone to the floor of the sinus decreases.

In some cases, where there is not enough height of the upper back jawbone to place an implant of the desired length due to these processes, we need to perform a “sinus lift” procedure. It means lifting the membrane outlining the sinus without tearing it and grafting the area with a bone substitute material to regain the required bone height. There are other names for the same procedure – sinus augmentation, sinus floor elevation.

There are two types of sinus lift procedure:

  • Closed/Intracrestal approach – when there is a substantial height of bone is present, and only several additional millimetres are required for placing the implant, this procedure can be done during the implant placement.
  • Open/lateral window approach – when there is minimal residual bone left, and more significant augmentation is required, it cannot be done through the hole we create for the implant placement. The open approach is done through the side of the jaw, the same way the ENT doctors used to gain access to the sinus. Once again, the membrane that lines the sinus is elevated, and the gap is grafted with a bone replacement material. In some cases, implants might be placed during the same procedure, but in the majority of situations requiring an open sinus lift, the implant placement is postponed by a few months in order to allow the grafted bone to integrate with the existing one.

Local Anaesthetic (LA) and Intravenous Sedation (IV) procedures

At SA Dental Specialists, we have the facilities to offer our patients inhouse local anaesthetic and intravenous sedation procedures (for complex and anxious patients). All intravenous sedation procedures are under the care of a fully qualified anaesthetist from the Pulse Anaesthetic Group. In South Australia, we only perform intravenous sedation procedures at our Payneham practice, where we have three fully equipped operating rooms and a recovery room to the rear of the building.

Our intravenous sedation procedures generally range in duration from 30 minutes to 120 minutes. Following the procedure, the patient will be transported from the operating room to the recovery room, where they can stay up until they are mobile enough to leave our rooms. Patients must remember the following:

Have all your paperwork to the Pulse Anaesthetic Group (at least one week prior to procedure).

Follow the guidelines for fasting prior to the procedure

  • Have someone transport you to and from our rooms, as you will be under medication that will not allow you to drive.
  • Please ensure you have sorted out any out of pocket expenses with the Pulse Anaesthetic Group prior to the procedure.

General Anaesthetic procedures

Our specialist team and dental assistants are licenced to operate from Glenelg Community Hospital and North Eastern Community Hospital. At the hospital, our patients will be under the care of a fully qualified anaesthetist from the Pulse Anaesthetic Group. Please remember the following:

  • Have all your paperwork to the hospital and the Pulse Anaesthetic Group (at least one week prior to procedure)
  • Follow the rules for fasting prior to the procedure
  • Have someone transport you to and from our rooms, as you will be under medication that will not allow you to drive.
  • Please ensure you have sorted out any out of pocket expenses with the Pulse Anaesthetic Group prior to the procedure.

Following the general anaesthetic procedure, all patients will be seen the following day in our practice for a review of the procedure. This review can be up to 30 minutes in duration and will be set up prior in your initial consultation visit.

Pulse Anaesthetic Group
Phone: (08) 7231 9500

Glenelg Community Hospital
Address: 5 Farrell St, Glenelg South SA 5045
Phone: (08) 8294 5555

North Eastern Community Hospital
Address: Heading Ave, Campbelltown SA 5074
Phone: (08) 8366 8111