Wisdom Teeth Surgery

Wisdom teeth, also known as the 3rd molars, usually start to erupt through the gum between the ages of 16 and 21. During eruption some may experience pain or discomfort, which can settle once the tooth erupts into a functional position. In many cases wisdom teeth are unable to fully erupt and become wedge or impacted; Impacted wisdom teeth can remain buried in the bone and either cause no issue at all or effect it’s surrounding structure. Common problems like recurrent gum infection, can slowly cause bone deterioration in the surrounding site, or associated pathology like cysts, or pathology; these is the common reasons why wisdom teeth are removed by a Maxillofacial Surgeon.

Wisdom teeth are also removed if they are decayed or have associated gum or periodontal disease. Sometimes wisdom teeth are a risk to other teeth if they become more difficult to clean, therefore your dentist may recommend their removal. During orthodontic treatment, or as a part of Orthognathic surgical procedures, wisdom teeth are often removed.

What does the surgery to remove wisdom teeth involve?

Removal of erupted wisdom teeth may be a simple surgical procedure, which can be performed under local anaesthetic at the clinic. Whereas impacted teeth would require a more complex surgery for their removal, which would usually be performed under a general anaesthetic in hospital. Dr Crighton will advise you and discuss the best treatment plan for the removal of your wisdom teeth at the time of your consultation.

How long do I need off work or school?

You may have heard a range of stories from friends and family about wisdom teeth surgery recovery and this is because everybody is different, therefore their surgical recovery will be different. Dr Crighton will usually advise a 5-7 day recovery if you are undertaking surgical removal of four wisdom teeth, however at your consultation this will be discussed further and a medical certificate will always be provided to cover an appropriate recovery from your surgery.

Surgical Placement of Dental Implants

Dental implants have since their inception and first usage by Dr P I Branemark in 1965, who revolutionised the replacement of missing teeth for many patients. Single missing teeth due to trauma, fracture or decay can be replaced with a titanium endosseous implants.

Dental implant placement requires a surgical procedure to the gum and jaw bone, which Dr Lisa Crighton can perform under local or general anaesthetic, depending on the patient’s request and the complexity of their case. Once the implant is placed into the jaw bone, it takes 3 months to adequately heal to the bone to support the overlying tooth structure. Dr Lisa Crighton will ensure the adequate healing of the implant by exposing and testing the bond between the jaw and the titanium implant before your dentist or specialist prosthodontist begins work on the replacement tooth. Multiple missing teeth can also be replaced with dental implants enabling patients who have previously worn removable partial or full dentures to have fixed teeth replacements. A treatment plan to meet your needs will be devised in partnership with your general or specialist dentist.

Additional Procedures

Often after years of missing a tooth the jaw bone may not be suitable to place a dental implant without additional procedures such as simultaneous or preparatory bone grafting, and sinus lift. Bone grafts are supplements of bone like material (calcium triphosphate/ bovine bone) or your own bone taken from another part of the jaw or bony skeleton to aid the implants healing and long term success. These procedures if necessary, will be discussed with you by Dr Lisa Crighton at your consultation and often 3-dimensional jaw bone scans will be undertaken to determine whether your jaw bone is suitable before dental implant treatment begins.

What are the risks of dental implant surgery?

Dental implant surgery is highly successful in most patients however Dr Lisa Crighton will discuss at length during your consultation the risks associated with dental implant surgery.

Orthognathic Surgery

Most people referred to Dr Lisa Crighton for Orthognathic Surgery will be sent by their orthodontist as part of a combined orthodontic and surgical team approach. These people often have an underlying jaw misalignment which cannot be treated with orthodontics alone. This includes people with small upper or lower jaws relative to the other jaw, large or deficient chins, and significant facial asymmetry.

What does the surgery involve?

The surgery involves careful cuts to the jaw bone separating the structures and repositioning as required. Then fixing these segments with titanium plates and screws hidden under the gums. This surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and requires hospitalisation for a period 1-3 days post-operatively.

What are the risks of surgery?

During your consultation with Dr Lisa Crighton she will discuss the relative risks and benefits of any proposed surgical procedure. Every procedure has risks and these risks must always be balanced against your individual needs and treatment requirements.