Edinburgh Dental Specialists 178 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4BA

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Wisdom tooth treatment

An Oral Surgeon is a specialist in the extraction of teeth, wisdom tooth removal and any surgical procedures involving the mouth and related structures.

Wisdom tooth removal


Wisdom teeth are the last teeth at each end of the upper and lower gums, at the very back of the mouth. The medical name for wisdom teeth is the third molars.

Wisdom teeth usually grow through the gums during your late teens or early twenties. There are normally four wisdom teeth. Often, there is not enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow through in a straight line and they will emerge at an angle to fill the available space. Wisdom teeth that grow through in this way are known as 'impacted'.

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Dr. Suzanne Lello
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There are different types of impacted wisdom teeth, depending on the way the tooth has grown through. The most common type is mesial impaction, which means teeth that have grown at an angle facing towards the front of the mouth.

Other types of impaction are:

  • vertical (when the tooth grows straight down but gets stuck against the tooth next to it)
  • horizontal (when the tooth grows horizontally and pushes against the tooth next to it)
  • distal (when the wisdom tooth turns away from the tooth next to it and becomes lodged in that position).

Just because the tooth has not grown through straight does not mean that it needs to be removed.

The indications for removal are:

  1. it has caused repeated episodes of pain from gum inflammation
  2. it has a cavity that is unrestorable
  3. its position is making cleaning of the tooth in front impossible, which is developing a cavity
  4. there is a cyst (bone cavity) developing round it

The oral surgeon will carefully examine you, and using additional X-ray information from a scanning X-ray or CT scan, will be able to diagnose the problem you are having and how best to manage it.
If a tooth needs to be removed various options are available:

  • - The skills of the oral surgeons are such that most of the time teeth can be removed using a local anaesthetic injection.
  • - If you would prefer a general anaesthetic this can be arranged at the local Spire Murrayfield Private Hospital with Dr. Martin Paley.

A third alternative is intravenous sedation, where a sedative is injected in to the back of your hand. This has the effect of not only calming you considerably, but the procedure itself is not remembered.