Wisdom teeth: a common dental issue in Singapore, with a large portion of people needing them extracted at some point. It can be pretty scary when your dentist tells you that your wisdom tooth has to go. And yes, we receive a lot of user questions on Human from people worried about their third molars.
Experienced dentist Dr Ryan Yun answered several questions regarding wisdom teeth that were posed to him by Human readers. Read on to learn what he had to say.
Local anaesthesia is generally used for extraction
When it comes to wisdom tooth removal requiring surgical extraction, local anaesthesia is typically applied so that patients do not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. 
General anaesthesia is not necessarily needed, but an available option
While local anaesthesia is usually the go-to option for extraction procedures, there are times where general anaesthesia may be necessary. The operation may, for instance, be carried out at a hospital, and other surgeries may be required.
General anaesthesia is also an option in Singapore for patients wishing to have all four wisdom teeth removed at the same time. 
Sedation can also be used on anxious patients
If you are feeling particularly worried about the extraction, ask your dentist if sedation is available. You can opt for sedation at a private dental clinic with an anaesthesiologist. 
Nerve damage is possible if the tooth is too close
Dr Ryan noted that it is possible that temporary or even permanent numbness can occur after surgery if a wisdom tooth is touching a nerve. This is due to vibrations during surgery or unintentionally contact with the nerve during the extraction process. 
Which is why wisdom tooth extraction is only recommended if necessary
Due to such complications, it is normally advised to not get wisdom teeth extracted unless a dentist deems it necessary, or if it causes pain. 
Sometimes, extraction can't be helped
If there is pain, the wisdom tooth should be extracted even if it is close to or touching a nerve. Most patients would prefer momentary or residual numbness to constant pain anyway. 
Crown sectioning may help resolve the issue
For cases where nerve damage may occur, Dr Ryan advises that crown sectioning may be a good solution. This process essentially helps retain the root of the nerve within the bone, which can prevent nerve damage.
Eventually, the remaining root will protrude out over time and extraction can be carried out easily. 
There are tests to determine the proximity of a nerve
A thorough examination can be carried out via CBCT or OPG in order to assess the proximity of the nerve to the wisdom tooth.
From there, your dentist can then suggest a treatment plan for you moving forward. 
Wisdom tooth extraction can be a pretty intimidating thought but with the right evaluation from your dentist, safety measures and applications for pain management can be prepared to help ensure you do not have to worry so much during the procedure.
So, if you are in severe pain, seek out the proper help for peace of mind. You do not have to suffer in silence.
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