What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, which are often referred to as third molars, are the last set of teeth that come through (erupt) – usually during the late teens or twenties.
Sometimes, there is insufficient space for the wisdom teeth to erupt into their normal position, forcing them to erupt at an angle (impacted) or only come through partially (partial eruption).
Impacted wisdom teeth
An impacted wisdom tooth may cause no problems at all, in many cases however impaction can make effective oral hygiene around the area very difficult, leading to the build-up of food and bacteria. This can lead to several complications:
- Pain and discomfort
- Decay of the wisdom tooth
- Decay of the molar in front of the wisdom tooth
- Gum inflammation and soreness (pericoronitis)
- An incorrectly angled wisdom tooth may also damage the molar in front of it.
Wisdom tooth removal process
Generally, the more impacted the wisdom tooth is, the more complex the procedure to remove it is likely to be. An important nerve in the lower jaw can sometimes be very intimately related to the wisdom tooth which will make its removal riskier.
Before the procedure, your dentist should take an x-ray of the wisdom tooth to determine the level of risk – they may then decide to refer you to a specialist oral surgeon. In cases where there is a nerve lying in close relationship to the wisdom tooth, a coronectomy may be the preferred treatment option in order to eliminate the risk of injury to that nerve.
The removal of wisdom teeth is usually performed under local anaesthetic; an incision is made in the gum and the bone encasing the wisdom tooth is carefully removed. In some cases, the wisdom tooth is divided into smaller pieces and each piece is removed – in both cases, you are likely to need some stitches afterwards.
You may experience some discomfort and swelling for a few days after the procedure, and your dentist should advise you on measures that can be taken to alleviate any symptoms, and to help prevent an infection from developing.
Possible complications of wisdom tooth removal
Wisdom tooth removal complications can include:
This common complication is an infection in the empty tooth socket, and is more likely to occur if the procedure was lengthy and/or difficult, if you smoke and in the absence of appropriate socket after-care.
Damage to the adjacent molar tooth
Sometimes, due to the fact that impacted wisdom teeth push on the other teeth, the adjacent teeth can get damaged – often leading to further complications.
In some cases, removing a wisdom tooth can cause damage to the nerves that are positioned close to the roots of lower wisdom teeth. This can result in debilitating temporary or permanent numbness in the tongue, teeth, gums, lower lip and chin.
Careful planning and excellent technical skill by your dentist will reduce the risk of complications, however complications can occur – especially if you dentist has failed to take the due care expected.
If you feel that you have been a victim of dental negligence, contact a member of our team today for free initial legal advice.
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Dental negligence wisdom teeth claims – more info:What are the treatment options for impacted wisdom teeth?
How long should pain last after wisdom teeth extraction?
- First 24 hours: Blood clots will form
- 2 to 3 days: Swelling of the mouth and cheeks should improve
- 7 days: A dentist can remove any stitches that remain
- 7 to 10 days: Jaw stiffness and soreness should go away
- 2 weeks: Any mild bruising on the face should heal
What are the symptoms of a wisdom tooth extraction gone wrong?
- Sinus perforation
- Nerve damage
- Jaw fractures
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Temporomandibular joint injury
If you feel that you have suffered from dental negligence while having a wisdom tooth removed, contact a member of our team today for free initial legal advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much compensation could I get for a wisdom tooth dental negligence claim?
As with most dental negligence claims, the amount of compensation that you may receive if you have suffered after having your wisdom teeth removed will depend on the circumstances of your specific case.
At the Dental Law Partnership, our team of expert dental negligence solicitors are on hand to help you with your wisdom tooth compensation claim at every step of the way; contact us today.
How long do wisdom tooth dental negligence claims take?
Unfortunately, it is difficult to put an exact time-frame on a wisdom tooth dental negligence compensation claim, as it can vary quite dramatically from case to case. There is a strict legal process that must be adhered to and many cases are settled before they reach court, meaning that a claim could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how your dentist responds to the claim and other aspects of the legal process, such as evidence gathering and gaining expert opinions. Click here for full details of the dental negligence claims process.
How much does it cost to make a wisdom tooth dental compensation claim?
At the Dental Law Partnership, our cases are usually funded by a no win, no fee agreement. This means that even if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not pay any legal costs. Call us today on 0808 278 8202 for an initial, no obligation chat about your claim.
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Mr M North West – 17/01/2020
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Mr S, East Yorkshire – 20/12/2019
I just wanted to say a big thank you to you, and your colleagues at Dental Law, for all your hard work in pursuing my claim. I was very pleased with the outcome. Every aspect of the case was handled with the upmost professionalism and clear advice throughout. The advice on liability and quantum was right on the mark. I would not hesitate in recommending Dental Law.
Mrs M, South East – 12/12/2019
“I would highly recommend the DLP to others seeking help with dental negligence, for providing excellent advice and clear communication throughout the process, and from a personal point of view making what felt like a daunting prospect at the outset straightforward to understand.”
• A woman from the east of England suffered an avoidable period of pain and suffering as a result of infection and suffered an avoidable repeat root canal treatment. • Ms C lost a tooth and will lose another tooth in the future. • £8,000 awarded in compensation Between 2011 to 2013 […]
• Ms R experienced severe episode of pain and sensitivity • An infection in her tooth was left to spread which eventually led to its avoidable extraction • £5,000 awarded in compensation Ms R suffered multiple episodes of pain when her dentist failed to perform a root canal treatment properly, this meant many trips to […]
• A man in his 30’s from The North East will lose a tooth after his dentists failed to spot and treat decay. • A piece of dental equipment had been left in his tooth after a root canal treatment, this caused him intense pain and he was unable to chew. • £4000 awarded in […]
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