Wisdom tooth surgery - removal or coronectomy?

The removal of impacted third molar (wisdom) teeth is one of the most common surgical procedures. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidelines that indicate who stands to benefit (and when) from having their wisdom teeth removed. We follow these guidleines locally and encourage referrals from medical & dental colleagues in primary care when the criteria for referral are met. To this end a specific third molar referral form is available to ensure that the criteria are indeed met.

Whilst the vast majority of patients who have lower wisdom tooth surgery have no significant post-operative problems there are a number of well-known complications that can develop in a very small number of individuals. We will discuss your specific risks in clinic at your appointment.

Depending on the condition of your lower wisdom tooth / teeth and its position in your lower jaw (mandible), there are a number of treatment options.

These can include:

1) Removal of the opposing upper wisdom tooth / teeth (to reduce trauma to the gum over the lower wisdom tooth when you bite together)

2) Complete removal of the lower wisdom tooth / teeth

3) Partial removal of the lower wisdom tooth (removal of the 'crown' only - also known as 'coronectomy')

The decision is always yours and we will help guide you through the suitable options in your specific situation.


Information for patients who may require third molar (wisdom tooth) surgery

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHSFT Wisdom tooth Patient information leaflet

NHS Choices Information on wisdom tooth removal (including informational video)

Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons Information Leaflet: "Get well soon"