Wisdom Teeth Removal.
How we help better service you and your dental needs.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Being a teenager is hard work. Getting the grades you need for college, managing relationships within peer groups and maybe even getting your first part-time job only scratches the surface of what it takes to make it to adulthood. And just when you think you’re done being a kid, you develop an ache at the back of the mouth and your dentist confirms that your wisdom teeth are beginning to emerge. Just like that, you’re teething again.
Somewhere in the mid-to-late teens, your wisdom teeth begin to work their way down in line with your natural teeth. The pain you feel when your wisdom teeth are emerging, though some don’t feel any pain at all, will be at the back of the mouth where other teeth and tissues are trying to make room for these large teeth with big roots. The wisdom teeth are situated behind the molars in the back of your mouth and are thought to be an evolutionary adaptation to the diet of early humans which required a lot of chewing to process the dense vegetation that humans regularly consumed. These large teeth could smash and break down fibrous tissue in order to assist in digestion. Today, dentists commonly recommend having these teeth removed if they are causing issues in the mouth or their size cannot be accommodated.
Why Would a Wisdom Tooth be Removed?
There are many reasons to remove a wisdom tooth beginning with the fact that, because these teeth are so far back in the mouth that most people find it challenging to keep them clean. Not only is it difficult to access all sides of a wisdom tooth with a toothbrush, these teeth are commonly found to have steep ridges and valleys which easily trap food and debris. Once trapped, difficulty cleaning can lead to an accumulation of bacteria and acids which break down the enamel and irritate the gums. Decay in these teeth can lead to infection and because these teeth have such robust root systems, they carry increased risk of spreading infection to other tissues if they are not treated right away.
Wisdom teeth are known to manifest dentigerous cysts which are cysts that form at the end of the tooth’s root system and grow over time by filling with fluid. Dentigerous cysts often do not produce any symptoms until they are advanced to the point of impacting the root systems of their neighbouring teeth.
The most common problem with wisdom teeth is that they just can’t be accommodated along the dental arch, so they get stuck in positions within the bone and gum that can erode other roots or result in chronic infection. For example, a wisdom tooth that never fully emerges from the gums but remains covered by a flap of soft tissue can trap food and bacteria under the tissues and result in ongoing infections no matter how effective a patient’s oral hygiene routines are. In this case, removing the wisdom tooth may be recommended.
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We look forward to providing you with quality dental care in Fort McMurray & surrounding area to ensure you have a healthy and happy smile for life! Please give us a call @ 780-743-3570 or request an appointment online.
All services performed by a general dentist.
Don’t I Need a Surgeon to Remove a Wisdom Tooth?
Your dentist will not commonly recommend that you see a dental surgeon for removal of wisdom teeth unless you are at risk of complication. This could mean that your upper wisdom teeth have roots that extend in the sinus cavity or that your tooth roots are wrapped around a critical nerve. In order to determine whether you have these or other potential for complications, your dentist will take a digital X-ray of your teeth to see the entire root structure and determine whether yours is an extraction that can be performed in clinic. Dentists may have to make incisions to access the teeth if they are impacted, but these incisions will be closed with stitches and heal as your sockets heal.
What Should I be Prepared For?
Wisdom tooth extractions are conducted under local anesthetic just like it would if you were having any other tooth extracted. While these teeth may be larger and more challenging to access, their extraction is the same from the point of view of the patient undergoing the procedure.
Differences in having a wisdom tooth extracted are primarily seen in aftercare and healing. Since a wisdom tooth is large, the socket that remains after the surgery will also be larger than with other teeth. To help protect us, our bodies create a blood clot over the exposed nerve to protect us from unnecessary pain as it heals. Sucking on cigarettes, straws or anything else that requires suction risks dislodging this clot. If this occurs, the patient will experience the pain of dry socket, which requires another visit to the dentist for treatment. For this reason, it is important not to use any sucking motion in the days following the extraction.
Your dentist will inform you of everything you need to know to take care of your extraction site at home, and following these recommendations is likely to lead to a brief and painless healing period.
If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentists, contact our clinic today.