Wisdom Teeth extractions

Third molars (commonly known as wisdom teeth) are usually the last teeth to develop in the jaw. Some times, we don’t have enough space to accommodate these teeth. Due to this lack of space, a wisdom tooth can become “stuck” and cannot take its normal place in the jaw; the tooth is said to be “impacted”

Evaluation of wisdom teeth takes places at a consultation appointment after a clinical exam and a Panoramic x-ray. This x-ray will show the full position of the wisdom tooth relative to adjacent teeth and structures. A recommendation can then be made to extract, to watch, or do nothing.

Conditions which need to be met to keep your wisdom teeth

  1. They are erupted in the right position – if not, they may place pressure and cause damage to adjacent teeth, or result in possible gum disease and reduce chances of survival of adjacent teeth – a partially erupted wisdom tooth is one which is partially peeking out of the gums and cannot continue to grow either because there isn’t enough space for it, or it’s coming out at a wrong angle and hits the adjacent tooth. These teeth have a potential to constantly cause infections.

  2. They can be kept clean – if not, they can become very decayed and a filling will solve the problem, but will become a bigger issue in the future if the filling needs to be replaced over and over due to difficulty in maintaining it.

  3. They are in function (they have another tooth to bite against) – if not, they can continue to erupt until they meet resistance, which can be your opposing gums or the side of the cheek.

Most of the time, when any one of these conditions is not met, removal of wisdom teeth as part of a preventive, proactive measure is recommended; this is opposed to a reactive measure to remove them when they become a problem. Removal at that stage usually involves more discomfort and complications.

How Wisdom teeth are removed:

Wisdom teeth are removed using controlled forces, elevating them out of the structures that hold them. The gums around them may need to be opened, and surrounding bone is gently expanded or removed to expose them. Teeth may also need to be sectioned. Stitches are usually placed to close the wounds.

Options for the procedure:

You may opt to have your wisdom teeth extracted under 3 levels of sedation:

  1. Local Anesthesia: You receive local anesthetic similar to when you have a filling done. You are fully awake, everything can be heard and vibration is felt, but you will feel no pain, just lots of pressure.

  2. Local Anesthesia & Oral Sedation (pills – moderate sedation): Pills will relax you and make you drowsy. Even though you’re awake, nothing will bother you and you will forget everything the next day

  3. Local Anesthesia & IV sedation (IV - moderate sedation): You will receive the medications in your veins and will be in a deeper state. This is done by a certified dentist or dental specialist.

Common Complications
Bleeding, Bruising
Discomfort, Nausea
Difficulty opening

Rarer Complications
Infection, Dry Socket
Root fragments
Damage to adjacent structures
Jaw fracture

Unique Complications
Nerve damage
Sinus complications
Reaction to sedation
Reaction to anesthetic

We are more than happy to discuss your situation at a consultation appointment. This affords us the opportunity to perform a complete evaluation and allows us to make a recommendation that best suits your condition.


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