Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop — usually between the ages of 17 and 21. They are the upper and lower third molars at the back of the mouth.
Some people have their wisdom teeth their entire life without needing to think too much about them. For others, wisdom teeth removal becomes necessary.
A lack of room in the mouth for these teeth to develop healthily may result in pressures that can cause pain and discomfort. Infection or damage to the other teeth can also result as the wisdom teeth develop.
Because of the location of wisdom teeth, their removal does not affect a person’s appearance or bite. It is a significant but standard procedure that is often undertaken before the teeth even surface through the gums.
An oral surgeon at Sierra Dental in Calgary can remove your wisdom teeth painlessly, conveniently, and affordably.
Why remove wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth removal may be a preventative measure or a corrective one.
Sometimes, after consultation with your dentist, it is decided that removal of the teeth can prevent future problems from developing.
Equally as commonly, pain or discomfort leads to a decision to remove the teeth to solve the issue.
Common problems with wisdom teeth
Typical problems associated with wisdom teeth include the following:
Impacted wisdom teeth: when the jaw is not large enough for the teeth to surface.
Partial eruption/infection: when the wisdom teeth break partway through the gums, a flap of gum tissue may grow over them and trap food and germs, leading to possible infection and pain/swelling.
Angular growth: if wisdom teeth surface at the wrong angle (pointing forward, backward or to either side) they can cause problems.
Damage to other teeth/bone or a cyst.
What are the benefits of removing wisdom teeth?
Apart from resolving issues like those mentioned and easing discomfort, removing wisdom teeth generally means less “crowding” in the mouth. This can prevent orthodontic issues from arising, promote better oral hygiene (the teeth are easier to clean) and reduce the likelihood of damage to the surrounding teeth.
How urgent is wisdom teeth removal?
Wisdom teeth removal may be needed urgently if you feel severe pain and/or there is an infection but the vast majority of cases are not urgent and can be scheduled at a convenient time.
If you visit our dental clinic in Calgary regularly for check-ups, a family dentist can monitor your wisdom teeth and advise if and when removal is necessary.
Sierra Dental accepts new patients and takes pride in doing our best to provide a seemless wisdom tooth extraction procedure to all our patients.
What can you expect with wisdom tooth removal?
Before committing to wisdom teeth removal, you will discuss your situation with one of our family dentists.
Extraction of the wisdom teeth is a major step with variable recovery times depending on age, general health, and so on. You should weigh up the risks of keeping your teeth against having them removed.
You may need to stop certain medications and your dentist will want to know a little about your medical history.
Generally speaking, if you follow the instructions from your dentist after deciding on wisdom teeth extraction, the procedure will go smoothly and any pain or discomfort can be managed with basic painkillers.
You may decide to extract all four wisdom teeth at once or remove them in stages. Again, this can be discussed in consultation with your dentist.
During the procedure, the dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and remove the tooth either in pieces or whole, while also removing any bone that covers it.
After the procedure, your dentist will instruct you to avoid major physical activity and not to sleep too flat, as this may trigger bleeding. You will need to eat soft foods (soups, etc.) for a few days and avoid smoking or using a straw.
If you stopped medications before your wisdom teeth removal surgery, follow your doctor’s instructions for restarting these meds during the recovery period.
In some cases, an antibiotic may be prescribed to avoid infection. If so, be sure to complete the course prescribed.
Is wisdom teeth removal painful?
The wisdom teeth removal procedure is not painful. One of our highly skilled and experienced dental surgeons will provide a local anesthetic that will completely numb the area and ensure you don’t feel any pain during the treatment.
A little pain, bleeding and/or swelling after wisdom teeth removal is normal. You may need stitches, which will dissolve over time. The pain and swelling will dissipate in the days following the removal as your mouth heals.
You will be recommended pain medications such as ibuprofen by the dentist to control any discomfort you feel in the days after the procedure.
An ice pack on the outside of your cheek may help during the first 24 hours and moist heat may help thereafter.
Wound care after wisdom teeth removal
The general steps to follow after wisdom teeth removal are:
Be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek, lip or tongue when your mouth is still numb from the anesthetic
Bite periodically and gently on the gauze pads that will cover your oral wounds
Change these gauze pads regularly
If bleeding continues beyond 24 hours after the procedure, call your dentist
After the first 24 hours, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to help with swelling and pain
Avoid activities that can loosen the blood clot and prompt new bleeding, such as rubbing the wound with your tongue
Brush your teeth and tongue gently around the wound
How long will it take to recover from wisdom teeth removal?
After the removal of wisdom teeth, most people recover quickly and resume normal activities within 3-4 days.
If the removal is slightly more complex (involving an impacted wisdom tooth, for instance), the recovery period may be a little longer.
Recovery may also take longer for smokers and older adults who undergo the procedure later in life. That is why it is usually recommended to undergo wisdom teeth removal as early as possible in life if it is required.
Your dentist will provide an estimate of recovery time during your consultation.
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We understand that you are busy and don’t always have time to visit a dentist for a routine checkup in the middle of your Monday. That’s why we offer extended hours from 7:00 AM to 8:30 PM Monday through Thursday.
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