Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Third molars (or wisdom teeth) are usually the last to develop in the jaw and sometimes there’s not enough space to accommodate them. If that’s the case, the wisdom tooth can become stuck and unable to take its normal place in the jaw resulting in the tooth becoming impacted.
Conditions that need to be met to Keep your Wisdom Teeth
- They are erupted in the right position, i.e. they are not placing pressure that can cause damage to adjacent teeth, result in possible gum disease or reduce chances of survival of adjacent teeth. A partially erupted wisdom tooth – one that is partially peeking out of the gums and cannot continue to grow because of lack of space or is coming in at the wrong angle – could hit adjacent teeth and have the potential to constantly cause infections.
- They can be kept clean. If not, they can become very decayed and a filling will be required, however it can become a bigger issue in the future if the filling needs to be replaced over and over due to difficulty in maintaining it.
- They are in function, i.e. they have another tooth to bite against. If not, they can continue to erupt until they meet resistance, like your opposing gums or the side of your cheek.
If any of these conditions are not met, removal of wisdom teeth as part of a proactive measure is recommended, as opposed to removing them once they become a problem. Removal at the problem stage is a lot more uncomfortable and could lead to complications.
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, watch, or do nothing.
How Wisdom Teeth are Removed
Using controlled forces, the teeth are removed by elevating them out of the structures that hold them in. The gums around the teeth may need to be opened, and surrounding bone gently expanded or removed to expose them. Teeth may also need to be sectioned. Stitches are usually used to close the wounds.
Options for the Procedure
- Local Anesthesia: This is similar to the procedure used when you need a filling done. You are fully awake, everything can be heard and vibrations felt, but you feel no pain, just a lot of pressure.
- Local Anesthesia & Oral Sedation: The pills relax you and make you drowsy. Even though you’re awake, nothing bothers you and you won’t remember anything from the procedure the next day.
- Local Anesthesia & IV Sedation: We administer the medications intravenously and you enter into a deeper state. This procedure is done by a certified dentist or dental specialist.
Common side effects: swelling, bleeding, bruising, discomfort, nausea, difficulty opening.
Rare side effects: infection, dry socket, root fragments, damage to adjacent structures.
Extremely rare side effects: nerve damage, sinus complications, reaction to sedation or anesthetic.
We would be more than happy to discuss your situation and provide options for treatment at your consultation appointment.