Wisdom Teeth In Edmonton, Ab

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What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as ‘third molars’ are often extracted (removed) because they are causing pain, swelling and/or infection. The extraction of wisdom teeth can also be recommended because of the risk of future complications related to impaction, infection, or other pathologies such as cysts and tumors.

person in oral pain
  • Pericoronitis – inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Cyst formation – can destroy bone and tissue in jaw.
  • Cleaning and shaping – this involves the physical shaping of each canal with specialized instruments such as endodontic files, and the chemical disinfection of the canal(s).
  • Decay – wisdom teeth that are crowding other molars can cause decay due to higher plaque retention.
  • Crowding of other teeth – wisdom teeth eruption can cause unwanted movement of other teeth, making these teeth crooked.
  • Lockjaw – also known as “Trismus” can also occur in relation to wisdom teeth eruption or impaction. Other jaw pain, or headaches have been associated with wisdom teeth.
  • Infections of the jaw – serious jaw infections can develop in association with wisdom teeth.
  • Bad smell or taste – this is probably due to local infection, pus drainage, or food traps related to wisdom teeth.

Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?

It is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a qualified dental professional such as a General Dentist or an Oral Surgeon to assess your particular risks and possible complications of removing wisdom teeth or keeping them. If you decide to keep them, you may never have any problems, however, there are several complications that could happen, such as infection, cysts, decay, teeth crowding, etc…

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Harder To Pull Than Other Teeth?

Because of position, bone density, root anatomy, proximity to anatomical structures (nerves, blood vessels, sinus, etc…), wisdom teeth extractions can be more complicated and difficult compared to other teeth in the mouth. There can also be a higher risk of developing complications after the extraction of wisdom teeth. General Dentists and Oral Surgeons use classification systems based on wisdom teeth positions relative to the jaw bone and neighboring teeth. The “Pell & Gregory Classification” and the “Winter’s Classification” are the most common classification systems used to describe wisdom teeth.

person in oral pain

What Age Do You Get Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, will often emerge sometime in your late teens to early ’20s. The average age range is 17 to 25. Some people get their wisdom teeth with no problems, and never need them extracted. Many people DO need to get them removed by a general dentist or oral surgeon because they can cause pain, swelling, infection, decay, etc…

Wisdom tooth symptoms

Wisdom teeth can come in straight, just like normal molars if you have enough room in your jaw. Many people will experience unpleasant symptoms like:

  • Pain and/or swelling in the back of your mouth, behind your molars.
  • Redness, gum bleeding, and tenderness in the area where your wisdom teeth are.
  • Bad taste and/or a bad smell coming from bacteria accumulating around the wisdom teeth.
  • Pain or discomfort in other teeth besides the wisdom teeth.
Impacted Wisdom tooth in 3d

What Are The Risks For Taking Wisdom Teeth Out?

It is very rare to have any long-term problems after the procedure. However, like any surgical procedure, there are risks and possible complications associated with wisdom tooth removal, such as:

  • Dry Socket – This is a painful condition also known as ‘Alveolar Osteitis’, which is inflammation of the socket bone. It happens most commonly because the blood clot is lost, or does not form properly.
  • Infection – A local infection can occur which can also spread to other parts of the jaw. It is important to take any antibiotics prescribed by your dentist as instructed to help avoid this problem.
  • Damage to neighbouring teeth or jawbone.
  • Damage to sinus. This will increase the risk of developing a sinus infection or sinusitis.
  • Damage to the nerve(s). This can lead to numbness or pain in the lip, tongue, or other parts of the mouth. This can be temporary or permanent.
  • Damage to nearby blood vessels. This can cause more bleeding, or bruising. In serious situations, it can lead to airway obstruction and the need to go to the hospital.
  • It is important to know that these risks and complications are relatively rare. You should discuss them with your General Dentist or Oral Surgeon to see what risks may affect you.

How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth extraction procedures are considered a type of dental/oral surgery. During this procedure, your General Dentist or Oral Surgeon may do the following:

You will be given some form of conscious or unconscious sedation, such as oral sedation (pills), IV sedation, general anesthesia, or they may only use local anesthesia (freezing). 

How are impacted wisdom teeth extracted?

  1. An incision will be made in the gum tissue to expose the wisdom tooth and surrounding bone.
  2. Then removal of some surrounding bone around the wisdom tooth with an instrument or surgical drill.
  3. Your dentist will cut the wisdom tooth into more easily manageable pieces. This is commonly known as ‘sectioning’.
  4. The tooth will be removed as a whole, or in pieces using instruments called ‘elevators’ and ‘forceps’.
  5. The extraction site will be cleaned with instruments and saline solution.
  6. Stitches will be placed to help close the wound site.
  7. Gauze will be used to help with blood clot formation.
tooth in vice grips

What Should You Do After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Follow your dentist or surgeon’s instructions, and take the medications prescribed to you. Remember the following:

  • First 24 hours after surgery – avoid spitting, rinsing, and sucking on a straw. These types of activities will dislodge the blood clot. If there is small amounts of blood in your mouth, you should swallow rather than spitting it out. Also, minimize your activity level. Do not do any strenuous lifting, or exercise. This could raise your blood pressure and increase bleeding.
  • After 24 hours, you can very gently rinse with salt water.
  • First 48 hours after surgery – avoid smoking.
You should stick to a softer diet for up to 1 week after surgery. Ensure you are keeping your mouth as clean as possible, but avoid brushing directly on the surgical sites. Stitches may dissolve or may need to be removed by your dentist.

You can expect some swelling, and bruising. This is normal.

dental x-ray of mouth

When Should I Call My Dentist Or Oral Surgeon?

Some pain, discomfort, swelling, and bruising are normal and can be expected after wisdom tooth surgery. You should contact a dentist or surgeon, or emergency doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Fever.
  • Severe pain that is not controlled with prescribed pain killers.
  • Persistent foul taste and/or smell.
  • Pus or oozing from the socket, or nasal discharge.
  • Persistent numbness or pain in the lip or tongue or other oral structures.
  • Swelling that worsens after 2 or 3 days after surgery.

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To contact us fill out the form below or call us at (587) 410-5766.

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