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Wisdom Teeth Problems and Oral Surgery

Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth problems usually arise after they erupt from your gums during the late teens or early twenties. As the third, and final, set of molars, they are often crowded or impacted, and need to be extracted to provide relief.

Most people will have four wisdom teeth but there could be less, or more. Wisdom teeth are left in your mouth when they are healthy, properly aligned, and when there is room for them in the mouth, however most often they are removed for wisdom teeth pain relief.

Why do so many of us need our wisdom teeth extracted?  Because over time, and evolution, our jaws have gotten smaller, creating alignment issues that crowd our teeth and put stress on the roots of the teeth and bones of the jaw.

If you are having teeth straightening and orthodontic work done, you will likely require wisdom teeth removal so that those back molars do not crowd the others in your mouth and undo the straightening work.

Wisdom Teeth Problems – Why Extract?

  • If they are partially erupted they need to be looked at carefully as they are more likely to have tooth decay and gum disease because they are hard to brush and floss efficiently.
  • Because they are impacted or completely covered by the gum, tissue and jaw bone. Impacted teeth can be painful and are easily infected. Infected wisdom teeth can damage the jaw, adjacent teeth, and facial nerves - and these issues can be very painful.
  • To prevent tooth movement. Fully or partial erupted wisdom molars slowly migrate forward and push on the other teeth, causing crowding. Many patients undergoing orthodontic treatment have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent this from happening and undoing the orthodontic work.
  • Because they are damaged by decay or your jaw is too small to accommodate them.

How Do I Know How Many Wisdom Teeth I Have?

The only way to know the number of wisdom teeth is by taking an x-ray. X-rays show us:

  • the number of teeth;
  • in what direction they are growing;
  • and if there is room in the jaw for them.

How Hard Are Wisdom Teeth to Remove?

Wisdom teeth are easier to remove when their roots are not completely formed because the surrounding bone is softer and there is less chance of damaging nearby nerves or other structures; therefore the earlier these teeth are removed, the better.

Wisdom Teeth Problems and Removal: What is the Procedure?

Most extractions can occur in our office, but there are some cases that need to be referred to an Oral Surgeon due to the position of the wisdom teeth or due to patient preference.

The tooth and the surrounding tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic. During the procedure you may feel pressure and a pulling or tugging sensation but you should feel no pain.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost

The cost of removing wisdom teeth ranges with the time and complexity and the uniqueness of each mouth and the teeth.  To accurately estimate the cost, Dr. Vaida of Coquitlam’s Altitude Dental will first assess your wisdom teeth problems.

Recovery - After the Wisdom Teeth Are Removed

Healing time varies for each person but it can take up to, or in excess of, three weeks. Some common symptoms after extractions are:

  • Slight bleeding for several hours (which can be controlled by biting on a piece of gauze and placing as much pressure as possible in the removed tooth area);
  • Aching pain (this is different for each person and can be managed by medication);
  • Facial swelling;
  • Facial bruising;
  • Sore jaw joints and decreased jaw opening for a few days (this is different for each person).

Will I Have to Take Any Medication?

Pain medication and antibiotics are prescribed on an individual basis.

What Can I do to Help the Healing Process?

The best way to help an extraction site to heal is to make sure the area is not disturbed for 24 to 48 hours. During this time a blood clot will form in the area where the tooth was removed. Most wisdom teeth complications happen by aggressive rinsing of the area, by smoking, by suction from a straw or by food debris being lodged in the area.

Contact our dental office to book an assessment and find out whether or not you need to have those molars removed – we have the staff and the experience to ensure that your wisdom teeth problems are handled proactively, professionally and with minimum discomfort.

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