Oral Surgery: Wisdom Teeth and Dental Extraction

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.

 

Dental Extractions – Removing a Tooth

Dental extraction is a last choice when we form treatment plans, we always want to try to save teeth. But sometimes pulling teeth is the best decision Altitude Dental can make for your dental health.

When forming treatment plans we always look at the health of your teeth.

Sometimes due to the nature of the tooth’s health, personal choice, orthodontics or finances, pulling teeth is the best choice. The extraction of a tooth does not have to be a traumatic experience and tooth extraction cost does not have to be high (in fact, most often pulling teeth is relatively inexpensive unless you need specialist services due to intertwined roots or other complications).

If you are nervous about dental extraction, we can prescribe an oral sedative. This allows you to be more relaxed and perhaps even sleep during the appointment.

How hard are teeth to remove?

The difficulty of the procedure depends on the tooth needing to be extracted. There are special techniques that Dr. Vaida uses that depend on your particular situation, the placement of the tooth in the mouth, the surrounding teeth, your age and the bone surrounding the tooth.

What is the procedure like?

The tooth and the surrounding tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic. During the procedure you will feel pressure and a pulling or tugging sensation but you should feel no pain. If the tooth is brittle or fractured then it is removed in small pieces. After the tooth is removed, any infected tissue is removed and the area is cleansed with salt water. Sutures may or may not be placed depending on the situation.

What is the healing time?

Tooth extraction pain can be managed before and after the extraction – discuss the best options with Dr. Vaida before your extraction appointment.  Healing time varies for each person but can take up to, or in excess of, three weeks. Some common symptoms after dental 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);
  • 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 for tooth removal pain?

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 by making 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. This blood clot protects the site from infections and the bone from being exposed. Most dental extraction complications happen when the blood clot is removed by aggressive rinsing of the area, by smoking, by suction from a straw or by food debris being lodged in the area. At home care instructions are given to you at the appointment.

Why are teeth removed?

  • An adult tooth is growing in behind or in front of a baby tooth.
  • Upon request by a parent, the patient or a dental specialist (orthodontist or periodontist).
  • The tooth is badly decayed and there is not enough tooth structure left to save it.
  • The tooth has become mobile and loose due to loss of bone or periodontal disease.
  • The tooth has a vertical fracture.
  • Wisdom teeth problems that require dental extraction.

If you are having teeth pain or need a dental assessment, contact our office for a dental appointment – Coquitlam’s Altitude Dental has professional, friendly and caring staff to help you have the dental health you need and want. Or read more about other dental services available at Altitude Dental.