Wisdom teeth are the last ones to erupt and generally start to develop in the late teen years or early 20s.
While many people never have their wisdom teeth removed, others will have to have some or all of them taken out.
Why your wisdom teeth may need to be extracted
If there’s not enough room in your mouth for the new teeth to come in normally, they may grow in at unnatural angles or become impacted. This can cause pain, damage to the neighbouring teeth or infection in the gums. Dental cysts can also develop around or next to the impacted tooth. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include pain or swelling in your gums and jaws.
Your dentist will be able to determine if your wisdom teeth need to be removed by taking X-rays of your teeth and jaws. They’ll see how your teeth are growing in before they have a chance to cause problems for the rest of your teeth and mouth.
Wisdom tooth removal
You dentist may use local or general anaesthesia while removing your wisdom teeth, depending on the severity of your case and how many teeth are to be extracted. If they use local anaesthesia, they may offer you laughing gas to keep you calm.
They’ll start by exposing the tooth by lifting the gum tissue and removing the bone that blocks the root. Once the way is clear, they’ll remove the tooth. This may involve breaking your tooth into pieces to make it easier to remove.
Once it’s out, they’ll carefully clean the site and if necessary, stitch the incision. They’ll also apply clean gauze over the area to control the bleeding.
After your wisdom tooth removal, you’ll need to rest for a few days. Apply cold compresses to your cheeks to reduce the swelling and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen if you’re in pain. You’ll only be able to eat soft foods for a few days, so stock up on yogurt, applesauce and soup.
Do not probe the area with your tongue or smoke, which can slow healing and cause an infection. Don’t drink from a straw for at least a week to avoid getting dry socket, an extremely painful condition where the blood clot that protects the bone and nerve endings is dislodged.
Things to think about
Young people have an easier time recovering from wisdom tooth removal because the roots of the teeth are less developed. Make sure your children’s dentist in West Edmonton does X-rays regularly to catch an impacted wisdom tooth early enough for easy removal.
Whether you need an extraction, a routine teeth cleaning or an emergency dental appointment, Janz Family Dental clinic is available for those in and around Edmonton. Call us to make an appointment today.