Wisdom Teeth Extractions


Third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are usually the last four of 32 teeth to erupt (surface) in the mouth, generally making their appearance between the ages of 17 to 25. They are located at the back of the mouth (top and bottom), near the entrance to the throat. The term “wisdom” stems from the idea that the molars surface at a time typically associated with increased maturity or “wisdom”.


Most commonly, a lack of space in the mouth prevents the wisdom tooth from emerging properly to become functional entity. When this happens, the tooth can become impacted (stuck) in an undesirable or potentially harmful position. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to infection, damage to other teeth, and possibly cysts or tumors.


Reasons to remove wisdom teeth

While not all wisdom teeth require removal, wisdom teeth extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay or infection, or as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future. A number of potentially harmful outcomes can occur if these teeth are left untreated, including:


  • Damage to nearby teeth: Second molars (the teeth directly in front of the wisdom teeth) can be adversely affected by impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in tooth decay (cavities), periodontal disease (gum disease) and possible bone loss.


  • Disease: Although uncommon, cysts and tumors can occur in the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth.


  • Infection: Bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in an infection. The infection can cause considerable pain and danger.


  • Tooth Crowding: It has been theorized that impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on other teeth and cause them to become misaligned (crowded or twisted). This theory isn’t universally accepted by all dental professionals, and it has never been validated by any scientific studies. At Greystone dental clinic, we will want to initially conduct a thorough examination of the wisdom and surrounding teeth. Digital x-rays or a 3D CT scan will be taken in order for your us to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists, or the likelihood of any potential future problems. The x-rays can also expose additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth or involvement of other anatomical structures.


Wisdom teeth are removed using local anesthesia or light oral sedation and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication (if necessary), to help manage any swelling or discomfort. If your case is difficult or you would feel more comfortable having the procedure performed under heavier sedation, a referral to a specialist will be made for you.



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