Wisdom Teeth Removal In Calgary

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I have had a very pleasant experience with both Dr Silver and her dental assistant. Happy I got referred to them by a friend – dr Silver does excellent work, is knowledgeable and straight up. I look forward to seeing them again for my next app!

— Al D, ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Google Review

Wisdom teeth removal is vital to your current and future oral health!

What are wisdom teeth and why do they need to be removed?

Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars located in the very back corners of your mouth. On average, wisdom teeth usually develop during your late teens or early twenties. Some lucky individuals won’t develop wisdom teeth, but for the majority of us, wisdom teeth will grow in and can cause problems.

Wisdom teeth become problematic and need to be removed when:

  • Impacted (the teeth become trapped in your jawbone or gum)
  • Misaligned
  • There is not enough space in your jaw
  • They crowd existing teeth
  • They develop cavities and decay

To know if you have wisdom teeth and whether or not they’re causing you problems contact our dental clinic right away!

Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure

Preparation

The wisdom teeth removal process begins with a consultation where we explain the procedure, take an x-ray, and address any concerns you may have. You’ll also receive detailed instructions concerning the preparation involved the day before and the day of your wisdom teeth extraction. This includes:

  • Not eating anything 8-12 hours prior to the procedure
  • Setting up transportation to and from the procedure
  • Disclosing information about any prescribed medications you are currently taking

Surgery

On the day of exraction, you’ll receive a local anesthetic to help numb the area. In some cases, a general anesthetic may be used to prevent pain in the whole body and cause you to sleep through the procedure. This is why it’s important that you don’t eat the night before, so the anesthetic can work!

From there, the oral surgeon makes a minor incision in your gum to access the wisdom tooth (if it hasn’t already erupted). Next, your tooth is divided into sections to make the removal easier as well as minimize damage to the surrounding bone. From there, the tooth is extracted and the extraction site is cleared of tooth or bone debris. After the extraction site is clean, the oral surgeon will close the wound with dissolvable stitches. The final step is placing a gauze over the site to assist in the formation of a blood clot.

The overall procedure time will vary from patient to patient. On average, the procedure can last from 60 to 90 minutes.

Recovery

Recovery can last anywhere from 3 to 5 days and the overall healing process can last 1 to 2 weeks. Typical effects of the wisdom teeth removal process includes:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Some bleeding

Numbness in the mouth is also common for a couple of hours after surgery. When you leave the dentist office, it’s vital that you keep pressure on the gauze so a blood clot is able to form in the tooth socket. You need to replace the gauze every 20-30 minutes. Also, do not consume hot beverages, soda, solid food, alcohol or cigarettes. To decrease swelling, place an ice pack on your jaw for 15 minutes, then spend 15 minutes with the ice pack off.

It’s important to rest and stay away from rigorous activity, take the right dosage of painkillers, and rinse your mouth regularly with warm saltwater. Do not use straws, as the sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. When brushing your teeth, brush carefully around the surgical sites.

A common complication with wisdom tooth removal is the development of dry sockets. This happens when a blood clot has failed to form in the extracted tooth socket or the blood clot has been dislodged, typically 3 or 4 days after the procedure. Symptoms of dry sockets are pain (dull to severe) and foul mouth odour. If you have dry sockets, our team will treat it by placing medication in the socket.

Feel free to reach out to us if you have additional questions about the wisdom tooth removal process.

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Benefits Of Wisdom Teeth Removal

Lowered Risk Of Infection

One of the most common reasons why wisdom teeth need to be taken out is because they’re prone to infections like gum disease and tooth decay. Even if there’s room for wisdom teeth to partially erupt into the mouth, keeping them clean is a challenge! The limited space and crowding tend to create an optimal environment for cavities. Removing your wisdom tooth is a more proactive treatment for managing the pain caused by periodontitis and decay – and keep it from returning!

Eliminates Pressure On Your Jaw

Removing impacted or crowded wisdom teeth eliminates the pressure that they cause inside of your jaw. Additionally, if they were tilted towards the adjacent teeth and pressing into them, any soreness from the pressure will improve.

Relief From Painful Swelling

Wisdom teeth tend to cause come-and-go pain and swelling if they are overcrowding other teeth. When the initial soreness of your oral surgery improves, you will no longer have to experience this pain! Be sure to keep your extraction sites clean and follow your home care instructions to prevent any complications.

Avoid A Crooked Smile

Wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding in your mouth by pushing up against your other teeth, causing your teeth to move and become less straight. Removing your wisdom teeth avoids any additional movement in your teeth’s alignment so you can keep your smile straight.

Have your wisdom teeth already caused crowding issues?

Explore options for a straighter smile!

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FAQs

Usually, wisdom tooth pain feels like a dull soreness or throbbing sensation that comes and goes. It’s specifically noticeable along your jaw or side of your face, an inch or two from your ear. If your wisdom teeth are infected or have tooth decay, they might also exhibit symptoms of cavities like sharp pain when you eat, or soreness when you bite down.

Occasionally, you’ll see some swelling with impacted wisdom teeth. This inflammation might make the side of your face hot to the touch, or you’ll see red, swollen gums near the back of your mouth. Since wisdom teeth are the last ones to erupt, it’s typical to feel discomfort during your teen years, 20s, or as late as your early 30s.

Most wisdom tooth discomfort can be managed using warm saltwater rinses, warm compresses, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen or Motrin.) However, if the pain persists or gets worse, you might not be able to start feeling better until a dentist takes your wisdom teeth out.

The total cost of your wisdom tooth removal will vary on numerous factors of your surgery.

Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth taken out. Our dentist will need to take a full-mouth panoramic X-ray to see how your third molars are positioned, if they’re infected or impacted, and to determine if there’s room for them to erupt properly.

Some of the reasons why we recommend having a wisdom tooth extracted are because of pain, swelling, impaction, tooth decay, gum disease, and cysts. If we feel that the tooth is prone to infection or pressing so hard into the adjacent tooth that damage will occur, a proactive extraction may be the best thing for your smile.

Wisdom tooth pain can come and go over several months, or even years. But if it becomes a consistent sensation that just won’t go away, you’ll probably need to have your wisdom teeth taken out.

Some people have room for wisdom teeth to grow in, but most don’t. Spacing in the jaw is usually the biggest issue when wisdom teeth start popping through the gums. When spacing is limited, the growth of wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding because the third molars push the other teeth forward to make room. The lack of room can also result in the wisdom teeth being misaligned — sometimes they start growing sideways or stay trapped under the gums.

If the wisdom teeth grow in the wrong position, then they can trap food in the back of your mouth and eventually lead to gum disease and tooth decay. These pockets of food particles are perfect for bacteria growth and cause serious infection in the future. Most people have a difficult time flossing that far back in the mouth, especially when the teeth are misaligned and crooked.

Also, it’s important to consider the potential damage that can occur to other teeth if there isn’t enough room for the wisdom teeth to come through. For example, neighbouring teeth can be damaged. Additionally, if an infection occurs because bacteria enters the gums, it can result in damage to surrounding roots and even bone loss in the jaw. Damage to the bone and roots can lead to loss of healthy teeth.

For most patients, the best time to remove wisdom teeth is before you’re 20. Most dentists will check for wisdom teeth starting in the patient’s mid-teenage years. Younger people’s roots and bones aren’t fully formed and they usually have an easier time recovering from the surgery, which is why it’s common to have these third molars removed before the age of 20.

Recovering from an oral surgery like wisdom tooth extractions can vary from one person to the next. Some people feel just fine within a few days, while others need about a week to recover. In rare circumstances when dry sockets develop, the recovery time can take up to two weeks.

To ensure you recover as quickly as possible, be sure to follow the home care instructions that we give you (specifically related to your diet, oral hygiene, and rest.)

If you have your wisdom teeth removed on a Wednesday or Thursday, you can probably expect to be able to return to work by the next Monday. At the most, you would probably need a week off from your job or school. Giving yourself a long weekend or planning surgery just before a short holiday can help you minimize your time off work.

For jobs that require physical labor, you might need a bit more time. Overexerting yourself could interrupt clot formation at the extraction sites. As well, if you’re taking a prescription pain reliever, you won’t be able to drive or operate heavy machinery.

Some of the things you’ll want to avoid after any type of oral surgery – including wisdom tooth removal – are:

  • Exercise
  • Eating hard or crunchy foods
  • Drinking through a straw
  • Carbonated or alcoholic beverages
  • Smoking

All of these factors can interfere with healing or cause the blood clot to come out of the extraction site, causing a painful dry socket.

Instead of worrying too much about what not to do, pay attention to what you should do after having your wisdom teeth extracted. Our dentist recommends plenty of rest, sticking to a soft diet for at least the first few days, and getting plenty of liquids. Take all medication as prescribed; if you’re on an antibiotic, be sure to keep taking the medication until the course is completed. In most cases, over the counter pain relievers that are anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen/Motrin) are the best medication to take after an oral surgery. For the first 24 hours, have a cold compress handy that you can apply to the side of your mouth on and off every 20 minutes. The cool temperature helps with swelling, which is a common cause of discomfort.

Wisdom teeth are what we refer to as “third molars.” That is, they’re the third set of molars (back grinding teeth) that someone gets. The first two sets erupt when we’re around 6 and 12 years old, respectively.

Since the third molars don’t erupt until a person is much older – and wiser, or at least we hope – they’re often referred to as “wisdom teeth.” In fact, more people refer to them as wisdom teeth than they do as “third molars.”

In generations past, wisdom teeth served as an extra set of teeth to come in and fill in any room caused by missing or damaged teeth. But today, our preventative oral health techniques are so effective, we usually don’t need wisdom teeth for functional purposes. So, if they try to erupt and there isn’t any room for them, we have to take them out!

On average, wisdom teeth stop growing by the time people are about 30 years old. Their nickname is because of how late in life they develop! Most people will see their wisdom teeth coming in by the time they’re in college or during their 20s, but it’s not uncommon for someone closer to 30 years of age to finally see them come in.

The earliest signs of wisdom teeth can be seen on X-rays in adolescents. Panoramic films (which encompass the entire mouth, jaws, and TMJ) will be able to show if the third molars are starting to form. The earliest timeframe for someone to have their wisdom teeth taken out is usually in their late teens.

If you’re well past the time of having your wisdom teeth grow in, you might not be totally off the hook. If you’re over 30 years old and your third molars have erupted, they’ll be prone to issues like cavities or gum disease because of how hard they are to clean. If for any reason they become infected, a dentist will recommend extracting them.

It can take more than a decade for your wisdom teeth to form and erupt. In fact, they might first be noticeable on your dental X-rays as a young teenager or middle school student, but not actually be fully developed until you’re close to 30 years old!

Most people tend to see their wisdom teeth grow and come in sometime during their high school or college years. For the rest of us, it’s our 20s. So, if you suspect you need to schedule a wisdom tooth removal, it might be more convenient to have the surgery while you’re still living at home with your parents!

And then, there are those lucky individuals who never get wisdom teeth at all. It’s not that they don’t come in through the gums; it’s that they never formed them in the first place! Third molars (another name for wisdom teeth) are one of the most common to be congenitally missing. So, if your parents have a missing wisdom tooth, you might too! You’ll usually know for sure by the time you’re a teenager, as long as a full mouth X-ray is available.

If you’re starting to feel your wisdom teeth coming in, the most important thing to do at this stage is to make sure you keep seeing your dentist every six months for a checkup. Be sure to mention any symptoms of soreness or irritation. At that point, a dentist will make sure to get an up-to-date X-ray of the area to see exactly how much your wisdom teeth are growing, how they’re positioned, and if there are any issues such as cysts or impactions. If you’re not in pain and everything looks healthy for the time being, a dentist might just recommend watching them and re-evaluating your third molars at the next checkup.

However, if there’s no space for your wisdom teeth to grow in, if they’re slanted towards the adjacent teeth, if there are cysts around them, or if partial eruption is putting you at risk for decay and gum disease, a dentist will likely recommend making a plan to have them taken out. Wisdom tooth removal is usually performed with sedation, so it isn’t a same-day procedure — you’ll need to plan it out for a future date.

Although wisdom teeth do grow over an extended period of time (over 10-15 years), they do eventually stop growing. For most people, wisdom teeth are fully formed by the time they turn about 30 years old. That’s why it’s so common for young adults who are in their 20s and living independently to go ahead and have to schedule wisdom tooth extractions.

If you’re lucky enough to have your wisdom teeth come in without any sort of complications, and you’re at least 30 years old, it’s safe to say that your third molars are likely completely formed. At this point in your oral development, you won’t be getting any additional teeth. However, it’s essential to take extra measures to keep your wisdom teeth clean, since they’re so hard to reach and are more prone to infection.

About Dr. Jennifer Silver

Dr. Jennifer Silver has helped patients in Calgary determine the status of their wisdom teeth growth and remove them for the past 15 years! Dr. Silver will work closely with you to provide a comprehensive examination and inform you of all your options prior to your wisdom teeth removal procedure.

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