Providing Better Smiles to Calgary & nearby areas of Alberta
Wisdom teeth removal is vital to your current and future oral health. At Southcentre Dental Clinic, we are happy to perform your wisdom teeth removal in our Calgary office and Dr. Jennifer Silver will be with you every step of the process.
What are wisdom teeth and why do they need to be removed?
Located in the very back corners of your mouth, wisdom teeth are your third set of molars. On average, they usually develop during your late teens or early twenties. An x-ray will determine if you have wisdom teeth and where they are located.
Wisdom teeth become problematic when:
- Impacted (the teeth become trapped in your jawbone or gum)
- Not enough space in your jaw
- Crowd existing teeth
- Develop cavities and decay
To prevent future issues, wisdom teeth removal is also suggested even if the impacted teeth are not currently posing a problem.
Do you have room for wisdom teeth to grow?
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. For example, sometimes they start growing sideways or stay trapped under the gums.
If the wisdom teeth grow in the wrong position, then it 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, 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, neighboring 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.
Most people have crowding issues, which is why wisdom teeth removal is a common recommendation. It is a routine treatment that can help you avoid many problems in the future.
Wisdom teeth removal process
Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure, meaning that you’ll be able to go home after the surgery is complete.
The process first begins with a consultation where we explain the procedure, take an x-ray and address any concerns you may have. You will also receive detailed instructions concerning the prep involved the day before and the day of for your wisdom teeth extraction. This includes:
Not eating anything 8-12 hours prior to the procedure
Set up transportation to and from the procedure
Talk with our dental team about prescribed medications you are currently taking
On the day of the surgery, you’ll first 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 dentist makes a minor incision in your gum to access the wisdom tooth, if it hasn’t erupted. Next, the dentist divides the tooth into sections to help make the removal easier as well as minimize damage to the surrounding bone. From there, the dentist extracts the tooth and cleans the extraction site of tooth or bone debris. After the site is clean, the dentist 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 can last anywhere from 3 to 5 days. Typical effects of the wisdom teeth removal process includes: pain, swelling and 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 and replace the gauze every 20-30 minutes. Also, do not consume hot beverages, soda, solid food, alcohol or cigarettes. In addition, to decrease swelling, place an ice pack on your jaw for 15 minutes and then spend 15 minutes with the ice pack off.
During your recovery, it’s important that you rest and stay away from rigorous activity, take the right dosage of painkillers and rinse your mouth regularly with warm salt water. 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.
The overall healing process can last 1 to 2 weeks.
What is the right timing for wisdom teeth removal?
Most dentists will check wisdom teeth starting in the mid-teenage years. Younger people 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.
The roots and bones aren’t fully formed in the teenage years, which makes it easier to extract the teeth. Early intervention is especially important when the wisdom teeth are impacted.
Sometimes, wisdom tooth removal is suggested for adults when infection or other problems are occurring because of the presence of the third molars. If you are over the age of 30, your wisdom teeth have grown in, and you aren’t having any problems, then you might never need to have your wisdom teeth removed.
Every situation is unique, which is why the best solution is to talk to an experienced dentist for recommendations. It is important to use digital imaging and a thorough exam to determine the placement of the wisdom teeth. We’ll use this information to help you identify whether they need to be removed. Our team is here to guide your decision and help you explore various treatment options.
Wisdom teeth removal cost
- The total cost of your wisdom tooth removal will vary on numerous factors of your surgery. At Southcentre Dental Clinic, we have payment options available to help you fit your treatment into your budget easily. Learn more about our financing options here.
Commonly Asked Questions
How many days off do you need for wisdom teeth?
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. If you’re taking a prescription pain reliever, you won’t be able to drive or operate heavy machinery.
What can you not do after wisdom teeth removal?
Some of the things you’ll want to avoid after any type of oral surgery – including wisdom tooth removal – are exercise, eating hard/crunchy foods, drinking through a straw, carbonated or alcoholic beverages, and smoking. All of these factors can interfere with healing or cause the clot to come out of the extraction site (causing a painful “dry socket”.)
Instead of worrying so much about what not to do, pay attention to what you should do after having your wisdom teeth extracted. Our Calgary 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.
How do you feel better after wisdom teeth removal?
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 it caused will also improve.
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 them 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, plus keep it from returning.
When the initial soreness of your oral surgery improves, you won’t have to feel the swelling or come-and-go pain that wisdom teeth are so prone to causing. After a 1-2-week recovery time, you’ll be as good as new! Just be sure to keep your extraction sites clean and follow your home care instructions to prevent any sort of complications.
Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth taken out. Our Calgary 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 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.
If you’ve recently completed orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist might recommend having your wisdom teeth taken out if you haven’t already. Otherwise the pressure that they create as they erupt could interfere with the ideal alignment of your teeth.
What does wisdom teeth pain feel like?
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 chew 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 our Calgary dentist takes your wisdom teeth out.
What is the oldest age you can get wisdom teeth?
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 are erupted, they’re still prone to issues like cavities or gum disease because of how hard they are to clean. If for any reason they become infected, our Calgary dentist will recommend extracting them.
What are wisdom teeth and why are they called that?
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 but there isn’t any room for them, we actually have to take them out!
If you suspect that your wisdom teeth are the source of your jaw pain or occasional soreness, be sure to have them checked out by our Calgary dentist.
How long does it take for wisdom teeth to grow in?
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.
What to do when your wisdom teeth come in
Are you 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 in Calgary every six months for a checkup. Be sure to mention any symptoms of soreness or irritation. At that point, we’ll make sure we have 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, we might just recommend watching them and re-evaluating your third molars at the next checkup.
However, if we see that there’s no space for your wisdom teeth, that they’re slanted towards the adjacent teeth, there are cysts around them, or partial eruption is putting you at risk for decay and gum disease, we’ll 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 want to plan it out for a future date.
Do wisdom teeth keep growing?
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.
The name “wisdom teeth” is actually given because of how late the third molars tend to grow in. Since they don’t fully form until a person is much older, they have more lifetime experiences tucked into their belt! But that also means having teeth come in so much later in life can lead to soreness, discomfort, and even missed workdays.
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 our Calgary Dentist Team at Southcentre Dental Clinic
Our team feels that our service and results are the reason for our continued success in the Calgary, Alberta community. The staff members are focused on each patient’s needs, and we strive to deliver excellent care and create a fun experience. We are proud to say that the majority of our patients come to us by word-of-mouth. If you’re anxious about dental care, our Calgary dentist, Dr. Silver, and her dental team will do everything in their power to allay your fears and make your visit as comfortable as possible. We believe laughter truly is the best medicine!
If you are looking for cosmetic dental treatments, TMJ treatments, dental implants, or other smile enhancement services located in Calgary, Alberta, give Southcentre Dental Clinic a try. Dr. Silver and her team of friendly and fun dental professionals are here to make your visits to our practices easy and successful. Please call or email us today for an appointment.
HOURS: Monday –Thursday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm
*After hours, you can leave us a message and we will contact you the next business day.
Calgary Wisdom Teeth Removal Near Me: Location & Directions
#155, 100 Anderson Road SE
We are located in Southcentre Mall. Use the south entrance when parking and enter the mall through the doors adjacent from Crate & Barrel. At the bottom of the escalators turn right into the professional offices corridor. We are the first door on the left. There is always parking at the mall.
Services are provided by General Dentists