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Wisdom Teeth in NW Calgary

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and are usually challenged for space. The third molars, or wisdom teeth, typically come in around age 17.

Man in pain holding his jaw

For many of us, our wisdom teeth may not have enough room to fit in our mouths properly. The eruption of these additional teeth can cause discomfort and crowding of teeth near the front of our mouth, creating aesthetic concerns.

Request an appointment to find out if your wisdom teeth need to be extracted.

All of our services are performed by general dentists.

Why Do Some Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?

Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each back corner of the mouth. These teeth usually do not have sufficient space to erupt and often become impacted or trapped in the jawbone and gums. With no room to erupt, wisdom teeth try to force their way into the mouth, pushing other teeth out of the way and resulting in alignment and maintenance issues.

Whether your wisdom teeth could cause problems or not depends on several factors, including the size of your jaw and the direction your wisdom teeth are developing in.

Potential Problems

Choosing not to have your wisdom teeth extracted could result in a variety of issues, including:

  • Gum infection
  • Crowding & tooth displacement
  • Wisdom tooth decay and decay on the tooth directly in front of it
  • Position-related bite problems
  • Potential cyst formation

How Does Wisdom Tooth Extraction Work?

Evaluation

The procedure for removal begins with an evaluation of your dental and medical history. You may also receive two types of x-rays; a panographic x-ray which provides an overall view of your head, neck and facial bones, and an intraoral x-ray which provides more detailed views of individual teeth. Removal or extractions may be done in our office or at an oral surgeon’s office. The time required for extractions depends upon many factors, including the position of the wisdom teeth in relation to other teeth an anatomical structures, how developed your wisdom teeth roots are, your anxiety level, and how much access the dentist has to work with.

Surgery

You may be given a sedative to help you relax, or general anesthetic can be requested at an oral surgeon’s office so you can sleep through the procedure. You will also receive a local anesthetic to numb the area around your wisdom teeth to ensure that you are comfortable. Once you are fully relaxed or asleep and your mouth is numb, the surgery will begin. The surgical method depends on whether your wisdom teeth are erupted or impacted, and on the shape of the roots.

If your tooth is partially or completely erupted, it may be removed through simple luxation and application of dental forceps. If your tooth is impacted or the roots are quite curved, surgical removal will be needed. If the tooth is lodged in the jawbone, an incision may be made in the gums and removal of hard tissue may be required, which may also include sectioning the tooth into smaller pieces.

Recovery

The healing process begins immediately after surgery. You should rest and take it easy for the next few days. You will be given instructions for your home recovery. To control residual bleeding, you may be instructed to bite down on a piece of gauze, applying constant, direct pressure to the area. This helps a blood clot to form in the socket. It is important to avoid elevating your heart rate and avoid eating hot foods and drinks, as this will minimize bleeding. If bleeding should begin again hours after surgery, place clean moist gauze or a wet tea bag over the extraction site and bite down for 45-60 mins. Also refrain from eating any nuts or seeds so no little pieces get stuck in the sockets. Enjoy soft foods and cool beverages to make cleaning easier. Smoking, alcohol consumption, and negative pressure caused by straws may delay healing and potentially cause “dry socket”. Pain from extractions will begin to dwindle three days after extractions. If pain does not lessen, or if it gets worse, please see your dentist or oral surgeon for more help.