Do Wisdom Teeth Have to Be Removed? Not always
The wisdom teeth (third molars) are the last permanent teeth to erupt. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25.Some people never get their wisdom teeth, while for others, the wisdom teeth appear without any problems. However, in few cases, people develop impacted wisdom teeth. These teeth don’t have adequate room to erupt and may erupt partially or not at all. Impacted wisdom teeth may:
- Grow at an angle that leans towards the second molar
- Grow at an angle that heads towards the back of the mouth
- Grow at a 90-degree angle to the rest of the teeth as if lying down in the jawbone
Grow straight down or up lie other teeth but remain trapped in the jawbone
What Problems Can Impacted Wisdom Teeth Cause?
You may need a wisdom tooth removal if your wisdom tooth causes any of the following problems:
- Traps food behind the wisdom tooth
- Develops fluid-filled sac around the wisdom tooth
- Tooth decay in your partly erupted wisdom tooth
- Periodontal disease (infection or gum disease)
- Damage to the nearby tooth or the surrounding bone
Complications with orthodontic treatments to straighten the other teeth
What Are The Risks
The majority of wisdom tooth extractions never lead to long-term complications. All in all, the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth calls for a surgical approach that requires an incision to be made in the gum tissues and the removal of bone. While rare, complications may include:
- Damage to the nearby teeth, sinuses, jawbone, or nerves
- Infections in the socket from trapped food or bacteria
- Painful, dry socket or exposed bone when a post-surgical blood clot is lost from the site of surgery
- Pain and swelling of the gums and the socket from which the tooth was removed
- Slow-healing gums
- Damage to the existing dental work such as bridges or crowns
- Pain or difficulty opening the jaw (trismus)
- Numbness in the lips or mouth
- A fractured jaw if the wisdom tooth was attached firmly to the jawbone
Since wisdom teeth removal may cause bacteria to get into the bloodstream, you may need to take antibiotics if your body has difficulty fighting bacteria. The antibiotics may need to be taken both before and after the surgery. Antibiotics may be prescribed before and after for persons with artificial heart valves and those born with a heart defect. It is better to remove on younger patients when their bone is softer, thus enabling them to tolerate the procedure better.
How to Prepare for the Surgery
While a dentist can perform a normal procedure in the office, the dentist may suggest you turn to an oral surgeon if your tooth is deeply impacted. At times sedation may be recommended to keep you more comfortable.
Wisdom teeth removal in Toronto is mostly an outpatient procedure. You will be allowed to go home on the same day. The dentist may provide you with instructions on what to do before, during, and after surgery.
What to Expect During the Procedure
During the procedure, your oral surgeon or dentist may:
- Make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone
- Remove the bone that blocks access to the tooth’s root
- Divide the tooth into sections if it is easier to remove in pieces
- Remove the tooth
- Clean the site and stitch the wound closed
Place gauze over the extraction site to control bleeding and to help a blood clot form
What to Expect After the Procedure
If nitrous oxide sedation was used, you may be taken to a recovery room. Recovery can also be in the dental chair. The dentist may provide instructions on how to manage the bleeding, pain, swelling, oral hygiene, what to eat, and what to avoid.
When to Call Your Dentist or Surgeon
You should contact your oral surgeon or dentist if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Severe pain
- Pus in or oozing from the socket
- Pus or blood in nasal discharge
- Persistent numbness or a loss of feeling
- A bad taste in the mouth that is not removed with saltwater rinsing
- Swelling that worsens after 2 to 3 days
- Excessive bleeding
The above could be an indication of nerve damage, infection, or serious complications.
We are a Family Friendly Practice
At Chapnik Dental Office, we provide family dentistry services. Toronto and Barrie dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick works with every child to build trust and comfort through the entire dental visit process.