Wisdom Teeth Extractions

implacted widsom tooth

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”.In most cases, inadequate space in the mouth does not allow the wisdom teeth to erupt properly and become fully functional.

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. There are several types, or degrees, of impaction based on the actual depth of the teeth within the jaw:

Soft Tissue Impaction: The upper portion of the tooth (the crown) has penetrated through the bone, but the gingiva (gum) is covering part or all of the tooth’s crown and has not positioned properly around the tooth. Because it is difficult to keep the area clean, food can become trapped below the gum and cause an infection and/or tooth decay, resulting in pain and swelling.

Partial Bony Impaction: The tooth has partially erupted, but a portion of the crown remains submerged below the gum and surrounding jawbone. Again, because it is difficult to keep the area clean, infection will commonly occur.

Complete Bony Impaction: The tooth is completely encased by jawbone. This will require more complex removal techniques.

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. If impaction of one or more wisdom teeth is present, and left untreated, a number of potentially harmful outcomes can occur, 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.

WISDOM TEETH EXAMINATION

As with any dental procedure, your dentist will want to initially conduct a thorough examination of the wisdom and surrounding teeth. Panoramic or digital X-rays will be taken in order for your dentist 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. Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions. Only after a thorough examination can your dentist provide you with the best options for your particular case.

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WHAT DOES THE REMOVAL OF WISDOM TEETH INVOLVE?

Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, generally performed under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia by a specially trained dentist in an office surgery suite. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication (if necessary), to help manage any swelling or discomfort.

Learn more about wisdom teeth extractions on our InfoSite.

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Covid-19 (Corona) Virus

Dear valued patients of Williams Lake Smiles,

We hope this finds all our patients and friends healthy and well as summer is supposed to be arriving! Fingers crossed that we will see some sunshine in the Cariboo soon!

Our clinic staff have been working hard through this "new normal" of COVID-19 and ensuring that our clinic is exceeding the regulations to create the most safe and comfortable environment for all our patients. In the field of dentistry, we have always been experts in infection control. Now we are establishing a modified workflow to go above and beyond in this endeavor.

We are starting to resume some scheduling of more routine procedures as well as emergency care at this time. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about our current protocols or would like to schedule care.

Please respect our measures we are taking to ensure physical distancing within our office. This includes completing the COVID-19 prescreening form that is emailed to you before each appointment. We are also continuing to limit our waiting room to one person at a time and having patients complete payments and scheduling in their treatment room before exiting through the side door. This allows us to prevent interaction between patients whenever possible.

You may also find that we are slightly less flexible in our available appointment times for now as we are managing these new measures. We need to consider the amount of patients within our clinic at any time as well as stagger our patient entry and exit times.

Please be patient and kind as we all adjust to this protocol that is in place for the safety of all of us.

Take a few minutes to watch and share our latest instalment of Dr Wassenaar's appearance on the television program "The Wellness Hour". This interview outlines a lot of what we are doing to make sure that our patients have the utmost confidence and comfort in visiting Williams Lake Smiles at all times.

https://youtu.be/16Mdc2RF6Cw

Our first TV interview has enjoyed 860,000 views with world-wide sharing. We would love to hear your feedback.

We look forward to seeing you in our office soon.

Sincerely,

Dr Rudy Wassenaar

Dr Sophia Dahai

And all the Williams Lake Smiles team


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