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,

Happy New Year to all our patients and friends of Williams Lake Smiles!

There’s just something about a new year! It represents a clean slate, a new beginning for many of us. As we finished up with 2020, we all want to believe that 2021 will bring a sort of relief from much of what the past year has brought us. 

Although there are still many restrictions and hurdles ahead of us, we are all doing our best to prove that we are resilient and focused on brighter and healthier days ahead.

The start of 2021 finds many of us evaluating our health and making plans and potential changes for the year ahead. So, as you are making some New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to add dental care to that list!

Managing your dental health is a key factor of keeping your immune system strong to help protect you against any attack. Just as important as a good diet, rest and exercise, your dental health is something you should not ignore.

Often dental changes can happen with little to no discomfort or warning. Just as changes in the rest of your body happen, it is the same for your teeth and mouth. We all know that age, stress, hormones and busy schedules (just to name a few) sneak up on us and seem to cause changes to our bodies almost overnight. Where you used to be able to eat whatever you wanted, barely exercise and stay up all hours of the night, you might be noticing that you just can’t do that anymore! It is similar with our dental care routine. If you have been doing the same routine for what seems like forever, it might be time to evaluate and change things, even slightly, to be more effective in keeping your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

Our team at Williams Lake Smiles is here to help make your health a top priority. We look forward to continuing to work with you as life changes happen and want to make dental pain and emergency the smallest challenges possible.

This past year we have been working even harder to make our office a safe, welcoming place for you to visit. You may notice our policies and protocols have changed and will continue to do so based on recommendations from our professional colleges, provincial and local health authorities. Please respect these new policies and understand that some extra screening and time is required in order to achieve this. To keep things running smoothly, it is very important to complete all screening paperwork prior to all visits to our office. If the required paperwork is not completed, we may need to reschedule your appointment time.

Contact our team to schedule a dental appointment to help you be the healthiest you in 2021.

We look forward to seeing you soon,

Dr Rudy Wassenaar and the team at Williams Lake Smiles


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