Dental Emergencies

Wisdom Teeth Removal

What is wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom teeth removal is the extraction of wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, which are the last four teeth to come in at the top and bottom of the mouth.

Once wisdom teeth break through, when most people are in their mid-teens to early twenties, there often isn’t enough room left in their mouth to fit them, making wisdom teeth removal necessary.

As wisdom teeth grow in, they can cause overcrowding and affect the other teeth’s alignment and health. Most people have wisdom teeth, but not everyone. Some people have more than one set of wisdom teeth come in.

When do wisdom teeth typically come in?

Wisdom teeth usually come in when teens are around 16 or 17 years old. Parents are encouraged to schedule dental exams for their kids when they reach that age, for digital X-rays.

X-rays will show if wisdom teeth are coming in and need to be removed in order to avoid overcrowding or other problems.

What are the signs of wisdom teeth coming in?

  • Pain at the back of the mouth, in and around the jaw
  • Tenderness when you chew and/or brush your teeth
  • Swelling of the gums in the area
  • Ear aches and/or headaches

What are the reasons for having wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth extractions become necessary when wisdom teeth are trapped under the gum, which is called having impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems like pain, inflammation, decay and even infection.

Wisdom teeth may also be removed preventively to avoid overcrowding. This is usually determined with the aid of digital X-rays.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth are removed just as other teeth are extracted; by a dental or oral surgeon, using either local or general anesthesia.

After the wisdom tooth or wisdom teeth are extracted, some tenderness, pain and swelling may be felt, but it should go away after a few days. If it doesn’t, and the area starts bleeding or you develop a fever, consult your dentist immediately.

What does the wisdom teeth removal process involve?

Wisdom teeth removal is a common tooth extraction procedure, usually done under either local or general anesthesia.

If the wisdom teeth have erupted and are visible they can be removed fairly easily, as with a standard tooth extraction, with the use of a dental elevator.

If the teeth haven’t erupted or are impacted, a cut needs to be made in the gum just above where the wisdom tooth is located. The bone that’s covering the impacted wisdom tooth needs to be removed before the tooth can be extracted.

Once the wisdom teeth have been removed, your dentist will stitch the area with dissolvable stitches and recommend some post-care treatment such as ice packs and painkillers.