What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last molars, also called third molars to develop in upper and lower jaws.
Since modern humans are not consuming the same food as our ancestors did, our jaws are shrinking in length.
As a result of that evolutionary process, wisdom teeth are often not left with enough space to properly erupt in the mouth. When they get blocked in the jaws, they are called impacted wisdom teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth are usually diagnosed by a full mouth x-ray routinely taken during your first dental appointment at Norburn Dental Centre.
If not removed, Impacted teeth may cause the following symptoms:
- Pain: This is the most common reason for the removal of impacted wisdom teeth
- Swelling of the gums: When the wisdom teeth are not fully out in the mouth, they cause little pockets where food can get stuck and rot causing localized inflammation which causes bad smell, swelling and infection of the gums.
- Damage to adjacent teeth: Occasionally, due to improper angulation of the wisdom teeth, they make cleaning the adjacent teeth very difficult leading to cavities and gum problems around the perfectly fine adjacent teeth.
- Cyst development: Very rarely, impacted teeth which are stuck completely inside the jaw bones may develop a cyst, making the bone hollow and causing jaw fracture. Those cysts are also known to damage the roots of the adjacent teeth.
Our Wisdom Teeth Extraction Process
- Diagnosis: Proper diagnosis of the impaction using appropriate x-rays, how close the roots are to the nerves, sinus, etc
- Sedation (optional): The option to be sedated safely with an oral pill so that the entire experience of the patient is very comfortable and pleasant.
- Extraction: Careful extraction of the teeth preserves the valuable jaw bone and vital nerves around the teeth
- Treatment: Using bone graft material and collagen membranes in the hole left after removing the teeth so that the healing is fast, predictable and pain-free.
- Pain Medication: Prescription of strong pain medications including corticosteroids, and anti-bacterial rinse, which help reduce the inflammation, swelling and pain in the jaw.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed
If your wisdom teeth are fully and properly erupted in the mouth and are helping you chew, there is no reason to remove them.
Dr. Davé at Norburn Dental Centre routinely fixes cavities on wisdom teeth which were recommended to be removed by other dentists.
If your wisdom teeth are fully in the bone, not causing any pain and are very close to nerves, the risk associated with damaging the nerve doesn't justify their removal. In those cases, Dr. Davé would recommend just monitoring those teeth for the development of any cysts or damage to adjacent teeth without removing the wisdom teeth.
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