Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Fort McMurray
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to reveal themselves in a growing mouth, and are often not a welcome surprise. Between the ages of 13 and 17, these teeth begin to make their way into the oral cavity and often run into trouble on the way.
The Trouble with Wisdom Teeth
Since wisdom teeth are the largest and most recessed in the human mouth, they require significant room at the back of the upper and lower dental arches to ensure that they can erupt. These teeth are so big, and their root systems so robust, that they often extend into the sinus cavity or deep into the jaw around the main nerve. As a consequence of their size, these teeth often do not make it all the way to their intended destination.
When wisdom teeth are constrained by limited space, they will often erode the root systems adjacent to them. Alternatively, these teeth become impacted (stuck). Since the tooth has to make its way through several layers of tissue to reach the dental arch, wisdom teeth can become impacted at various stages.
Some wisdom teeth will become impacted in the bone and will never reach the gum tissue while others may become stuck in the soft tissue. On the occasion that a wisdom tooth partially erupts into the mouth, risk of infection increases. When a tooth partially erupts it is partially still covered by gum tissue which can form a flap for food and bacteria to settle into, causing irritation, inflammation and eventually…infection.
Hard to Care For
The placement of wisdom teeth in the mouth, and their characteristic peaks and valleys, mean that it can be difficult to clean them effectively. In a warm, dark, moist place such as this, cavities and gum disease are an obvious result.
If you experience swelling in the mouth as well as pain upon opening your jaw in the morning, it’s possible that an infection is beginning. A metallic taste in the back of your mouth, or a sourness that won’t subside, points to seepage and warrants a trip to your dentist to determine whether to have the tooth, or teeth, extracted.
Having wisdom teeth removed is often the only way to permanently relieve painful symptoms. Although antibiotics can provide temporary relief, the symptoms can unfortunately return in the future.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
While complicated cases may require a referral to a dental specialist for removal, a general dentist can usually remove your wisdom teeth in their clinic under local anesthetic. The procedure is similar to any other tooth extraction, with the exception of some incisions in the gums to access impacted teeth. If this is required, your dentist will inform you and educate you about how to care for the stitches.
If anxiety has you questioning this in-clinic procedure, talk to your dentist about sedation methods which may assist you in remaining calm throughout the procedure.
Following the removal of your wisdom teeth, your dentist will provide you with instructions and medication to help keep you comfortable at home while promoting healing. It is important to follow these instructions and contact our clinic if you have questions or concerns.
If you have taken oral sedatives, your dentist will require that you have a personal chaperone to and from the clinic to ensure your safety. Calling a taxi service is discouraged, since you may be in a disoriented or vulnerable state, and you should never drive when under the influence of any form of sedative.
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First, it is important to take your pain medication as prescribed, since keeping the discomfort at bay will improve your experience. In the days following the extraction, you will be asked to eat only liquids such as juice or broth. As your extraction site begins to heal, you will be able to tolerate proceeding to foods with more texture. Pureed soups, pudding and jello are a good place to begin, but warm liquids may irritate your jaw if it is inflamed. Cold foods should be eaten at first to limit discomfort, and an ice pack can be used to decrease swelling or discomfort in 10-minute intervals.
After extraction, you may crave an icy beverage – but be sure to ditch the straw. Sucking motion of any kind, including cigarette smoking, in the days following your procedure can put you at risk of a condition known as ‘dry socket’. This occurs when the blood clot that forms deep in the jaw as protection is sucked out, leaving the nerve painfully exposed. If you suspect that you may have dry socket, it is important to see your dentist for packing to provide relief.
If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.
Contact Us At Any Time
If at any time you experience unusual persistent pain along with fever or chills and a foul taste in the mouth, see your dentist urgently to investigate the possibility of infection and treatment. If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is important to take them all, and take them as directed.
If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentists, contact our clinic today.