Your wisdom teeth are the very last teeth to make an appearance, usually in your late teens or early 20s. They are called your third molars and are a kind of a throwback to a time when our diets were more fibrous and harder to chew. At that time having an extra set of molars was quite useful! When wisdom teeth can come through normally, then it is always nice to have more teeth that are healthy, but often overcrowding is an issue.
By this time all your other adult teeth are already in place, and it’s quite likely that your jaw is full. When your wisdom teeth try to come through, they may erupt at unnatural angles, will try to come up under existing teeth, or will be stuck underneath the gums. Wisdom teeth trapped underneath the gums are called impacted. It’s also possible for wisdom teeth to partially erupt so part of the tooth may poke through your gums, but a portion will remain covered by gum tissue.
Partially erupted wisdom teeth are a problem because they are so difficult to keep clean. The gum tissue partly covering the tooth can easily trap food and bacteria, increasing the risk of infection and decay. When wisdom teeth cannot erupt properly, then they can harm nearby teeth, possibly your nerves and tissues in these areas and even your jawbone.
How Do I Tell If My Wisdom Teeth Will Cause Problems?
If your wisdom teeth have yet to come through, then we will carefully monitor their location in your jaws here at West Bowmanville Family Dental. Our dentist will take a panoramic digital x-ray in Courtice. A panoramic dental x-ray is a little different from other x-rays that may only show an image of a single tooth. Instead, the x-ray captures your entire mouth in a single image so it’s very useful for visualizing the position of teeth yet to erupt and will show us if they could cause problems. We definitely don’t extract wisdom teeth as a matter of routine and will only remove them if they can’t come through without problems.
What Happens When Wisdom Teeth Need to Come out?
If your wisdom teeth do need to come out, then we will take a great deal of care to ensure you feel comfortable during the procedure. Local anesthetic is used to numb the tooth and the surrounding area, and often a severely impacted wisdom tooth is removed in small sections. Cutting or sectioning the tooth before removing it allows our dentist in Newcastle to make a smaller incision into your gum or jawbone. If the wisdom tooth has already partially poked through your gum, then we may not need to make an incision. We do remove teeth as gently as possible, and it’s often surprisingly quick.
After oral surgery is complete, we can place stitches if needed, or an empty tooth socket may be left to heal. Usually, a small piece of gauze is placed over the extraction site, and light pressure is applied to help stop any bleeding. Within a short while, a blood clot generally forms in the empty socket and which will protect it while it heals. Don’t worry, as we will give you lots of instructions at the time on how to care for your mouth after wisdom tooth removal in Clarington and recovery is generally quick and uneventful.
If you do experience any symptoms after wisdom teeth extraction, then we are always here to help you.