Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Windermere Edmonton
Wisdom teeth are the biggest teeth in the human mouth and have been with us throughout our evolution. At a time when humans faced scarcity of meat, plant matter was eaten as an important part of the diet and the wisdom teeth were used to crush and gnash the dense greens. As we evolved into agricultural societies, our dependence on plant matter decreased and we found more reliable sources of food.
Today, these teeth remain as a holdover from another time. The modern human faces challenges accommodating these pearly giants, since crowding and access become more difficult. Signs of emergence typically begins between the ages of 13 and 20, though it is not unusual for the teeth to present earlier or later.
The average person often does not have the available space in the mouth for the tooth to take its place with ease. Instead, crowding can cause the teeth to shift, or the tooth becomes impacted.
An impacted tooth is one which has become stuck before it was able to fully erupt. When a wisdom tooth gets stuck, it can damage the root systems of the neighbouring teeth. Impacted teeth can be turned horizontally, for example, resulting in it never erupting from the gums. In many cases, the wisdom teeth find almost enough room to enter the mouth but stop before they fully clear the gum tissue. In these cases, a portion of gum tissue remains covering part of the wisdom tooth and causes infection.
Wisdom tooth infections are difficult to prevent when soft tissue traps food, acids and debris and holds it against the enamel. This toxic environment is perpetuated by the fact that it is difficult to effectively clean a tooth so far back with all its peaks and valleys. Inevitably, this tissue becomes irritated and sore and begins to produce a foul-tasting seepage. These infections must be treated with antibiotics and removal is recommended to prevent further infection.
The concern about infection in wisdom teeth extends beyond typical scope of concern, since the teeth are so big that their root systems often extend close to the sinus cavity or around the primary nerve. Infections in these teeth have increased capacity to spread dangerously if untreated, and dentists are likely to recommend preventative extraction as these teeth begin to emerge.
Infections in the wisdom teeth may present with a pustule on the gums, or noticeable pain due to swelling when opening the mouth – particularly in the morning. If this occurs, see your dentist for an emergency visit. At the very least, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to begin treating the infection while you prepare for extraction.
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Request an appointment online and we will do our best to accommodate you. Please note we will respond to online requests as soon as possible during our working hours. If your matter is urgent, we encourage you to give us a call at 780-760-8482. All services provided by a general dentist.
Extraction can occur all at once, or one at a time depending upon your dentist’s recommendation and your level of comfort. These extractions are similar to a regular tooth extraction in terms of patient experience, with some added preparation and technique on the part of your dentist. Your dentist will carefully assess the placement of your wisdom tooth or teeth to determine whether the procedure can be performed in-office or whether you will be referred to a specialist. In most cases, your dentist can perform a wisdom tooth removal in the clinic environment with local anesthetic. If your dentist has to cut the soft tissue to access the wisdom tooth for removal, sutures may be placed to encourage the wound to heal.
Your dentist will provide you with care instructions to care for your extraction site at home. This may include pain control medication, flushing syringes for cleaning and/or rinses. You will be advised not to drink anything with a straw or smoke cigarettes, since the sucking motion could remove your protective blood clot which is there to cover your nerve. Exposing this nerve is painful and requires treatment by the dentist.
Eat only cool liquids after your extraction. The cool liquid will soothe the soft tissues. Slowly introduce foods beginning with lukewarm broth, jells, puddings or other smooth, texture-free food. As the wound heals in the days following extraction, you will begin to tolerate textures such as noodles or soups.
Ice packs can be used on the cheeks in ten-minute intervals to control any discomfort as local anesthetic begins to wear off. It is important to take pain control medication as directed, since waiting too long to take a medication could result in it being insufficient to offer effective relief. If possible, we recommend resting after your extraction. If you are still experiencing discomfort at rest after three days, have your dentist perform a follow-up exam to ensure that your healing is on track to success and that there are no signs of concern. For those who have experienced challenges as their wisdom teeth emerged, extraction offers relief from ongoing concern and discomfort.
For questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.