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Gain a Little Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

Gain a Little Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

For decades, having wisdom teeth removed was a rite of passage – one many high school graduates squeezed in before leaving for college.

The thinking was that it was best to lose those mostly useless, ill-fitting teeth before they caused infections or other trouble. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, often are misaligned and impacted – fully or partly stuck below the gum line – because they emerge late, at ages 17 to 25, after the jaw has stopped growing and other teeth have filled the mouth.

Many teens and adults wonder if having their wisdom teeth removed is necessary. These third molars, after all, serve no purpose and often cause complications later in life. At the Fairlawn Dental Clinic in Ottawa, Dr. Jaleel is always happy to sit down with patients to discuss treatment options and what would best suit their needs. If you are wondering if wisdom tooth extraction is necessary for you, we’d like to help. Wisdom teeth that have become impacted or haven’t fully broken through the surface of the gum can cause dental problems. Food and bacteria can get trapped around the edge of the wisdom teeth, causing a build-up of plaque, which can lead to gum disease or other problems.

When is Wisdom Teeth Removal Needed?

When a wisdom tooth fails to erupt properly, it can actually grow in a variety of different directions, including toward or away from adjacent teeth. In other cases, it may become lodged within the bone of the jaw itself, a situation that may cause immense pain and even damage to the nerves deep within the jaw. In other cases, a wisdom tooth may erupt only partially, creating an opening in the gum tissue through which bacteria may cross and cause an infection. Symptoms of an impacted or infected wisdom tooth include:

  • Localized pain
  • Redness and inflammation of the gums
  • Tenderness and bleeding
  • Foul breath
  • Swelling in the jaw
  • A persistent and unexplained bad taste in the mouth
  • Headaches

It is important to keep in mind that not all patients who have impacted wisdom teeth experience symptoms. Regular checkups at our office will help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth are likely to cause problems before you feel pain or develop an infection.

How Wisdom Teeth are Removed?

Before the procedure, you will usually be given a local anaesthetic injection to numb the area around the tooth. You’ll feel some pressure just before the tooth is removed, as your dentist or oral surgeon needs to widen the tooth socket by rocking the tooth back and forth. In some cases a cut (incision) may be needed in your gum and the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces before it is removed. The time it takes to remove the tooth will vary. Some procedures only take a few minutes, whereas others can take 20 minutes or longer. After your wisdom teeth have been removed, you may experience swelling and discomfort, both on the inside and outside of your mouth. This is usually worse for the first three days, but it can last for up to two weeks.

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Schedule Your One-on-One Consultation Today

Whether your wisdom teeth have begun to erupt already or you are concerned that they may be impacted, we are here to help with a comprehensive selection of general, family, and restorative dentistry solutions. Contact our office in Ottawa today to reserve your appointment with our caring, experienced doctors. We look forward to talking with you, assessing your case, and recommending the treatment plan that best suits your unique needs.

613-829-6868

2194 Carling Avenue, Unit 1

Ottawa, ON K2A 1H3

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