Wisdom Tooth Extractions in High Prairie

The human body goes through many changes on its way to full development, some easier than others to endure. Hormonal changes, full development of the frontal lobe and teething name just a few. A common complaint of patients contending with the eruption of wisdom teeth is “I thought I was all done with teething!”. As dentists, we understand the frustration with wisdom teeth in terms of pain, discomfort and complications that can accompany their emergence through the gums and along the dental arch – because many of us have endured the same late in our adolescence.

Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are the teeth that typically erupt at the back of the mouth behind the molars. Although eruption age can vary, we typically see them begin to make themselves known around the ages of seventeen through nineteen.

Although some patients do not experience discomfort associated with their wisdom teeth, these teeth are often removed due to complications such as impactions, partial impactions or infections.  When wisdom teeth try to emerge and encounter too much resistance, the tooth often remains stuck in place and requires intervention in order to move it. Without removal, these teeth may impact the bone or the roots of the teeth adjacent to them.

Other challenges occur when the teeth partially erupt and remain partially exposed, and partially covered by gum tissue. The tissue and the tooth are at risk of infection and decay in this case, due to the tendency for food to become packed under the flap of soft tissue that covers it. As food debris remains stuck, it subjects the tooth to acid attack as the debris breaks down, and bacterial count rises. Since it is difficult to clean under the flap of skin covering the tooth, the tooth and gums become a risk for infection.

Infections in the gums make themselves known with pain, swelling, a bitter taste in the back of the mouth or all three. More severe cases can cause difficulty opening and closing the jaw. Infections in the tooth primarily occur as a result of not being able to reach the back of the mouth to clean it as well as you can clean the rest of the mouth. Infection of the tooth will also be indicated by pain in the tooth and potentially swelling in the area. If you suspect that you have an infection, do not put heat on the area – this will further inflame it. Opt instead for an icepack placed on the outside of the cheek in 15-minute increments, allowing the cheek to return to body temperature before reapplying.

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Patient First Approach

Family friendly dental practices focus in the oral health of every member of the family, no matter the size and no matter the age. Even patients who are expecting often find themselves inquiring about the benefits of a family dental practice. Because family dentists are interested in the care and well-being of the whole family unit, a mother’s dental health while expecting is of particular interest to them. This is because the changes that occur in an expectant mother’s physiology during gestation can result in subsequent changes in her dental health. Loss of calcium and other important minerals should be monitored closely during pregnancy to ensure that the mother’s body is still receiving the nutrition required, despite sharing those vitamins and minerals with their precious growing baby. Mothers with diabetes or other chronic health issues will find a family friendly dentist very competent in the area of oral health during gestation and any health issues or genetic disorders will automatically be of concern to the dentist when baby arrives. A dentist who is familiar with each member of the family and their familial conditions is better prepared to support you in your collective oral health journey. And the journey is a family dentist’s passion!

Extractions and What to Expect

If your dentist informs you that he or she recommends extracting either or all of your wisdom teeth, you may have questions about what to expect. The procedure for extracting a wisdom tooth is quite similar to other tooth extractions. There may be a need to make an incision in the gum to gain access to the tooth if impacted, which may result in some stitches, but your dentist will inform you of this prior to the procedure. We offer oral sedative medications as well as nitrous gas to assist our clients in feeling at ease during their dental procedure if they feel that their anxiety will prevent them from remaining calm during the procedure. Your comfort is always our first priority – please speak to your practitioner about your level of comfort to determine how we can support you. If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentists, contact our clinic today.

Risks Posed by Wisdom Teeth

It is generally thought that the risks associated with trying to maintain your wisdom teeth outweigh the benefits due to the potential for infection and decay, but that’s not all.

Wisdom teeth have large root systems that can make infections and extractions more complex in some cases. This is due to the proximity of the root systems to the nerve system in the lower jaw, and the proximity of the roots to the sinus on the upper arch. Without assessing the risk of extraction, the sinus cavity can be compromised, or the nerve of the lower jaw can be negatively impacted. For these reasons, your dentist uses digital X-ray imaging to understand the full picture under the surface. If there is increased risk that your dentist is concerned about, you may be referred to a dental specialist, but in most cases wisdom teeth can be safely extracted under local anesthetic with a general dentist.

If you retain your wisdom teeth, it is important to see your dentist for regular checkups to ensure that there are no underlying issues emerging. Dentigerous cysts can be asymptomatic and tend to form at the end of the wisdom tooth’s root system. These cysts will fill with fluid over time, and as the cyst gets bigger it can erode surrounding bone, damage root systems of neighbouring teeth or cause drifting of other teeth. If you notice any swelling or changes in your tooth’s alignment, stop by your dentist’s office to investigate.

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