Wisdom Teeth

The average person develops wisdom teeth during their early or late teenage years. These teeth develop in the back of the mouth and are the last teeth to erupt. Frequently, there is not enough room in the mouth to accommodate the teeth coming into a proper chewing position. Due to lack of space, these teeth come in at odd angles or only partially through the gum tissue.

Why should I remove my wisdom teeth?

Removal of wisdom teeth is recommended when these teeth are unable to properly erupt within the mouth. They may come in at various angles, partially break through the gum tissue or remain completely buried beneath the gum tissue and bone.

Specifically, when wisdom teeth have broken through the gum tissue, food and plaque can become trapped between the gum tissue and the tooth. This can result in infection in the gum tissue around the tooth (called pericoronitis). As well, the accumulation of food and plaque can result in cavities in the wisdom teeth and/or adjacent teeth.

Alternatively, there can be breakdown and inflammation of the surrounding bone, called periodontal disease. Pressure from erupting wisdom teeth may also cause crowding of the remaining teeth. Particularly, when an individual has undergone orthodontic treatment (braces), wisdom teeth removal is recommended to prevent crowding after the braces have been removed.

Lastly, retaining wisdom teeth can result in the development of dental cysts or tumors. These cysts or tumors can often cause significant harm to the bone nearby and oftentimes, even damage healthy teeth.

Removal of impacted teeth does resolve these concerns. It is generally considered a good idea to remove these teeth when individuals are younger since surgery tends to be easier and as well, there are usually fewer postoperative complications and risks.

Oral Examinations

The surgeons at South Calgary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery will evaluate the position of your wisdom teeth and decide if there may be present or future problems. It has generally been shown that early evaluation and management of impacted teeth results in a better outcome. We recommend that patients are first evaluated in the mid teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral maxillofacial surgeon.

Surgical Removal of Wisdom Teeth

In most cases, the surgeons at South Calgary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery recommend general anesthesia or intravenous sedation for removal of wisdom teeth. Local anesthetic can be used if the surgery is very simple and routine. Your anesthetic options as well as the associated benefits and risks associated with removal of your teeth will be discussed. Likewise, this website will direct you to various areas where you can obtain further information regarding wisdom teeth and their removal. We will try to provide you with as many resources as possible so that you can obtain full information regarding this procedure beforehand. Likewise, you will receive written postoperative instructions. These instructions will be reviewed by a recovery room staff member prior to your discharge from South Calgary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. As well, this website will provide you with resources which can reinforce and answer any questions you may have, upon your return home.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us.