Harris Dental Boutique


Wisdom Teeth


Everything You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth:

Wisdom Teeth are the last permanent molar teeth on each side of the upper and lower jaw to come through.  It is common for some people not to have them or to have un-erupted Wisdom Teeth.  If you do have wisdom teeth, they usually erupt between the ages of 18 to 21 years.

What You Need to Know:

Wisdom Teeth can come through just like the rest of the teeth in your mouth with no problems. However, it is common not to have enough room in your mouth to fit them. This can mean your Wisdom Teeth may only partially erupt, come through crooked or stay impacted (below the gum line un-erupted).

Impacted, partially erupted or crooked wisdom teeth can lead to painful crowding, swelling and tenderness. Pericoronitis is a dental infection that occurs when  your wisdom tooth partially erupts and the gum tissue covers a part of the top of the tooth. This allows food or plaque to lodge under the gum tissue flap. Symptoms of Pericoronitis include:

You can treat Pericoronitis by rinsing with warm salt water and making sure that food is removed.

It is often recommended that Wisdom Teeth be removed before the age of 20, as your tooth roots are less developed which means fewer complications during their removal.  Dr Linc will usually recommend Wisdom Teeth are evaluated to see if there is a need for their removal at around 16 years of age.

Removing Wisdom Teeth:

Wisdom Tooth removal is a relatively routine procedure. Your dentist will evaluate the situation, and will either do the surgery himself or recommend you see an oral surgeon specialist.

Your Dentist will usually remove Wisdom Teeth under minimal sedation, or IV sedation, also known as Sleep Dentistry and local anaesthesia in the dental chair. If you are anxious about dental treatment, you may like to consider having sedation for your tooth removal procedure.  If so, your Dentist will prescribe medication for you to take before your appointment.

What Type of Wisdom Tooth Removal Will You Need?

There are generally two types of Wisdom Tooth extractions:

How to Prepare Yourself for Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Ensure you provide your full medical and dental history and a list of all the medicines you take. This should include prescription and over-the-counter medication, along with vitamins and supplements which may need to be stopped or reduced when having a tooth removed.

Your Dentist will take an X-ray of the area to plan the best way to remove your tooth. If you are having wisdom teeth or multiple teeth removed, they may recommend an OPG or a Dental CBCT. This X-ray captures all of your teeth at once and will show several things that help to guide your Dentist during your tooth removal, including:

Your Dentist may prescribe antibiotics for you to take before and after your tooth removal. This varies from patient to patient, but you are likely to need antibiotics if:

What to Expect During Your Tooth Removal?

During an extraction, you can expect to feel pressure, but no pain. If you feel any pain or pinching, tell your Dentist right away.

What to Expect After Your Wisdom Tooth Removal?

After your Wisdom Tooth extraction, your will need someone drive you home and stay with you if you have any kind of sedation. You will be given post-surgery instructions, and it is very important that you follow these instructions to avoid any infection or complications.

After your tooth removal, you may need to bite on a piece of gauze for 20 or 30 minutes. This allows the blood in the socket, where your tooth once was, to clot. You may still bleed a small amount, but this should taper off over the following 24 hours. It is important you do not disturb the clot that forms on the socket.

Your Dentist will decide if you need stitches, and whether they be stitches that dissolve or stitches that need removing.  Dissolving stitches will usually take one to two weeks to dissolve. Rinsing with warm salt water will help your stitches dissolve.

How to Manage Your Pain After Having Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Having Wisdom Teeth removed is surgery and you can expect some discomfort, even after a simple extraction. Surgical extractions generally cause more pain after the procedure than simple extractions.

Ice packs on your face will help to reduce any swelling, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. If your jaw is still sore and stiff after any swelling goes down, you can try warm compresses.

Your Dentist may prescribe you with pain medication; however, most pain is gone after a couple of days. If you take an anti-inflammatory drug this can decrease the pain greatly.  Take the first tablets before your local anesthesia wears off and continue taking them for about three days. Your Dentist will recommend the appropriate dose for you.

It is recommended that you eat soft and cool foods for a few days.

Twenty-four hours after your tooth removal, you may gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater; this will keep the area clean and help the healing process. Be careful not to rinse to vigorously as this can dislodge the clot and lead to a dry socket which can be quite painful. Healing will take at least two weeks.

After Your Wisdom Teeth Extractions You Should Avoid?

Smoking, using a straw and spitting causes an action in your mouth that can pull the blood clot from your socket, leading to complications. Smoking also reduces blood flow in the mouth and can slow the healing process. 

What to Watch out for After Your Wisdom Teeth Removal?

The most common complication after a tooth removal is a dry socket. A dry socket occurs when the blood clot does not form in your tooth socket or it breaks down too early. This can be very painful and usually occurs during the first five days after your tooth removal. To ease the pain of a dry socket, your Dentist will rinse out the empty socket, remove any debris and apply a medicated dressing to protect the area. A dry socket should take seven to 10 days to heal.

Other Potential Problems Include:

Call Us If: