Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom teeth are actually our third molars...
which come in behind the 2nd molars - if there is room and they are aligned properly - during the late teen years or early twenties.
A person will usually have four wisdom teeth: upper left and right and lower left and right. If a tooth fails to emerge fully into its position, its is called "impacted." Either there is not enough room for the tooth, or the angulation of the tooth is improper.
Why Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Wisdom teeth generally cause problems when they erupt partially through the gum. The most common reasons for removing them are:
Saliva, bacteria, and food particles can collect the wisdom tooth, causing it, or the next tooth to decay. It is very difficult to remove such decay. Pain and infection will usually follow.
Gum Infection (Pericoronitis)
When a wisdom tooth is partially erupted, food and bacteria collect under the gum causing a local infection. This may result in bad breath, pain, swelling, and inability to open the mouth fully. The infection can spread to involve the cheek and neck. Once the initial episode occurs, each subsequent attack becomes more frequent and more severe.
Pain may also come from the pressure of the erupting wisdom tooth against other teeth. In some cases this pressure may cause the erosion of these teeth.
Many younger patients have had prolonged orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth. Wisdom teeth may cause movement of teeth (particularly the front teeth) when they try to erupt and this will compromise the orthodontic result.
A cyst (fluid filled sac) can develop from the soft tissue around an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts cause bone destruction, jaw expansion and displacement or damage to nearby teeth. The removal of the tooth and cyst is necessary to prevent further bone loss. Rarely, tumors may develop within these cysts or the jaw may fracture spontaneously if the cyst grows very large.
Contact us today in Victoria, (Vancouver Island) B.C. to learn more about how you can achieve the beautiful, functional smile you've always wanted!