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wisdom teeth and extractions

Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth or third molars are usually the last teeth to erupt into the mouth and often there is not enough space inside the mouth for them.
When the wisdom tooth is blocked from erupting it is termed "impacted". 
The tooth may be partially impacted if it grows crooked and partially breaks through the gum or it may be totally impacted if it fails to break through at all.

Partially impacted teeth can lead to serious problems such as pain, infection and crowding.  
Totally impacted teeth can lead to more serious problems if the sac that surrounds the tooth fills with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst.  This enlargement can hollow out the jaw and result in permanent damage to adjacent teeth, jawbone and nerves. If the cyst is not treated a tumour may develop which would require an involved surgical procedure to remove.

What does wisdom teeth removal involve?

An incision is made in the gum tissue and the tissue is turned back to expose the tooth.
The tooth may be removed whole or cut into sections.  Once the wisdom tooth has been removed the gum is put back into place with stitches that dissolve after approximately a week.

It is important to keep the the extraction sites as clean as possible for the first few weeks after surgery. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal as food left in the wound retards healing and invites infection.  



Teeth may be extracted for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Failed root canal treatment
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Malposition
  • Orthodontics