What are the benefits of wisdom teeth removal?

In this post, our West Kelowna dentists explain why you might need your wisdom teeth removed and what the benefits of this removal include.

What are wisdom teeth?

Typically occurring between the ages of 17 and 25, the development of third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth, can be advantageous if they emerge properly aligned and healthy. However, these teeth may become misaligned or impacted, necessitating their extraction.

By removing problematic wisdom teeth, we can assist in preventing potential oral health issues in the future, ensuring the well-being of your dental health.

What problems can wisdom teeth cause?

When wisdom teeth grow in improper positions or there is insufficient space in the mouth, they can become impacted, crowded, or fail to fully erupt. This can pose challenges to oral health since they are inaccessible for proper cleaning below the gum line.

Crowded wisdom teeth also make it difficult to reach them with a toothbrush and floss effectively.

They can also cause:

  • Infection (which leads to pain)
  • Difficulty chewing, biting or opening your mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling in your jaw or face (potentially due to infection)
  • In emergency situations: chest pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath

At Dr. Darren Dahlman, we advise taking a preventive approach to removing wisdom teeth, since molars (especially third molars) are more vulnerable to dental problems than other teeth in your mouth.

What are the benefits of having problematic wisdom teeth removed?

Having your wisdom teeth removed can offer many benefits, including:

  • Preventing infection or decay
  • Solving issues with bad breath
  • Preventing the need for further dental or orthodontic work in the future
  • Improving oral health
  • Preventing damage to other teeth
  • Alleviating or lessening pain in your face and mouth

How will I feel better after having my wisdom teeth removed?

Having your wisdom teeth removed offers numerous oral health advantages, and this procedure is quite commonplace. You can expect to resume your normal eating habits within a few days after the surgery. By undergoing this procedure, you can prevent further pain caused by impacted wisdom teeth or related complications.

You may also save time and money, as you may not need more time-consuming and costly dental or orthodontic work in years to come, thanks to eliminating the complications wisdom teeth can bring.

What does a wisdom teeth removal procedure involve?

Step 1: Anesthetic

First, local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and surrounding area. If you are particularly anxious about your procedure, your dentist or surgeon may provide a sedative to help you relax, usually with an injection to the arm. General anesthetic is rarely used - only in instances where the procedure is completed in a hospital.

Step 2: Removing the Tooth

If the tooth is still under the gum, a small incision or cut will be made and a tiny piece of the bone over top of the tooth may also be removed. Your dentist or surgeon may cut the tooth into smaller parts so it’s easier to remove through the opening.

If the tooth has emerged through the gum, there will be less need for an incision. Just before the tooth is removed, you’ll feel some pressure as the dentist or surgeon rocks the tooth back and forth, widening the socket, before the tooth is removed.

As your wisdom teeth are actually removed, you shouldn’t feel any pain as the anesthetic will have numbed the area. If this is painful for you, let the dentist or surgeon know so they can provide more anesthetic.

Simple wisdom teeth removal procedures can take up to 20 minutes, with complex procedures running longer.

What about recovery from wisdom teeth removal?

After your procedure, you can typically return home on the same day. Dissolving stitches, which usually take 7 to 10 days to dissolve, may be used, and a piece of gauze might be applied to the extraction site.

To facilitate the healing process, you will be instructed to apply pressure to the area by gently biting your jaws together for approximately an hour. This promotes the formation of a blood clot within the socket. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection.

For 24 hours after your procedure, you should avoid:

  • Drinking hot liquids such as coffee or soup
  • Rinsing your mouth out with liquid (which could dislodge the clot)
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol (which could result in infection)
  • Strenuous physical activity (which may encourage bleeding)

If you notice any problems or extreme soreness after your recovery period, book an appointment with your dentist so they can check the extraction site.

Wondering if you should get your wisdom teeth removed? Contact our West Kelowna dentists to book a consultation today.

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