Extractions and Wisdom Tooth Removal

Extractions, Wisdom Teeth and Surgery

Why do teeth need to be extracted

Teeth can become damaged or chipped, or have decay that cannot be repaired by a filling, crown or alternative treatment. Sometimes teeth are removed to make room for orthodontic treatment. In all these cases, the tooth or teeth must be removed.

Most removals are of those teeth that are visible in the mouth and not hidden under the gums. These extractions are done using a local anesthetic and without the use of any additional drugs.

Occasionally, surgical removal is required. This is when the tooth is not yet exposed and hasn’t grown above the gum line. If a tooth requires removal and is still under the gums, it is slightly more complicated than other extractions. We always do our very best to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

What is it

Wisdom teeth extraction is the removal of the last set of molars, which usually emerge in your early or late 20’s.

When is it needed / Risks of not getting it done

Some individuals are lucky enough to have their wisdom teeth grow to become aligned correctly, meaning removal is not necessary. Most individuals, however, do not have wisdom teeth that align correctly; therefore, they require an extraction of these teeth. Being proactive in their removal may avoid the misaligned growing molars to push on the other teeth and interfere with their alignment. This process can be very uncomfortable. If the dentist predicts that they will cause problems to your bite or the surrounding teeth, they may recommend that these teeth be extracted.

Depending on the particular alignment of your teeth, you may require all four wisdom teeth to be extracted, only two to be extracted, or none of them to be extracted. Our dentists will take periodic x-rays to assess the alignment of your wisdom teeth and to monitor their ongoing development.

If you are worried that your wisdom teeth are misaligned come in and talk to us. Dentists may also recommend wisdom teeth extractions before problems arise at a younger age, as you are less likely to have any complications if done early on.

If your wisdom teeth have fully erupted or emerged from the gums, it is not too late to have them extracted.

How is it done
  1. If the wisdom teeth are unerupted (i.e., still underneath the gums), they will be surgically exposed by opening the overlying gum tissue.
  2. Once the teeth are exposed (or if they have already erupted), they will either be removed easily, like any other tooth in the mouth, or they may need to be cut and extracted in fragments if a considerable amount of the tooth is anchored into the surrounding jaw bone.
  3. Following the removal of the wisdom teeth, the extraction site will be sutured using dissolvable stitches and gauze will be placed temporarily.
  4. It will be important to come back into the office approximately one week after the extractions so that the dentist can ensure that the sites are healing properly.