Wisdom Teeth Removal

At Expressions Dental Care, our Richmond Hill family dentists provide wisdom teeth removal. 

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that surface in the back of your mouth. For most, wisdom teeth surface between the ages of 16 to 25.

Most people have wisdom teeth removed for one of the following reasons:

  • They’re impacted. Because they're so far back in your mouth, wisdom teeth may not surface correctly. They can get trapped in your jawbone or gums, which can be painful.
  • They surface misaligned. Wisdom teeth may surface at the wrong angle and may press against surrounding teeth.
  • Your mouth isn’t big enough. Your jaw has no room for an extra set of molars.
  • You have cavities or gum disease. You may not be able to reach your wisdom teeth with your toothbrush or dental floss.

Do all wisdom teeth have to be removed?

No, not all wisdom teeth need to be removed – it’s very subjective and based on the dental situation of each individual patient.

Wisdom teeth typically don’t need to be removed if they’re healthy, have grown in completely (meaning they’re fully erupted), are positioned correctly and bite properly with the opposing teeth on the upper or lower jaw, and are able to be be properly cleaned and flossed in a patient’s daily hygiene practices.

When to Call Your Dentist

Any pain and swelling you have should improve each day, but call the dentist if you experience any of the following:

  • Swelling that gets worse instead of better.
  • Excessive bleeding that won't subside with pressure.
  • Severe, throbbing pain three to four days following surgery.
  • An elevated fever that persists.

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The Importance of Aftercare

Besides some temporary bleeding, discomfort, swelling and bruising after surgery, most patients recover quickly. 

To prevent potential problems after removing wisdom teeth, it is important to adhere to the following post-extraction healing instructions:

Swelling

Apply ice packs to the outside of your mouth intermittently (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) for up to two days to minimize swelling, bruising or any discomfort. If your tooth was infected prior to removal, the dentist may ask you to use warm, moist compresses rather than ice.

Bleeding

Expect some bleeding for 30 minutes after surgery. A gauze pad will be applied over the extraction site to help stop the bleeding. For heavier bleeding, bite down on a gauze pad or place your fingers over the pad consistently for 30 minutes before removing it. Another alternative is to use a moistened tea bag for the same amount of time. The tannic acid in the tea contracts the bleeding vessels, which helps the blood clot set.

Mouth Care

Limit eating, drinking and talking for the first two hours following treatment, and plan to rest for the remainder of the day. To keep from dislodging the blood clot, don't rinse vigorously or use a straw when drinking. Additionally, avoid rigorous exercise for a few days, as well as smoking or spitting excessively on the day of the surgery or as long as there is bleeding. After 12 hours, you can gently rinse with a diluted mouthwash or a salt water rinse. Carefully brush your teeth the night of the surgery, but avoid the surgical area as best you can.

Diet

After the bleeding stops, drink lots of lukewarm or cold fluids to keep hydrated. Eat regular meals, but begin with clear liquids and soft foods. Puddings, gelatins, eggs, mashed potatoes and cooked cereals are good choices, as are vegetables, meats and fruits that have been liquefied in a blender. To avoid dislodging the blood clot, avoid drinking carbonated beverages and eating foods like popcorn, peanuts, and pasta that may leave particles in your socket.

Medications

Take prescribed pain medications and antibiotics for infection exactly as directed by the dentist. If you are taking a strong narcotic pain medication, you'll be asked not to drive or operate machinery, and to avoid alcoholic beverages.


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