Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are teeth that begin to develop within the jawbones in the early teenage years.  When adequate room exists within the jaw behind the other teeth to allow for eruption of the wisdom teeth, surgery to remove them may not be required.  In many instances, there is insufficient space to allow for successful eruption of wisdom teeth. This can result in pain, swelling of the gums or infection as these teeth develop.  In addition, there is some evidence that the development of impacted third molar teeth may be one of several factors that contribute to dental crowding.

Third molar teeth do not provide any significant contribution to our ability to chew.  Their removal does not limit chewing function, and does not cause other teeth to shift.

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. Given the advanced development being observed in adolescents,  wisdom teeth initiate their development in the jaws at earlier ages than they used to. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, our surgeons can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Our surgeons have the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.


Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the wisdom tooth removal process, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about wisdom teeth.

Having trouble? Please make sure you have version 7 of the Flash browser plugin in order to correctly view this presentation. This software is available as a free download.

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured In most cases, our surgeons use sutures, or stitches, that are self-dissolving. Even with the placement of sutures, it is usual to experience a mild amount of bleeding for up to 24 hours after surgery. Our office will provide you with instructions and information to assist you in caring for your mouth during your recovery. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication and, occasionally, antibiotics. A follow-up appointment is scheduled for 2 weeks following surgery.. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 416 789-5335.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.