Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop, usually between the ages of 15 and 21. They are the upper and lower molars located in the very back of your mouth behind your second (or twelve year) molars. When fully erupted, their function is to maintain bone, to act as a stop of the hinge axis to protect the jaw joint from overclosure, and to chew food.

Although most people develop and grow 32 permanent adult teeth, many do not have enough room in their mouth for all of these teeth to completely erupt. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, blocked out, or erupt at a wrong angle since your jawbone is underdeveloped, or if you are unable to brush or floss your wisdom teeth properly due to their difficult to access location and develop cavities, then you may be advised to have your wisdom teeth extracted.

Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

At Summerside Dental, several of our dentists are equipped to extract wisdom teeth using multiple methods. Whether you prefer dental freezing alone or wish to add nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation, your comfort and safety is our primary concern.

At what age should I have my wisdom teeth extracted?

The ideal time to help out wisdom teeth is when their roots are half- to 2/3-formed, and they’ve erupted as far as they can without putting pressure on the teeth in front of them. It varies, but approximately age 17 for girls and 19 for boys.

What happens if I don’t extract my wisdom teeth?

If your wisdom teeth have fully erupted and you are able to access them to brush them (like normal, healthy teeth) then you may keep them. If they are partially erupted, sideways, or impacted then they are very difficult to keep clean, so bacteria may become trapped in the space between the wisdom tooth and the gums. This may lead to decay or cyst formation, pericoronitis or a dental follicular abscess. Phone us at 780-665-4833 to schedule your 3D image of your jaw to assess your wisdom teeth.

How long does it take to recover after wisdom teeth extractions?

Usually, it takes 2 days for your mouth to open widely again after wisdom teeth are extracted, so plan for Advil or Tylenol, muscle soreness and soft foods for the first few days. Rinsing out the sockets with saline for one to two weeks helps keep them clean until they close over with gum tissue, then bone healing is complete in about 1 month. Phone us at 780-665-4833 to schedule your 3D X-ray and wisdom teeth consultation.

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