Typically appearing during the late teen years, wisdom teeth are the furthest rear molars in your mouth. These final teeth often cause problems as they pop through the surface of the gums, causing discomfort and pain. The extraction of wisdom teeth is performed by an accredited dental professional with the goal of alleviating pain and preventing any further issues after eruption.

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There are various reasons wisdom teeth may require extractions, including:

  • Incomplete eruption
  • Diagonal/Horizontal growth
  • Cavities; and,
  • Gum disease

Although extraction is common, it’s not necessary for everyone. A visit to Park Meadow Dental Clinic located in Medicine Hat, Alberta, can provide you with helpful information and a plan to ensure any problems or pain you may be experiencing are properly cared for.

The extraction process

Wisdom teeth are extracted in our office, typically under local anesthesia; however, some severe cases may require general anesthesia to ensure minimal movement during the procedure. Once under anesthesia, your dentist will create an incision allowing full access to the tooth and bone. 

Any pieces of bone blocking the tooth are removed before breaking the tooth into small, easier-to-extract pieces. Once removed, the extraction site is thoroughly cleaned and stitched closed to assist in the healing process. A gauze is then inserted over the area to control bleeding and ensure proper clotting occurs.

Successful extractions require proper aftercare

Post-extraction, you will be provided with a sheet of aftercare instructions. Generally speaking, this will include the following:

  • How often to change and how long to leave the gauze over the extraction site
  • Recommendations for pain management
  • Directions to promote healing and prevent dry sockets, include:
    • Avoiding the use of straws
    • Avoiding spitting
    • Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, carbonated or hot beverages
    • What kinds of foods to eat
    • Tobacco use
    • Limitations on activity
  • Directions on when to book an appointment to have non-dissolving stitches removed
  • Directions for cleaning your mouth

Typically, a follow-up appointment isn’t required unless there are non-dissolving stitches left in your mouth requiring removal, complications or persistent problems, such as pain, swelling, numbness, or bleeding. If you develop complications post-extraction, contact your dental professional to discuss the appropriate course of treatment. 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grew - D.D.S. on September 14, 2022

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