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Wisdom Teeth - When Is The Right Time For Removal?

Your Lethbridge dentist wants to help you achieve optimal oral health throughout your life

, and sometimes that might require the removal of your wisdom teeth. As part of your regular dental visit, your dentist will thoroughly examine you to determine if your wisdom teeth are healthy and properly positioned. Based on the condition of your mouth, your dentist in Lethbridge may recommend the removal of any of your wisdom teeth or refer you to a specialist such as an oral surgeon to evaluate their condition and provide appropriate treatment.

Every patient is unique. In general, however, wisdom teeth may require removal when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:

*Pain

*Infection

*Cysts

*Tumors

*Damage to adjacent teeth

*Gum disease

*Tooth decay

Removal of your wisdom teeth may also be recommended to prevent future complications or for other reasons, such as when removal is part of an orthodontic, restorative or periodontal treatment plan.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Your wisdom teeth may be impacted if they do not have enough room to emerge or grow normally. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in pain, damage to other teeth and other dental problems. In some cases, they may not cause any apparent or immediate problems, but they may be particularly vulnerable to disease. If your wisdom teeth are impacted and cause you pain, your dentist will remove them. However, some dentists will even remove impacted wisdom teeth if they don't cause any symptoms in order to prevent future problems.

Impacted wisdom teeth don't always cause symptoms, but when they become infected, damage other teeth or cause other dental problems, you may experience some of the following signs and symptoms:

*Pain

*Red or swollen gums

*Tender or bleeding gums

*Swelling around the jaw

*Bad breath

*An unpleasant taste in your mouth

*Headache

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Surgical extraction of your wisdom tooth, or teeth, is almost always completed as an outpatient procedure. When undergoing wisdom tooth extraction you may have a local anesthesia that numbs the mouth or sedation anesthesia that makes you unaware of the surgical procedure. During the extraction, your dentist will make an incision in the gums and removes any bone that blocks access to the impacted tooth.

After the tooth has been removed, the surgical wound is usually stitched closed and the empty space (socket) is packed with gauze. Once the procedure is complete, you will receive important instructions for caring for the surgical wound after the procedure and for managing pain and swelling.

When to Visit Your Lethbridge Dentist

It is important to visit your dentist if you experience pain, swelling or other symptoms in the area behind your last molar that may be associated with an impacted wisdom tooth. Maintain all of your regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups. Regularly updated dental x-rays may indicate the presence of impacted wisdom teeth before any symptoms even develop.

Talk to your dentist in Lethbridge today for more information on the health of your teeth. If wisdom teeth are present in your mouth, your dentist will further diagnose and develop and appropriate treatment plan for either the removal or monitoring of your wisdom teeth.

by: Gen Wright

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