Third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are usually the last four of 32 teeth to erupt in the mouth, generally between the ages of 17 to 25. They are located at the back of the mouth (top and bottom), near the entrance to the throat.
In most cases, inadequate space in the mouth causes the wisdom teeth to erupt in haphazard or painful ways. This is often the result of the tooth becoming impacted (stuck) in an undesirable or potentially harmful position. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to infection, damage to other teeth, cysts or tumors.
A thorough examination of the wisdom teeth and surrounding structures must be performed to assess the complexity of possible extractions. Panoramic and other types of x-rays will be taken in order to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists, or the likelihood of any potential future problems. Early evaluation and treatment is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results is an extraction is necessary. A thorough examination also helps in determining the level of impaction and complexity attributed to each tooth.
Wisdom teeth extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay or infection, or as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future. If impaction of one or more wisdom teeth is present, and left untreated, a number of potentially harmful outcomes can occur, including:
Depending on the level of impaction, wisdom tooth removal is performed under increasing levels of anesthesia, including local anesthesia, local anesthesia and laughing gas, or local anesthesia and semi-conscious sedation. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication to help manage any swelling or discomfort.
For more information, please contact our family dentist's office in Midtown Toronto.
At Upper Avenue Dentistry, your smile is the reason for everything we do. We are conveniently located near Avenue and Lawrence, and new patients are welcome to come by for an office tour. Our dental team will be happy to meet you and provide a free consultation. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us or book your first visit today.