Getting “wise” about wisdom teeth: How to avoid common complications, keep your smile healthy and pain-free

Up to 85% of wisdom teeth are estimated to become impacted and cause problems. That is, impacted teeth grow in at angles or do not fully break through the gums. When this happens, a number of potential complications may follow, not limited to:

  • Pain 
  • Infection
  • Damage to neighbouring teeth
  • Injury to nerves, jawbone, sinuses
  • Cysts 
  • Tumours
  • Tooth decay and gum disease (due to resulting crowding)

These complications don’t have to happen. Simply Wellness Dental of East Vancouver, British Columbia, may recommend proactive removal of these “third molars.” We don’t always have to refer complex extractions and other surgical procedures to other specialists’ offices due to the considerable onsite expertise of Dr. Jason Park. Dr. Park focuses his practice solely on oral surgery, gum surgery, and the placement of dental implants. 

Furthermore, regular check-ups by our other dentists, Drs Adi Nokiani, Ashleigh Sran, and Eric Quan, may bring potential problems with the development of wisdom teeth to the surface. Due to our close monitoring of these teeth, we can spot possible issues and intervene early before pain, other distressing symptoms and damage arise. 

Getting wise about wisdom teeth

The “wisdom” part of “wisdom teeth” refers to how these back molars at the corners of our mouth do not typically emerge until one’s teenage years or early- to mid-20s. This is a stage of life when teens and young adults are “gaining wisdom” and transitioning from childhood. Now, not all wisdom teeth will become impacted. Additionally, not all impacted teeth are wisdom teeth (however, the risks of other teeth growing improperly are comparatively rare). 

In addition to discomfort, an impacted wisdom tooth can produce:

  • Swelling 
  • Bloody, puffy, red gums
  • Foul taste 
  • Foul breath
  • Aching head, jaw

Teeth with these types of symptoms typically require extractions. We are happy to discuss ways to keep you comfortable and relaxed during treatment. Your comfort, safety, and pleasant experience are always our top priority! 

The process itself is relatively straightforward, with Dr. Park accessing the troublesome tooth. He uses special techniques to grasp and lift the tooth from the site. Once it is removed, the area is cleaned. We then close the opening that was made to reach the affected tooth. Sutures may also be placed to aid in protecting the site and to encourage healing. 

What you do at home afterward also helps to support fast, healthy, and uneventful healing and recovery. It is essential to follow any instructions provided by our team at Simply Wellness Dental. We can advise on how to care for the extraction site and what to eat and drink during the hours and days following your procedure. 

Of course, we also encourage you to call us with any questions or concerns. Our team in East Vancouver, BC, can be reached at (604) 229-5922.