Teeth Extractions : A tooth extraction is necessary when there is too much damage to a tooth and it cannot be repaired. Teeth may be removed in a variety of ways depending on the condition of the tooth and the surrounding gums, bone, adjacent teeth or anatomic structures. At Convergent dentistry, our dental surgeons utilize meticulous techniques to remove your tooth as carefully and easily as possible.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions : By the age of 18 to 25 years, the average adult has 32 teeth: 16 teeth on both the top and the bottom jaw. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canines, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for biting into and cutting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
Unfortunately, the average mouth usually only has space for 28 teeth. No one is exactly sure why. Problems can arise when these last four teeth try to fit in a mouth that only holds 28 teeth. These last four teeth are commonly known as “wisdom teeth” or “third molars”.
In some cases, an individual’s jaw is large enough to allow room for the wisdom teeth to come in and be cleaned. However, more often than not, one or more of these wisdom teeth fails to properly emerge or is unable to push through the gums, resulting in an impacted tooth.Your dentist may suggest a CT scan, prior to wisdom teeth removals to establish the relationship between nerves and the teeth.
What does this mean for my health ?
Impacted teeth can grow in any direction and most often grow forward and push against other teeth. This may result in the development of gum disease, decay or damage to the adjacent tooth. Removal of your wisdom teeth at an early age can help ensure the long-term health of your neighboring teeth.
An impacted tooth can become cystic. A cyst is a fluid-filled sac within the bone that enlarges over time. As it enlarges it damages other teeth and can weaken the jaw itself.
An impacted tooth does not lend itself to be easily cleaned. Food and bacteria get trapped around the wisdom teeth. This can lead to decay, infection and abscess.
When should I remove my impacted teeth ?
In your young adult years before your wisdom teeth start causing damage to other teeth. Unfortunately, as you age, the bone surrounding the teeth gets stiffer. This makes the teeth harder to remove and can result in more potential complications and longer healing times. We recommend patient come in for a consultation to establish the best time to remove impacted wisdom teeth.
What is the procedure ?
A patient may select to be awake or asleep for the procedure but local anesthetic/freezing is always given prior to the start of the extraction(s). If a patient elects to be asleep for the procedure then the local anesthetic/freezing would be given after the patient is asleep. The procedure typically involves making an incision and exposing the impacted wisdom tooth. The impacted wisdom tooth is removed by either lifting it out or by sectioning the tooth prior to removal of the tooth. After the tooth is removed, the area will be thoroughly washed and the gums may be closed with dissolvable stitches.
Can I be sedated during the procedure ?
We offer various forms of sedation / anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. The medical health of the patient and the extent of the procedure may influence what forms of anesthesia are appropriate for each patient.
Anesthetic Options : Local anesthesia – Commonly known as “freezing”. It’s the simplest form of anesthesia and should be considered for patients who are not anxious about their procedure.
Nitrous Oxide with Local anesthesia – This is commonly known as “laughing gas”. This a minimal sedation modality where patients remain awake. This should be considered for patients who are very minimally anxious.
Conscious Sedation with Local anesthesia – This type of anesthesia is appropriate for patients with moderate to severe anxiety. A patient may drift in and out of consciousness with this level of anesthesia.
What after surgery?
Once the surgery is complete, you will spend a short time recovering prior to leaving the office. During this recovery time, written home care instructions will be reviewed and you will be prescribed appropriate medications for your healing period. You will be prescribed appropriate pain medication(s) and an antibiotic when required.
You should expect some swelling which will increase for the first 2-3 days before decreasing. Icing for the first 24 hours will significantly reduce the amount of swelling but will not eliminate it. In addition, you may develop some bruising or discoloration of the skin in the cheek or neck area. Your jaw may also feel quite stiff which can be exacerbated if you clench or grind your teeth at night. All of these are normal reactions and side effects to oral surgery in the mouth and will improve.
Are there any risks?
With any surgery, there is the risk of complications. During your pre-surgery consultation, we will review the possible risks associated with your surgery and answer any questions that you may have.
We offer various forms of anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. The medical health of the patient and the extent of the procedure may influence what forms of anesthesia are appropriate for each patient.
Bone Grafts : For an implant to work there must be enough bone in the jaw. The bone also needs to be strong enough to hold and support the dental implant. After a bone assessment by one of our surgeons, a bone graft or bone augmentation may be required if there isn’t enough bone to support an implant. Bone grafting repairs implant sites that have insufficient bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease, trauma, or injuries.
Most patients who need a bone graft only need a smaller grafting procedure which can be done in the office setting. We are also able to reconstruct larger bone defects at our hospital, Trillium Health Partners, for the patients who have severe bone loss in their jaws.
At Convergent dentistry, we offer a variety of options to prepare patients for dental implants if it is needed. We will assess you and provide you with your options should you need a bone grafting procedure.
Sinus Lift Surgery : Sinus lift surgery is a procedure involving the raising of the tissue lying on the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants in the back portion of the upper jaw. Several techniques can be used to raise the sinus and allow for new bone to form.
The bone usually will be allowed to develop for about 4-6 months before implants can be placed. Undergoing sinus lift surgery has been shown to be predictable and to greatly increase your chances for successful implants when needed.
Oral Pathology : Everyone is subject to a variety of lumps, bumps, ulcerations, rashes that may occur in your mouth. Most are benign, but oral cancers do occur. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol use may be contributing factors.
If you have any concerns a brief visit can often alleviate your fear. Remember a key to success is early detection and treatment. Often times a simple biopsy procedure to sample or remove the area of concern is indicated to establish a diagnosis.