General Dentistry

Wisdom Teeth

Removal of wisdom teeth is required in several circumstances.  Sometimes, the tooth has partially erupted through the gingival tissue, causing inflammation and/or infection. A soft-tissue growth over a partially erupted wisdom tooth is referred to as an operculum. If bacteria become trapped under the operculum, an infection called pericoronitis can develop. Wisdom teeth are also very hard to clean, leading to periodontial infections and caries.

Allow us to examine your wisdom teeth and determine if they need to be extracted and when is the best time to do so.

Tooth Extractions

A dental extraction (also referred to as tooth extraction, exodontia, exodontics, or historically, tooth pulling) is the removal of teeth from the dental alveolus (socket) in the alveolar bone. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, but most commonly to remove teeth which have become unrestorable through tooth decay, periodontal disease or dental trauma; especially when they are associated with toothache. Sometimes wisdom teeth are impacted (stuck and unable to grow normally into the mouth) and may cause recurrent infections of the gum. In orthodontics if the teeth are crowded, sound teeth may be extracted to create space so the rest of the teeth can be straightened.

Tooth extraction is usually relatively straightforward, and the vast majority can be performed while the patient is awake by using local anesthesia. Local anesthetic blocks pain, but mechanical forces are still vaguely felt. This means that although you may not feel any sharp sensation,  you may still feel pressure during the extraction. Some teeth are more difficult to remove for several reasons, especially related to the tooth position, the shape of the tooth roots and the integrity of the tooth and surrounding bone.

Socket Preservation (Bone Graft)

After your dentist has removed the tooth, a socket preservation is recommended. A bone graft is placed into the socket, and the ridge is preserved for future implant placement. Socket preservation is a proven and successful technique, and should be used whenever a tooth is extracted.