Wisdom Teeth

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Extraction of wisdom teeth following orthodontic treatment

There is no scientific proof that wisdom teeth cause crowding. However, do to thousands of years of evolution our jaws have become progressively smaller and most wisdom teeth remain impacted or partially lodged in the gum tissue because there is insufficient room for proper eruption.

Impacted wisdom teeth serve no useful purpose for chewing or general function of your bite. Because there is typically only enough space for them to erupt partially, they provide a trap for bacteria and plaque in an area that is impossible for you to brush or floss properly.

The result is a chronic infection or abscess around the wisdom tooth that can lead to significant bone loss in the general area (periodontal disease) and possible loss of the adjacent good molar in front of the wisdom tooth. Therefore, we typically refer you to an Oral Surgeon during the retention phase of your treatment to discuss and evaluate probable extraction of your wisdom teeth. In most cases, we recommend extraction of wisdom teeth between the ages of 15-20 years, because the body can replace the bone in the site where the wisdom tooth was extracted at this younger age. If wisdom teeth are extracted later in life, you are at more risk of being left with a permanent defect (bone loss) in the area where the wisdom tooth was removed.

Please follow the Oral Surgeon’s instructions for a speedy recovery following the removal of your wisdom teeth. They will stress and so do we: application of ice packs wrapped in a towel, 10 mins on/10 mins off (to prevent frost-bite) the entire day following the extractions. Beginning the next morning after extraction of wisdom teeth, you should rinse frequently with warm salt water; in addition to drinking lots of fluids such as water, juice, and plenty of rest to allow for proper healing. If the jaws are sore the next couple days, application of warm towels or a hot water bottle to the cheek area will aid with comfort.

Please do not take more than a one-to-two day break from wearing your retainers following removal of your wisdom teeth. Please remember that your retainers do not extend anywhere close to the area of the extractions and should be worn soon! If you experience any difficulty with the fit of your retainers immediately following removal of your wisdom teeth, please call to arrange an appointment as soon as possible so that we may check your retainers.

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