Westend Dental
(780) 484-0808

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in – and the ones least needed for good oral health. The third molars, or wisdom leeth, are called such because they develop when most individuals become adults (which is near 17 years of age.)

Because our jaws are smaller than our ancestors*, our wisdom teeth may not have enough room to fit in our mouths properly. Therefore, problems can result if these additional teeth attempt to emerge.

Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth, and often they are impacted (trapped in the jawbone and gums). Cramped for room, these impacted teeth grow in many different directions and removal may be recommended by your dentist to prevent potential problems.

Whether wisdom teeth cause you mouth harm depends on several factors, including the size of your jaw and your wisdom theeth grow in. You may have no symptoms at all, but the other teeth in you mouth could be at risk for damage.

Help make your treatment a success by understanding why your wisdom teeth may need to be removed, what the procedure involves and what you can do to promote a successful recovery.

Our ancestors needed large jaws and more teeth for their tougher diet. Since our lifestyle has changed and we eat softer foods, we no longer require that extra chewing power.

Potential Problems

  • Infection in the gum; when a wisdom tooth partially breaks through the gum’s surface, bacteria can get under the flap, causing an infection in the gum.
  • Crowding displaces the next tooth; an impacted or erupting wisdom tooth can push on adjacent teeth, causing them to become croocked or even damaging them structurally.
  • Decayed wisdom tooth; decay forms in a wisdom tooth that is hard to clean due to its position or because it is partially covered by gum tissue which may collect cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Poorly positioned wisdom tooth; when a wisdom tooth that grows toward the cheek can irritate nearby tissue. If an erupted tooth is croocked it may be hard to clean or make it hard to bite down.
  • Cyst that destroys the bone if the sac that holds the crown remains in the bone

It is best to have wisdom teeth removed around 20-24 years of age.

Removal will be easier as the bone may not be as dense as in an older person. Also the healing will be faster since the roots usually have not yet fully developed.

Procedure For Removal

The procedure for removal begins with an evaluation of your dental and medical histories. You may also receive two types of x-rays; a Panoramic x-ray which provides an overall view of your mouth and an Intraoral x-ray which examines, individual teeth.

The removal may be done by your dentist. If the wisdom teeth are impacted or the conditions are complicated you will be referred to an oral surgeon’s office or sometimes may be done in a hospital. The type and length of the surgery will depend upon how developed your wisdom teeth are.

After Surgery

After the surgery is completed, you’ll rest for a while under close observation as you recover from the anesthetic.

When the dentist or oral surgeons is satisffied with your progress, you’ll be able to go home. You should probably plan to rest and take it easy for the next few days.

Since swelling and pain are likely, you will probably be given a prescription for pain medication as well as instructions for your home recovery.

The healing process begins immediately after surgery. To control excessive bleeding, you may be instructed to bite down on a piece of gauze, applying constant, direct pressure to the area. This helps a blood clot to form in the socket. In a day or two after surgery, soft tissue begins to fill in the opening. New bone tissue also begins to grow in the socket, becoming denser over the next two to three months.

A blood clot develops in the tooth socket and it is recommended to drink clear liquids at first and a cold compress will also help with soreness. You should not brush or floss the area near the surgery, but continue to brush the rest of your teeth very carefully.

The socket begins to fill in with new tissue. A follow-up visit may also be scheduled to verify that the socket is healing properly and that your mouth is returning to a normal healthy state. If you have any questions or concerns while you’re recovering from your surgery call your dentist or oral surgeon.

The bone surrounding the socket begins to grow, eventually filling in the socket completely.


  • Our dental clinic has been servicing Edmonton community for the past 30 years.
  • Our mission is to provide patients with oral care in a warm, cheerful and relaxed environment.
  • Our goal is for you to keep your teeth functional and healthy, and maintain a long-term partnership with you based on trust and respect.
  • Our location is convenient and has elevator access. Free parking is available during the appointment.
  • Our staff is friendly and well trained.
  • Our clinic accommodates new patients. Dental emergencies are seen based on schedule availability and referred accordingly.

For the healthiest gums use these formulas for brushing, flossing, massaging gums, mouth-rinses, proxa-brushes, sulca-brushes, rubber-tip stimulators to overcome sensitive teeth, to ease the recovery of oral surgery, and for general overall cavity prevention.

A beautiful smile can give patients a lifetime of happiness!

(780) 484-0808