Extractions (including wisdom teeth)
Although we make every effort to preserve your natural teeth, sometimes teeth are beyond repair and need to be removed. You will be completely frozen during the procedure and it will be completely painless! If you are still anxious, you may have the procedure performed under sedation, although this is rarely needed for a single tooth extraction.
Wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) are frequently associated with problems and often need to be surgically removed. If your jaw does not have enough space to accommodate your wisdom teeth, they grow in at an angle and become pre-disposed to infection and caries/decay. Sometimes they also pre-dispose the adjacent teeth (second molars) to caries/decay and/or resorption. Although your wisdom teeth may not be bothersome now, they may cause irreversible problems later in life, at which time surgery may be riskier, or the adjacent teeth will already be irreversibly damaged. If you are lucky and have enough space to accommodate a complete set of third molars, we will teach you how to take care of them properly so that you can keep them as long as possible!
You may prefer having your wisdom teeth removed asleep. See Sedation Dentistry for more details!
Excessive bleeding during surgery: Rarely a problem unless you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners. Be sure to tell our dentists about any medical conditions, or medications/supplements you may be taking.
Post-operative infection: Rarely a problem if you follow post-operative instructions and take all the medications/antibiotics prescribed to you.
Nerve injury (lower teeth only): The lower jaw contains nerves responsible for sensation of your lower jaw, lip, chin, and tongue. In exceptionally rare cases, these nerves may be damaged during wisdom tooth removal. This may cause residual tingling/numbness/altered sensation in your lower lip/chin and/or tongue that is usually temporary, but may be permanent. This will NOT affect movement of your lip/tongue as in eating, smiling, etc. If we suspect a high risk for nerve injury, we will refer you for a CT scan (3-dimensional x-ray) and/or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for further evaluation before the procedure.
Sinus perforation (upper teeth only): Sometimes extraction of upper teeth results in a small communication between the mouth and sinus. This usually heals on its own without intervention. In rare cases, you may need a small corrective procedure.