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Dental Extractions & Wisdom Tooth Removal

Dental Extractions and Wisdom Teeth Removal in Kitchener

Our Kitchener Dentist, Dr. Kyle Hornby has taken advanced training in Complex Dental Extractions and Wisdom Teeth Removal. We also provide dental sedation options to increase patient comfort and eliminate anxiety. Below, your will find helpful information and answers to commonly asked questions related to tooth extraction and wisdom tooth removal in Kitchener!

Why would we remove or extract a tooth?

Tooth extraction is necessary in some cases and can help to:

  • resolve an existing infection
  • alleviate dental pain/suffering
  • when severe decay or fracture makes it impossible for the Dentist to rebuild your tooth
  • resolve tooth crowding, infection, or pain related to impacted wisdom teeth
dental extractions and Wisdom Teeth Removal in Kitchener

Book a consult to discuss a Dental Extraction or Wisdom Tooth Removal with Dr. Kyle Hornby now. Call us at (519)-576-8160 Or Schedule Your Appointment Online.

Dental extractions are typically comfortable procedures. Patients may request and receive sedation during an extraction appointment to heighten anesthesia or numbness and to minimize anxiety. 

Options include mild conscious sedation such as nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) or moderate conscious sedation via oral sedatives. 

If you are interested in learning more about sedation options available at our office please consult our Sedation & Anxiety Management section. 

Prior to your dental extraction(s), you will be anesthetized using a surgical-grade local anesthetic.  This anesthetic or "dental freezing" is typically twice as strong as a typical anesthetic used during dental filling appointments. 

Wisdom Teeth Removal in Kitchener

Extractions may be simple (non-surgical) or complicated (surgical).  To remove a tooth that has a large cavity and is brittle or a fractured tooth that has nothing to grip or "grab onto", adjustment of the surrounding gum and bone tissue may be necessary. Following these extractions, you will typically be prescribed an antibiotic to aid in healing. You may also need bone grafting to preserve the surrounding bone for future restorative procedures like dental implants or dental bridges

I will discuss all aspects of the extraction procedure in advance with you including:  need for sedation, need for bone grafting, and typical healing periods. Restorative options for replacing a tooth or teeth will be discussed with you in depth.

Is Tooth Extraction Painful?

Tooth extraction is not painful. We use surgical strength local anesthetics when providing tooth extraction services. We ensure you are completely numb prior to and during the procedure. I check in with patients frequently to make sure they're comfortable and to encourage them to give us feedback. I truly mean it when I say that your comfort is my top priority.

Patient’s will feel pressure during a dental extraction but not pain. Unfortunately, local anesthetics cannot prevent the sensation of pressure. The majority of our patients have no problem tolerating the mild to moderate pressure they feel during tooth extraction.

If the thought of a dental extraction causes you anxiety, don't worry, you have options to increase your comfort level and eliminate anxiety. Ask your Kitchener-Waterloo Dentist about sedation options or “sleep dentistry” to make things easier for you.

In some cases (i.e. surgical extraction of fractured teeth or impacted wisdom tooth removal), post-operative soreness is probably. In these cases, we commonly prescribe post-operative pain control medication to ensure your comfort.

I commonly follow up with extraction patients post-operatively by phone or e-mail to check in and ensure that they are comfortable.

Tooth Extraction Cost

The cost of a dental extraction varies according to the Ontario Dental Association Fee Guide.

Non-wisdom-tooth extractions are defined as either simple/routine or complicated. A simple extraction involves no adjustment of gum tissue or surrounding bone (usually the tooth is strong enough to tolerate removal without breaking or fracturing). These extractions typically cost about $150.

A complex extraction involves a fragile or broken tooth. In this situation, your Kitchener Dentist will make minor adjustments to surrounding bone and gum tissue to make removal easier. These complicated extractions cost approximately $275.

At your consult appointment prior to extraction, we will assess your tooth/teeth and provide an estimate of costs.

Wisdom teeth tend to cost more to remove especially when they're impacted, or beneath gums and jaw bone. A useful range to keep in mind is that wisdom tooth extraction can cost anywhere from $300 - $600 per tooth.

Below, I've provided some really helpful information on a specific type of dental extraction, namely, wisdom tooth removal.

Impacted Wisdom Tooth/Teeth

wisdom teeth removal kitchener

Where do wisdom teeth grow?

“Wisdom Teeth” or 3rd molars begin to grow and develop in the jaw directly behind the 2nd molars. When they erupt, they move forward and upward, sometimes putting pressure on the 2 molars in front of them.

How many wisdom teeth do we have?

You might think that we all have 4 wisdom teeth, or 1 in each corner of the mouth. However, it's not uncommon for people to have 1 or more wisdom teeth fail to develop. In fact, approximately 20% of individuals will be missing at least 1 wisdom tooth.

A much smaller percentage of individuals will have extra wisdom teeth. In many of these patients, the extra wisdom tooth/teeth will be much smaller than a typical wisdom tooth.

Your Dentist can typically assess how many wisdom teeth you have by taking a panoramic x-ray around 12-13 years of age. From there, they will evaluate the likelihood that your wisdom teeth will cause health problems and possibly discuss wisdom tooth extraction with you.

When do wisdom teeth begin to erupt?

Wisdom teeth typically begin to erupt between 16-24 years of age. Commonly, their eruption is obstructed and these teeth become impacted by the 2nd molars located anteriorly.  Extraction of 3rd molars or “wisdom teeth” can prevent complications and health problems such as:

  • severe pain
  • dental decay or “cavities”
  • negative effects on adjacent teeth
  • infection of the surrounding soft tissues
  • pressure-induced crowding of the teeth

If you are experiencing pain and other symptoms, call to arrange a consult with Dr. Hornby so you can discuss Wisdom Tooth Removal in Kitchener.

How do I know if my wisdom teeth are erupting?  How do I know if they are causing problems?

  • A feeling of pressure or throbbing from behind your erupted 2nd molars
  • A stinging feeling of the gums around a partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • A change in the way your bite feels when you close your teeth together
  • A strange taste or odour originating from any corner at the back of your mouth

If Wisdom Teeth commonly cause health problems, why do we have them at all?

There have been many theories about why wisdom teeth might have "fit" better in the mouths of our ancestors. The most sensible current explanation is that we had more developed, wider jaws thousands of years ago. In his compelling book Breath, James Nestor discusses changes in cranial anatomy over time that have led to narrower, smaller nasal passages and jaws.

wisdom teeth
The Neanderthal jaw may have been longer and wider providing enough space for the proper eruption of Wisdom Teeth.

It appears that a trend toward narrower, less developed jaws has led to, among other things, far less space for the teeth we have. In most individuals, there just isn't enough room to accomodate the proper and functional eruption of wisdom teeth. This is why wisdom tooth extraction has become so commonplace.

Wisdom Tooth Removal in Kitchener: What are the Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth Infection?

As mentioned above, infection of one or more impacted wisdom teeth often include:

  • Stinging or throbbing pain coming from around the wisdom tooth
  • Red and swollen gums around your infected wisdom tooth
  • Appearance of whitish-yellow pus coming from under the gums surrounding an impacted wisdom tooth
  • Possible swelling and pain under the jaw or when swallowing
  • A bad taste or odour from the affected area

Impacted Wisdom Tooth Pain Relief

Relief of pain from an impacted wisdom tooth can be achieved definitively by tooth extraction. Interim solutions for pain relief can be provided by your Kitchener Family Dentist and often include:

  • Prescription of an antibiotic where signs of infection exist
  • Recommendation for salt water rinsing to clean the site
  • Provision of an irrigating or rinsing syringe to clean under any gum flaps that my be partially covering the impacted wisdom tooth
  • Provision of prescription mouth rinses such as Chlorhexidine (“Peridex”)

Impacted Wisdom Tooth Removal in Kitchener

Dr. Hornby has special surgical training and provides Wisdom Teeth Removal in Kitchener-Waterloo.  As with other surgical procedures, you have the option to receive treatment under dental sedation. 

At your appointment, we will numb the area around your wisdom teeth using a surgical grade local anesthetic.  In the case of most impactions, we will adjust the gums tissue covering your wisdom teeth to make access easier.  

Once your Kitchener Dentist removes the wisdom teeth, they will stitch the extraction site to speed and improve healing. You will be prescribed a post-operative course of antibiotics to minimize the risk infection. You may also receive a prescription for pain medication as you heal from tooth extraction. 

Dr. Hornby will review post-operative instructions with you. We will also provide you with a supply of surgical gauze to manage minimal post-operative bleeding where it occurs. 

What is a typical recovery after wisdom tooth extraction like?

Ask your Kitchener-Waterloo Dentist about what to expect during recovery from wisdom tooth removal. Generally, recovery time and the amount of post-operative discomfort is related to the degree of impaction and the size of the roots. This is one reason why Family Dentists sometimes recommend early removal between the ages of 14 – 16. If your Kitchener Dentist or Oral Surgeon removes your wisdom teeth early on, there are fewer complications and healing does not take as long.

So, what can you expect to feel? Below is a list of symptoms that you may experience following removal of your wisdom teeth:

  • A sore or stiff jaw
  • Pain and Swelling
  • Post-operative bleeding
  • Bruising (yellow, purple, grey or brown) around the cheeks and lower angle of your jaw
  • Dry socket

The degree to which you experience these symptoms depends on the complexity of removal. That is, removal of erupted wisdom teeth is easier and followed by fewer, less severe symptoms compared to removal of impacted wisdom teeth.

How long does it take to heal after wisdom teeth extraction?

Healing times really vary a lot when it comes to wisdom tooth extraction. The reason is that some teeth require surgical removal (this is the case with impacted wisdom teeth) while others can be removed fairly simply (this is the case with erupted wisdom teeth that are visible in the mouth).

Of course, there is a whole range of positions and impactions in between a tooth that's fully encased by jaw bone versus one that's fully erupted.

Healing also varies with the length of wisdom tooth roots and whether they're curved or not.

Generally, longer roots with curvatures require more bone removal to allow extraction. In contrast, wisdom teeth that have not developed roots yet come out more easily.

All of this is to say that a myriad of factors determine complexity of the procedure and therefore, the healing time.

Generally, swelling and soreness will subside within 2-7 days following wisdom tooth extraction.

Jaw stiffness is another common post-treatment symptom following wisdom teeth removal. While pain and swelling settle within a week in most cases, jaw stiffness can last for 3-4 weeks.

What foods can I eat after a dental extraction?

The range of foods you can eat after a dental extraction really depends on the procedure and how your Dentist performed the extraction. The removal of impacted wisdom teeth is a surgical procedure and so the healing takes longer and includes more soreness and jaw stiffness.

Patients may want to start with soft foods for 2-3 days following wisdom tooth surgery. You'll want to avoid hot foods that can stimulate bleeding, hard or brittle foods that can scrape the healing gums, and chewy foods that can aggravate a stiff jaw.

Here's a list of foods we like for patients recovering from wisdom tooth extraction:

  1. Smoothies
  2. Yogurt
  3. Apple Sauce
  4. Mashed Potatoes
  5. Pudding
  6. Soup!

Gradually, you can work up to more firm and chewy foods while avoiding hard, sharp and brittle foods at all costs. As mentioned above, these foods can damage healing tissue on contact causing serious discomfort.

After a more routine (non-surgical) tooth extraction, your initial diet can include firm and chewy foods. You will probably have good range of motion when chewing with little to no limitation. Your extraction socket may be moderately sore so avoid eating hard, brittle foods (think taco shells, granola, hard candy) for at least 2-3 days.

What is “Dry Socket”?

Dry socket occurs when there is improper clotting after tooth extraction. As a result, nerve endings in the bony socket walls will be exposed. This is very painful for the patient. The profound burning and aching sensation is a hallmark of dry socket. If you experience this, call your Kitchener Dentist or Kitchener Oral Surgeon so they can provide remedial care to re-establish a proper clot and eliminate pain.

Dry socket is rare among most patients but occurs very commonly in patients who smoke during the first 5-7 days of recovery.

How do I know if I have a post-treatment infection?

If you have a post-operative infection, you'll notice a strange taste or smell coming from your extraction socket. You'll also likely notice very puffy swelling and possibly drainage of whitish-yellow pus.

Post-extraction infections often come with a fever. They can be extremely painful.

If you think you might have a post-operative infection, please call your Kitchener Dentist immediately.

If you are experiencing pain, pressure or other symptoms related to your wisdom teeth please contact us to arrange a consult with Kitchener Dentist, Dr. Kyle Hornby. We provide expert services for wisdom tooth removal in Kitchener & Waterloo.

Enjoy a fresh start.
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