Wisdom Teeth

Driftwood Dental in Courtenay offers surgical wisdom teeth removal.


What are wisdom teeth?

By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. 

It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth”. They crowd the rest of your teeth and can become impacted if left unattended.

Regular visits and x-rays help us monitor the growth and position of your wisdom teeth. Ideally, removal is best between 17 and 21 years of age, when they’re easier to remove and you’re best able to recover quickly.

Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed.

Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they cannot properly erupt in your mouth.

They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

A poorly positioned wisdom tooth, also known as an "impacted wisdom tooth", can cause many problems.

When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth.

The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems.

Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Oral examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, we can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or potential for future problems. 

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort.

Our dentists have the training, license and experience to provide various types of sedation for patients to select the best alternative.

Wisdom teeth removal

The removal of wisdom teeth is typically performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide), IV sedation or general anesthesia. These options will be discussed before the procedure. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured.

You will rest in the office until you’re ready to be taken home. Your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment for suture removal. 


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