Everything You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth

Say the words “wisdom tooth removal” in a room full of adults, and you are bound to hear at least a few horror stories about this dreaded tooth extraction procedure. The pain, bleeding, and swelling that comes with wisdom teeth removal and recovery sticks in many people’s memories, but it’s a procedure that is often necessary.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the back most molars on each row of teeth, and they usually grow in between ages 17 and 25. They are the third molars, and ancient humans used them to grind up hard foods that were difficult to digest. Since cooking meals arrived, humans have outgrown wisdom teeth and most can be removed before they grow in without any effect on a person’s natural chewing pattern or teeth alignment.

Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

If there is not enough room for the wisdom teeth to grow in, they can potentially grow in sideways and become impacted. The wisdom teeth can then push against second molars, pushing them out of alignment and making them more difficult to clean and susceptible to decay. Additionally, narrow spaces between molars open up and can become more easily infected with bacteria, which raise the risk of periodontal disease, inflammation and decay.

How to know when wisdom teeth need to be removed

If your experiencing pain in the very back of your mouth, then it may be time a dentist to evaluate if wisdom teeth are growing. There are many reasons to have wisdom teeth removed before they arrive, but they can only be discovered by a dentist using advanced imaging to assess the position and health of an incoming wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth need to be removed when they will negatively affect the health of surrounding teeth or the mouth. Most people that need their wisdom teeth removed have it done between the ages of 16 and 18.

Wisdom teeth don’t always need to be removed

Most people assume that wisdom teeth always need to be removed, but that’s not always the case. In fact, some people have wisdom teeth grow perfectly into their smile without crowding or issue. That’s why its important to be evaluated by a dentist!

What can I expect during the wisdom teeth removal procedure

The entire surgery usually takes less than one hour. Depending on your situation, you will either receive a local anaesthesia, IV sedation, or General anaesthesia so you will sleep during the surgery. You will also need someone to drive you home after the surgery if you have anything other than local anaesthesia.

To remove the wisdom teeth, the gums are often cut, which will require stitches. You will leave the dentist with gauze pads in your mouth. You can expect a timeline of 4 to 7 days for full recovery.


If you are nervous about wisdom tooth removal, Dr. Vlahos at St. Catharines Dentist is your best resource. Call or make an appointment to talk about your concerns. Having your wisdom teeth extracted is a dreaded task, but you aren’t the first person to do it, so your dentist can provide advice from experience to help you get through it the right way.