Wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) are the adult teeth located in the four back corners of the mouth. They are often extracted as the result of one or more of the wisdom teeth becoming impacted, meaning that they do not have enough room to grow in the mouth. Wisdom tooth impaction often results in pain, infection, or other dental problems, making it necessary to extract one or more of the wisdom teeth.
Why It’s Done
Wisdom teeth generally appear between the mid-teenage years and early twenties and are the last teeth to appear in the mouth. Some people may never develop wisdom teeth, while others may have wisdom teeth that erupt normally and cause no issues. However, many people do develop impacted wisdom teeth that may erupt only partially or not at all. In such cases, the removal of these teeth is necessary to prevent problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth.
Problems With Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are recommended for removal if they present with one or more of the following concerns:
- Dental pain
- Infection or gum disease
- Cyst or tumor formation
- Damage to adjacent teeth
What to Expect
Before the Procedure
Drs. Rake, Rake, Indovina, Stacy, Jaberi and French will review your full medical history, including your anesthesia history and any known family issues with anesthesia, as well as any medications that you are taking. You will be able to ask any questions that you have about the procedure, and you will also be provided with instructions to follow on the day of the procedure.
Day of the Procedure
In most cases, a wisdom tooth extraction is performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning that you will go home the same day.
The type of anesthesia used for the surgery will vary based on your medical and anesthesia history, as well the complexity of the extraction and your comfort level with the anesthesia method indicated. Anesthesia options include local, sedation and general anesthesia.
You will need a parent or another responsible adult to accompany you to the office and to stay with you for the rest of the day following the procedure. The procedure will take about 30-60 minutes, after which you will be moved to the recovery room for observation. You can plan to be in the office for 90 minutes.
You will be sent home with post-op instructions, including guidelines on what to eat following the procedure and how to care for the surgical site.
After the Procedure
You may experience some bleeding, mild discomfort and swelling for a few days post-op, all of which are normal following the procedure. Your post-op instructions cover what to do in these scenarios. If any questions or concerns arise, contact your oral surgeon for treatment options.