The Ultimate FAQ Guide to Wisdom Teeth Removal

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Most people develop and grow 32 adult teeth, however, many do not have enough room in their mouth for all of these teeth. The lack of room can cause a number of harmful effects on your overall dental health. Because the wisdom teeth are the last to develop, it causes them not to have enough space to become functional teeth. This is called impaction, which means your wisdom teeth are unable to erupt into proper alignment and allow them to be functional.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are located in the very back of your mouth, next to your second molars. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth that develop, and they are also referred to as third molars. They are upper and lower teeth, and their function is to grind food as part of the digestive process. . They normally completely develop between the ages of 15 and 20.

What is The Best Age To Have Them Removed?

If your dentist recognizes that you will not have enough space in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to erupt, it is best to have them removed when it is recognized. In some patients it is as early as 11 or 12, and for others it may not be until 17 or 18 years of age. The younger you are when you have them removed can have an impact on how fast you heal and overall complications. If you are older the final healing may be less predictable and you may spend more time healing overall.

What Happens On The Day They’re Removed?

You will decide whether you would like to be sedated during the removal process. If you would like to be sedated you will be provided with sedation options. On the day of your procedure, you will take medications to help minimize postoperative pain and swelling. We ask that a parent or responsible adult accompanies you to the office and they will need to stay with you for the rest of the day. Your procedure will take about an hour and you will probably be in the office for 1 ½ -2 hours. Our surgical assistants go over your post-operative instructions. When you leave the office you will likely be drowsy, and most patients go home and rest for a few days and refrain from physical activities.

What Will I Feel Like?

You will want to rest and keep activities to a minimum for a few days. It is important to follow your postoperative instructions because it will make you the most comfortable in the days following your wisdom teeth removal. Most patients start feeling better in 3-5 days.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth More Difficult To Remove Than Other Teeth?

Many factors can make extraction of wisdom teeth more difficult. For the most part it is a very standard and routine procedure. If your oral surgeon notices a potential for more complications they will address it with you beforehand.

Will I Have Stitches Where My Wisdom Teeth Were Removed?

A few stitches will be where your wisdom teeth were removed. Your dentist give you instructions on how to care for the incision sites and stitches. The stitches themselves will typically dissolve on their own within 1-2 days.

What Are Dry Sockets?

Dry sockets are the most common problem people have following wisdom tooth surgery. This happens due to premature loss of a blood clot in the empty tooth socket and affects approximately one out of five patients. This seems to occur with greater frequency in people who smoke or are taking birth control pills. They cause a deep, dull, continuous aching on the affected side. Patients may first notice the pain starting in the ear radiating down towards the chin. Treatment involves placing a medicated dressing in the empty socket. The dressing doesn’t aid in healing. The only reason to place a dressing is for pain control. The effectiveness of the dressings last about 24-48 hours and will need to be changed every day or two for five to seven days.