Visiting Your Family Dentist First
Before you visit an oral surgery center for a wisdom tooth removal your dentist will likely want to start with an oral examination which includes x-rays of your mouth. This is the first step in determining if your wisdom teeth need to be removed. During this visit, your dentist will check the positioning of the wisdom teeth and determine any current or future problems that your wisdom teeth may cause as they continue to grow and move.
Typically your wisdom teeth are first discovered via a dental x-ray in your teenage years, but they may not cause any problems until later in life, or even at all. But it’s best to have them checked at your regular dental visits. This can prevent them from becoming problematic and painful later down the road.
If your family dentist determines that the wisdom teeth do indeed require removal, you’ll then be referred to us for the wisdom tooth extraction in our outpatient oral surgery office.
Removal of Wisdom Teeth
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the back of your mouth. These molars usually come in between your late teenage years and early 20’s and they’re usually noticed first on dental x-rays during your routine dental checkups.
Your dentist will likely watch your wisdom teeth as they develop and grow, and when they begin to look problematic, will recommend removing them. Most people end up getting their wisdom teeth removed for one of these reasons:
- Wisdom teeth are impacted: This means that your wisdom teeth are not coming in normally and can end up becoming trapped in your gums or jawbone. This usually results in pain and discomfort in the back of your jaw.
- Your mouth has no extra room: Simply put, this means that there just isn’t enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth. Your dentist will then recommend removing them to avoid crowding your other teeth.
- Wisdom teeth are growing in at the wrong angle: Sometimes your wisdom teeth will grow in at odd angles. When this happens, removing them will prevent further complications and discomfort down the road.
- Avoiding unwanted cavities and gum disease: Since your wisdom teeth are so far back in your mouth, they’re often harder to reach while brushing or flossing. Removing them can prevent the formation of cavities and other problems in these teeth.
Before your wisdom tooth extraction:
When you are referred to us for a wisdom tooth extraction, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. We perform all of our wisdom tooth extractions under general anesthesia to make sure you’re comfortable the entire time. All of our doctors are very experienced and are some of the top oral surgeons in the region.
During your first visit and consultation, your doctor will walk you through the process of removing your wisdom teeth. It’s during the consultation that you’ll:
- Have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the surgery.
- Go over your options for anesthesia and other options for pain management.
- Discuss your surgery date so you can plan any necessary time off from work or school and other commitments.
- Make sure you’re going to have a ride home for post-surgery.
During Your Wisdom Tooth Removal:
Typically wisdom tooth removal takes approximately 45 minutes, but this can vary depending on the location of your wisdom teeth and the number of wisdom teeth being extracted.
You can discuss types of anesthesia and pain management options with us for your procedure, but you’ll typically receive General Anesthesia. For the surgery you will be asleep the entire time and will wake up after the procedure is finished.
After the wisdom tooth extraction, you may have stitches in the area where the removed teeth were. But these stitches are usually dissolvable and after the wounds begin to heal, will dissolve within a few days post-surgery.
Post-Surgery: After your wisdom teeth are removed
After your operation is complete, you’ll be briefed in our recovery rooms by our doctor who will give you any post-surgery care information.
Once you’re home and resting from your surgery, you may experience some swelling and mild discomfort for a few days, and your mouth should be completely healed within a week or so.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions for post-operation care to allow for a quicker recovery and proper healing.