Wisdom Teeth: Frequently Asked Questions
Wisdom Teeth: FAQ
Does everyone have to get his or her wisdom teeth removed?
No, but most people do. From time to time, our oral surgeons see a patient whose wisdom teeth appear to have fit nicely in the mouth and thus don’t need removal, but they are still prone to disease and must be monitored for life.
When is the best time to get wisdom teeth removed?
Between the ages of 17-25, before the roots have fully developed and entwined themselves in the nerves located in the jawbone, making removal much more complicated.
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Do all four teeth have to be pulled?
Sometimes we only need to remove one or two, and sometimes three or four. We will assess your case thoroughly to determine the best course of action.
Is it true that the surgery takes less than an hour?
Most often, yes! The length of your procedure depends on the amount of teeth we are removing, the severity of impaction and several other factors. However, the typical extraction does take less than an hour, and we will keep you comfortable the whole time.
How long does recovery take after wisdom teeth removal?
The first day of your recovery you will probably be too sleepy to do much, but most patients are back to their normal activities within 3-4 days.
Does it hurt to have your wisdom teeth removed?
During the procedure, you won’t feel a thing. However, you may have soreness for a few days following the surgery as the anesthesia wears off. We will discuss pain control methods and set you up with any necessary prescriptions ahead of time so that you remain comfortable at home as well.
Will I be awake for the extraction?
We have a variety of levels of anesthesia to accommodate different patients’ needs. We will discuss your anesthesia preferences prior to your surgery day.
What does “impacted” mean?
Impacted wisdom teeth are those that are not able to fully erupt through the gums. It is a very common condition, and the number one reason that wisdom teeth end up needing removal. In fact, 9 out of 10 people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
What is “dry socket”?
Dry socket is a temporary complication that arises when a blood clot becomes dislodged from the extraction site, exposing tissue. The condition can be painful, but luckily most cases can be avoided by following home-care instructions including the avoidance of straws and smoking.
If you have any questions or concerns about wisdom tooth procedures, we urge you to give us a call. Our consultation will allow us to spend time discussing your situation, your options and your concerns. Let us ease your mind.
What do I do if I get food stuck in the surgical site?
It is normal for the bottom extraction sites to start aching for 3-4 days. It is simply food stuck in the site of the blood clot starting to dissolve. If the pain is not relieved by your pain medicine or is worsening, please call the office (during office hours if possible) so we can better assist you. We may have you come in so we can irrigate the site and place soothing medicine directly into it. This is nothing serious.