Wisdom Teeth – Frequently Asked Questions
Does everyone have to get his or her wisdom teeth removed?
No, but most people do. From time to time, we 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 15-21, before the roots have fully developed and entwined themselves in the nerves located in the jawbone, making removal much more complicated. It’s important to note that extracting the wisdom teeth during root development reduces the risk of complications.
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.
Will I have swelling?
Each case is different but as long as you ice the area and sleep with the head of bed slightly inclined it will minimize the swelling.
What can I eat after the extractions?
Any soft food diet is recommended. Stay away from anything hot in temperature and crunchy food items for 1 week.
Will I get stitches (sutures)?
Each case is different. If sutures are used, they will dissolve on their own within 2-3 weeks.
Is it true that the surgery takes less than an hour?
Most often, yes! The length of your procedure depends on the number 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 4-5 days. Usually the 2nd and 3rd day post operatively there might be a spike in discomfort due to post-surgical swelling. Also, most post-operative discomfort is due to the lower wisdom teeth as they are the ones that accumulate most food debris due to gravity. The upper wisdom teeth recover more quickly.
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. Impaction refer to any part of the tooth that is under the gums/bone.
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 an upcoming wisdom tooth appointment, we urge you to give us a call – let us set your mind at ease.