Wisdom Teeth Extractions FAQ
The team at AVOS Dental Specialists wants you to be fully informed and comfortable going into surgery for your wisdom teeth extraction procedure. Below, find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from patients. And reach out to our office with any other questions or concerns that come up.
What are wisdom teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that emerge in the back of your mouth. These teeth often appear between the ages of 14 to 25 and are the last adult teeth to come in.
Why get my wisdom teeth removed?
Often, wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow when they emerge and can cause problems. They might erupt at an odd angle, push your other teeth out of alignment, or become trapped within your jaw and cause an infection or cyst. If the tooth only partially emerges, it can be challenging to clean and breed harmful bacteria.
Neglecting to get a wisdom tooth extraction can lead to repeated infections in your soft tissue and chronic oral pain. Eventually, some patients can develop oral cysts that might become tumorous. Patients may also experience decay to the surrounding teeth from gum disease.
Removing wisdom teeth as early as possible, before the roots and bone fully form, helps avoid these potential issues.
Does everyone get their wisdom teeth removed?
Many patients get their wisdom teeth removed, but some do not. If your wisdom teeth appear to fit naturally in your mouth without disturbing nearby teeth, Dr. Haupt may not recommend removal. But, since the third molars are disease-prone, you will have to monitor their health for the rest of their life if you choose to keep them.
When should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
The best time to remove your wisdom teeth is often in the late teenage years or early twenties. We want to remove the teeth before they have time to integrate with the jawbone and nerves fully. Most patients are ready for the procedure around the age of 16 or 17.
Do all four wisdom teeth need to come out?
Every patient is different. For some patients, only a few of the third molars ever erupt or need to be removed. For others, they never emerge at all.
How long does the removal procedure take?
The wisdom teeth removal procedure is relatively quick and can take as little as an hour. The more teeth that need to be removed and the more they are impacted, the longer the surgery usually takes. Most patients wake up from surgery without knowing it even began.
How long does it take to recover post-surgery?
Recovery from a wisdom tooth extraction takes about one week. It is vital to get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activity for the first day or two after your procedure. Most patients feel ready to resume everyday life within 3 to 5 days.
Does it hurt to get my wisdom teeth removed?
No, it does not hurt to get your wisdom teeth removed! You don’t feel anything at all during the procedure. There will be some tenderness when the anesthesia wears off. Still, Dr. Haupt will give you everything you need to stay comfortable through your recovery, like prescription pain medication.
Am I awake during the removal surgery?
You can be awake if you want, or you can be fully sedated. Most patients prefer to be asleep throughout the procedure with IV sedation, but Dr. Haupt can accommodate different preferences. They will discuss your anesthesia options before the day of your surgery and give you all the information you need.
How safe is IV sedation?
IV sedation is extremely safe when administered under the supervision of Dr. Haupt. While sedated, you will continue to breathe normally and be kept under constant surveillance. Once you are under IV sedation, Dr. Haupt administers a numbing agent to the surgical area, so you remain asleep through the whole procedure.
What is an “impacted” tooth?
An impacted tooth is a tooth that cannot fully emerge through the gums. Impactions are very common for third molars. Wisdom teeth often become impacted, and it is the main reason you should have them removed.
What is a “dry socket?”
Dry socket is a very painful but temporary complication that can arise after a wisdom tooth extraction. After surgery, a blood clot must form over the extraction site. But it can be easily dislodged, in which case a dry socket can develop.
When the healing tissue becomes exposed, a dry socket can form, causing extreme sensitivity and pain. But you can avoid getting a dry socket by simply following the instructions that you receive from Dr. Haupt regarding post-surgery recovery.
To avoid dry sockets, refrain from using straws and smoking for the duration of your recovery. Also, be gentle when rinsing with mouthwash and allow the mouthwash to fall into the sink instead of spitting it out.