Extractions / Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom and Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth are the third molars located on each side in the back of the mouth. They typically begin to erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. It is recommended that individuals between the ages of 16-19 consult their dentist to evaluate if their wisdom teeth need to be removed. Removing these teeth before the age of 20 will help reduce the risk of complications.
The most common reason for extraction is due to the wisdom teeth being impacted. They become impacted when there is not enough room in the mouth for them, or if they are tilted in your jaw and trying to come in sideways. When an impacted wisdom tooth is trying to come in it can also cause damage to other teeth and potentially lead to other dental problems.
Your oral surgeon will have a pre-op appointment to go over what will happen during the extraction, if they are going to use a sedative or anesthesia, and let you know how far before surgery you need to stop eating. The surgery will take approximately 45 minutes. During the extraction the oral surgeon will make an incision into the gum and remove any bone that is blocking access to the wisdom tooth’s root. Shortly before the tooth is removed you may feel slight pressure as the tooth is being rocked back and forth to help widen the tooth’s socket. Once the tooth is removed, the wound is closed with stitches and gauze is packed into the sockets (empty space).
Once surgery is over you may be given antibiotics to help fight infection and someone will need to drive you home. There may be swelling of the cheeks and jaw near the extraction site, along with some discomfort, pain, and/or bleeding. During the first 24 hours post-surgery it is important to avoid drinking, smoking, consuming hot liquid, and rinsing your mouth out. Your oral surgeon will send home instructions covering care for the wound, including managing your pain and swelling.