Wisdom Teeth Removal: Frequently Asked Questions

It is not uncommon for patients to feel concerned when they hear from their doctor that they may need to have their wisdom teeth removed. People often think it is a drawn-out, painful procedure, but with modern technology and methods, wisdom teeth removal surgery has never been easier. We understand that our patients in the San Diego area may have questions, which is why we want to cover some of the most frequently asked questions patients ask.

What are wisdom teeth?

The third molars in the back of one’€™s mouth, wisdom teeth are the last to come into the mouth.

What are impacted teeth?

If teeth do not have enough room to develop properly, they can cause excessive pain and damage other teeth, and lead to potentially severe dental issues. Because wisdom teeth are harder to reach, they are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease. If they cause excess pain or other dental problems, they will usually be removed.

When should wisdom teeth be extracted?

Wisdom teeth usually erupt when patients are around 18 to 25, so if symptoms show up during this period, a wisdom teeth removal procedure is usually recommended.

Do wisdom teeth cause crowding of other teeth?

While this used to be a popular belief, research evidence validates that teeth will drift forward throughout patients’€™ lives, regardless of whether they have had orthodontic treatment, such as wisdom teeth removal. This is why wisdom teeth extraction should not be done for the sole purpose of minimizing future crowding.

What types of medications are used?

There are different kinds of anesthesia used during a wisdom teeth removal procedure. Local anesthesia numbs your mouth via an injection of Novocain into your gums or by breathing nitrous oxide. Another method is IV sedation: Your mouth in numbed, and you will receive medications through a vein in your arm so you become drowsy.

When can I eat again?

Following the first 2 to 3 hours after wisdom teeth extraction, you may not eat or drink. If the numbing sensation is still strong for a few hours after, you should avoid eating, as you could bite your cheek or tongue. Minimize consumption of hotter foods and eat primarily softer foods and liquids.

How long does recovery take?

This is dependent primarily on the degree of impaction and how many wisdom teeth were removed, as well as factors specific only to your body. There will be bleeding and bruising, but these should be manageable and controlled with the pain medication you will be prescribed. The aches and swelling should subside within 3 to 5 days, and within a week and a half, patients should be fully recovered.

Give us a call today to schedule your wisdom teeth removal procedure.