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Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



Ready to Get Those Wisdom Teeth Out?

December 23, 2016, 6:40 pm

Wisdom teeth are the third and last set of molars that the majority of the people get between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five. Normally, most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each of the four quadrants; however, it is possible to have more or fewer.

Wisdom teeth can be an asset if they are properly aligned and healthy. However, if they are not aligned properly, they can cause damage to the adjacent teeth, as well as to the nerves and the jawbone. If the wisdom teeth are only partially erupted, they can be prone to gum diseases, gum infections, and tooth decay. Wisdom teeth typically have more issues than any other type of tooth in the human mouth.

Removing the Wisdom Teeth

Usually, dentists recommend having the wisdom teeth removed before the development of any problems. They are much easier to remove when you are young, because they are not developed fully. The extraction of wisdom teeth can get complicated as you grow older, and the recovery time will be longer as well.

A wisdom tooth that is fully erupted can be extracted just like any other tooth in your mouth. However, if the tooth is only partially erupted and jawbone-embedded, an incision will be required in the gums. Also, the teeth will be removed piece by piece only, in order to minimize the bone amount that’s required to be removed in order to get the tooth out.

Once it is decided that your wisdom teeth need to be removed, your oral surgeon will discuss the procedure with you. He will inquire about any health problems you may have, ask about the medications you are talking, and talk about the anesthesia you will be given.

You will be required to keep your wisdom teeth clean before the surgery. If you are a smoker, it is recommended to give up smoking at least two weeks before the surgery. By doing this, you will be able to fight off any infection as well as heal more efficiently and quickly.

The surgery usually takes about 45 minutes. (If it is a straightforward tooth, it only takes about five to 10 minutes). You will be given a local anesthetic injection in your mouth to numb the tooth. You may also be given a sedative (nitrous oxide, an oral sedative like Valium, or an intravenous sedative) to control any anxiety.

When the tooth is being removed, you will feel the tugging and the pressure but not any pain. You may also hear crunches and cracks, which are normal. If an incision is required, it will be made, and after the procedure, it will be stitched closed.

After the Tooth Is Extracted

It is better to have someone accompany you home after the surgery. If you were given a sedative, you should not drive or try to go home alone.

Bleeding may occur for some time after the tooth is extracted. Your face may swell where the tooth was extracted as well. Both bleeding and swelling will go down after some time. You will be prescribed pain medications and antibiotics.

You will have to be on a liquid diet initially and then on a soft food diet for a few days. You may brush, but stay away from the extracted tooth area. You may rinse your mouth with saltwater to speed up the recovery process. You should be able to go to work starting the day after removal.

Make an Appointment to Learn More

Experienced medical professional Dr. Matt Hlavacek is a skilled surgeon serving patients in the Kansas City area. For a consultation to learn more about wisdom teeth removal, contact us today.