Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth Removal By Oral Surgeon

We have 2 board certified oral surgeons on staff who can remove your normal teeth, wisdom teeth, offer other dental surgical needs all with the comfort of IV sedation. Both have over 20 years of experience.

Wisdom tooth extraction is probably the most common oral surgery procedure performed on patients, as the wisdom teeth become impacted in the majority of people. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause numerous problems, so patients often opt to have these teeth extracted before those problems develop. Patients who pursue wisdom tooth extraction typically consult with an oral surgeon to perform the procedure.

How Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted

Many millennia ago, the large third molars served an important purpose in our ancient human ancestors. They served as replacements when other teeth were lost, which was a common occurrence. The sizable chewing surfaces of these teeth also helped to process a rough, fibrous diet. Furthermore, with their large jaws, ancient humans did not experience issues with the wisdom teeth becoming impacted. However, over time, our jaws have gotten smaller. Now, they are so small that there often is not enough room for the third molars to come in properly. They often become impacted in the bone or gum tissue, which can cause numerous problems for the patient.

Problems Associated With Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause many issues for patients, as it is difficult to keep the rearmost portion of the mouth clean. Bacteria can accumulate on the partially impacted teeth and cause infection or even abscesses that affect the tooth’s innermost portion and can allow bacteria to access the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.

Wisdom Teeth Removal | Advanced Family Dentistry | Dentist in Cedar Park TX

Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause pain and push the surrounding teeth out of their proper positions as they continue to try to emerge through the gum tissue. Additionally, impacted wisdom teeth are susceptible to developing cysts and tumors. In order to reduce their risk of such issues, many patients who know that their wisdom teeth are impacted choose to have them extracted as a preventive measure.

Surgical Extraction Of Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth are surrounded by either bone or gum tissue, which must be removed before the teeth can be accessed and extracted. This requires a surgical extraction, rather than a simple extraction. Patients are sedated for the procedure to minimize any discomfort during the extraction. Additionally, wisdom teeth are almost always removed in an outpatient setting so patients return home after the procedure. Barring any complications, patients are typically able to resume their normal activities within a few days.

Common Wisdom Teeth Removal Questions

Will I feel pain?

The surgical sites from which the wisdom teeth are extracted will be numbed using local anesthesia, and most patients opt for sedation for maximum comfort during the procedure. The effects of the sedation will not wear off completely by the time you leave the office, so you will need to make arrangements for a responsible adult to escort you home.

Patients may experience some mild discomfort in the first 24 hours after the anesthesia wears off, but it can often be managed with over-the-counter painkillers and should begin to wane after a day or two. If you experience persistent or severe pain, this could indicate a post-operative infection, and you should follow up with our office for evaluation and necessary treatment.

What is the recovery period?

Most patients will be able to return to work or school within a day or two of having their wisdom teeth extracted. Patients are instructed to limit vigorous activity for a few days more, so if your job involves significant physical demands, you may need to take a longer period of time off.

Post-operative complications can extend your recovery period, so it’s important to closely follow the self-care instructions to reduce your risk of issues such as infection or dry sockets. Incidentally, dry sockets are the most common complication after wisdom tooth extraction. To avoid this painful condition, patients should avoid certain activities, such as drinking through straws or smoking, which could interfere with the development of the blood clots that protect the sensitive nerve endings in the empty sockets.

What are the reasons for wisdom tooth removal?

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause numerous problems, ranging from pain to infection to damage to surrounding teeth. However, the timing of these problems can’t be predicted. Understandably, many patients will not want to delay wisdom tooth extraction until they develop an issue. Therefore, in order to prevent these effects and preserve the health and integrity of the other teeth in the smile, many patients choose to have their wisdom teeth removed prophylactically (preventively).

When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

As patients get older, the roots of the wisdom teeth get longer and more solidly attached to the bone. This process makes it more difficult to remove the wisdom teeth in older patients and also can lead to an extended recovery period. Therefore, it is advised that patients pursue wisdom tooth extraction by age 25. Some insurance providers may not offer as much coverage for the procedure on older patients, which is another consideration for scheduling the procedure. A dentist can determine whether the patient’s wisdom teeth are impacted when the patient is as young as 14 or 15, so there is ample time to undergo wisdom tooth extraction in your late teens or early twenties.