Extractions Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Wisdom Tooth Extractions


If your dentist recommends extracting your wisdom teeth, you might be wondering if it’s really necessary, or what the procedure and recovery might entail. You’ll probably get a referral to an oral surgeon, and your oral surgeon can explain the procedure and recovery, and your dentist will explain their reasons for recommending the procedure, but it can help to have some background information as you make your decision and plan your wisdom tooth extraction.


The wisdom teeth are the third molars at the very back of the mouth. In most people, they appear between the ages of 17 and 25, and they’re often detected on x-rays; in many cases, the teeth remain impacted in the jawbone, which is why they can’t be spotted by the naked eye. Because these teeth are so far back in the mouth, they may not erupt normally and may remain trapped beneath the jawbone or just beneath the gums, which can cause pain and soreness. Their close quarters might also cause the wisdom teeth to erupt at an improper angle, causing them to exert pressure on the surrounding teeth.


These issues can also arise in people who have smaller mouths; even if there are no issues at present, your dentist can determine from x-rays whether your wisdom teeth can be expected to cause problems and might recommend extraction before any symptoms arise. When the wisdom teeth do erupt, their inconvenient location can make it difficult, if not impossible, to reach the teeth with a toothbrush and dental floss, encouraging tooth decay and gum disease. To prevent this, your dentist might recommend extracting your wisdom teeth even if they seem fine.


When you meet with your oral surgeon, make sure to review any medical conditions you have and provide a list of any medications you take. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have before surgery. Discuss your anesthesia choices, which range from local anesthesia that numbs the area to complete sedation, and make sure to plan some time off from work or school so you can recover after surgery. If you’re opting for sedation, make sure you arrange for a ride home, and tend to any child or pet care or other immediate responsibilities. Most patients are able to resume normal activity within about a week after a wisdom tooth extraction.

The surgery itself usually takes under an hour. Most people report mild to no pain following surgery but may feel discomfort and have some swelling in the area for a few days after surgery, and it takes a few weeks to completely heal. Following your dentist’s instructions for post-surgical care will help you heal efficiently and thoroughly. Using an ice pack on the face can help with swelling, and moist heat applied to the jaw can help with swelling.


Gently exercising the jaw by opening and closing it will help diminish the soreness that often follows oral surgery, and prescription medication will be prescribed to help with pain and reduce swelling, though some patients find over-the-counter medications sufficient. You’ll want to maintain a soft diet for a few days, and make sure to stay hydrated while you heal. If you notice that swelling isn’t improving after a week, or if you have a fever at any point in your recovery, call your dentist.


You can clean your mouth by gently rinsing with saltwater, but make sure not to spit or rinse forcefully, as these motions could dislodge your blood clots and lead to a painful dry socket. Smoking or sucking drinks through a straw can also lead to a dry socket and should be avoided for the first week or so after a wisdom tooth extraction.

Extractions How Much Does Tooth Extraction Cost