Did You Know?
Nearly 10% of people don’t have any wisdom teeth at all. For the rest of us, working with a dentist you trust can help you feel confident you’re making the right choice about your wisdom teeth and your dental health.
At Office, our dentists to help you feel comfortable before, during, and after your wisdom tooth removal. We’ll explain what to expect, how to recover after your procedure, and much more.
What are the benefits of getting my wisdom teeth out?
Everyone’s body and wisdom teeth are unique. Sometimes, taking a wait-and-see approach to wisdom tooth removal is OK and there’ll never be any problems.
But getting your wisdom teeth out is a proactive way to prevent painful impaction and crowded teeth. You’ll also lower your risk of gum inflammation and eliminate any chance of your getting cavities in those teeth.
When should wisdom teeth be removed — or should they even be removed? Whether you’re a parent of a teenager or you still have your wisdom teeth, our experienced dentists are here to answer your questions.
First, we’ll determine whether a wisdom tooth extraction is needed. Our dentists will closely examine your mouth, looking for signs of possible problems caused by wisdom teeth like crowding, impaction, or discomfort.
Why it's done
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to appear (erupt) in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people never develop wisdom teeth. For others, wisdom teeth erupt normally — just as their other molars did — and cause no problems.
Many people develop impacted wisdom teeth — teeth that don't have enough room to erupt into the mouth or develop normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may erupt only partially or not at all.
An impacted wisdom tooth may:
Grow at an angle toward the next tooth (second molar)
Grow at an angle toward the back of the mouth
Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, as if the wisdom tooth is "lying down" within the jawbone
Grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone
Problems with impacted wisdom teeth
You'll likely need your impacted wisdom tooth pulled if it results in problems such as:
Trapping food and debris behind the wisdom tooth
Infection or gum disease (periodontal disease)
Tooth decay in a partially erupted wisdom tooth
Damage to a nearby tooth or surrounding bone
Development of a fluid-filled sac (cyst) around the wisdom tooth
Complications with orthodontic treatments to straighten other teeth
Preventing future dental problems
Dental specialists disagree about the value of extracting impacted wisdom teeth that aren't causing problems (asymptomatic).
It's difficult to predict future problems with impacted wisdom teeth. However, here's the rationale for preventive extraction:
Symptom-free wisdom teeth could still harbor disease.
If there isn't enough space for the tooth to erupt, it's often hard to get to it and clean it properly.
Serious complications with wisdom teeth happen less often in younger adults.
Older adults may experience difficulty with surgery and complications after surgery.
How long does it take to recover from wisdom tooth extraction?
Most people fully recover from wisdom teeth surgery in three to four days. If your teeth were impacted or came in at an awkward angle, it could take a full week to recover. The wound left behind after surgery won't be completely healed for months, so you can still develop an infection weeks after surgery.