Wisdom Tooth Removal FAQs Pittsburg CA
Wisdom tooth removal is a standard procedure for patients between 15 and 25 years of age. Your wisdom teeth or third molars are the last set of molars to develop in the back of your mouth, and they are notorious for causing dental complications like oral infection, teeth crowding, and dental decay. We recommend getting your wisdom teeth taken out as soon as they emerge.
Common Questions About Wisdom Teeth Removal
Read the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) below and call our office to schedule your consultation with one of our oral surgeons.
- How long does wisdom tooth pain last?
- How do you relieve wisdom tooth pain?
- Does everyone have wisdom teeth?
- What are the side effects of wisdom teeth removal?
- Do you use IV sedation for wisdom teeth removal?
- What are the first signs of your wisdom teeth coming in?
- What does an impacted wisdom tooth feel like?
- Do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
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Call us with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
How long does wisdom tooth pain last?
After your wisdom tooth removal surgery, you will feel soreness and swelling around the extraction sites for about a week. During your first week after surgery, follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions for managing pain and swelling with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like Ibuprofen and ice packs. Most patients feel ready to return to their daily lives after about five to seven days.
How do you relieve wisdom tooth pain?
The only way to alleviate wisdom tooth pain is to remove your wisdom teeth. If you are experiencing pain in the back of your mouth, behind your second set of molars, call our office to schedule a consultation and get tips for managing pain in the meantime, such as:
- Dental numbing gel
- Ice packs
- Saltwater mouth-rinse
- Black tea bags
- Prescription pain relief medication (if necessary)
Does everyone have wisdom teeth?
About 80% of adults in the United States have had their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth are an anatomical commonality in humans, and most patients develop between one to four wisdom teeth in their teens or early twenties. In most cases, the third set of molars are removed to avoid or alleviate pain associated with their emergence.
What are the side effects of wisdom teeth removal?
Wisdom teeth removal, like any tooth extraction, is a standard surgical procedure. And, like any surgical procedure, there is a slight chance of side effects or complications, such as:
- Dry socket
- Nerve damage
- Pain and swelling
- Limited range of motion in the jaw
Pain and swelling are common in the week following your extraction but can be easily managed with OTC treatments (listed above). In some cases, swelling and tenderness around the extraction sites will limit your ability to open your mouth wide until the swelling subsides. Keep in mind that it is extremely rare for nerve damage to result from an extraction procedure.
Dry socket is a painful condition that can occur if you accidentally dislodge the blood clot forming over the extraction sites. To avoid disturbing the clot, do not use straws, smoke, or any other action that creates suction or a vacuum in your mouth. Even in the cases of these rare side effects, they are temporary. Be sure to follow your doctor’s post-operative care instructions to ensure a healthy and speedy recovery.
Do you use IV sedation for wisdom teeth removal?
IV sedation or “twilight sedation” is an ideal anesthetic for wisdom teeth removal procedures. A combination of medications is administered through an IV to ensure you remain anxiety and pain-free for the duration of surgery. The effects of IV sedation will wear off after about twelve hours. On the day of your extraction, you will need a chaperone to drive you home following the procedure.
What are the first signs of your wisdom teeth coming in?
If your wisdom teeth are coming in, you might experience some of these tell-tale signs and symptoms:
- Jaw pain
- Gum swelling behind your back teeth
- Gum bleeding
- Bad breath
- Persistent bad taste in your mouth
- Discomfort chewing with your molars
- Trouble opening your jaws
What does an impacted wisdom tooth feel like?
Impacted wisdom teeth erupt at odd angles or do not fully emerge through the gums and cause various symptoms, including those mentioned above. Most patients feel a sharp pain when applying pressure over an impacted wisdom tooth. You might feel the pain more prominently when eating or brushing your teeth. Contact our office immediately if you cannot brush your teeth in the back of your mouth without causing pain or discomfort.
Do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
The short answer is yes. Wisdom teeth need to be removed to avoid immediate oral and overall health risks in the future. Some patients want to keep their wisdom teeth because they emerge straight without disrupting the healthy neighboring teeth. Even when wisdom teeth don’t pose an immediate risk, they continue to be a ticking time bomb for as long as they remain in your mouth. Your wisdom teeth can cause complications without warning at any point in the future. And it is much more difficult to remove the wisdom teeth once the roots have fully developed in the jawbone.
We recommend every patient remove their wisdom teeth as soon as they emerge. Don’t let your third molars cause expensive dental problems down the road. Call our office to schedule your wisdom tooth removal consultation with one of our oral surgeons today.