Everyone has a set of third molars, also known as wisdom teeth. While a handful of people live with their wisdom teeth and experience no problems, most need to undergo wisdom teeth extraction in their late teens or early 20s. Wisdom teeth removal is required when the teeth fail to break through the gums. In most cases, the wisdom teeth are angled forward and put pressure on the other molars. Other people may have teeth angled backwards or even sideways, which can lead to dental problems in the future. Some patients undergo wisdom teeth extraction to address exiting problems like tongue pain or toothache, but most have the procedure done before any problems occur.
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Wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure, but how it is performed varies from one person to the next. During a typical session, the patient is given local anesthesia around the teeth that are being removed. Some patients may be sedated consciously so they’re more comfortable and relaxed yet still awake, while others may be sedated into unconsciousness and not remember anything about the procedure.
The time it takes to perform a wisdom tooth extraction depends on where and how the teeth are growing in. Teeth that have partially erupted through the gum tend to be easier to remove, while teeth that are growing sideways and under the gum require more invasive surgery.
Following the procedure, the patient may experience some pain and swelling, neither of which typically lasts longer than a few days. The dentist will prescribe pain medications to relieve any lingering pain in the teeth and gums. Our dentist will also provide home care instructions on how to help minimize and manage pain and other after effects of wisdom teeth removal, as well as schedule a follow-up visit.