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Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Dental exam for wisdom tooth extractions

During a dental exam (and with the help of radiographs or CT scans), we will evaluate the position of wisdom tooth to look for any current or future complications that need to be addressed.  It is always best to treat wisdom teeth complications early.  That is why a patient’s wisdom teeth are initially evaluated in their teenage years.

Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

If you do not have enough room in your jaw for your wisdom teeth to fully grow and erupt properly, then you are at risk of several complications.

Here are a few possible complications due to wisdom teeth:

  • Painful inflammation – One of the most common problems we diagnose with untreated wisdom teeth is pericoronitis, an inflammation of gum tissue around the tooth.  This condition often occurs when the wisdom tooth is partially impacted or not fully visible.  Without enough room for total eruption, the gum tissue can become irritated and infected.  This results in painful swelling that leads to difficulty chewing and swallowing.  
  • Cysts – Cysts are fluid-filled sacs inside the jaw that develop because of impacted teeth, and it may gradually expand, destroying adjacent jaw bone, teeth, and other anatomic structures.  

What if I still have my wisdom teeth as an adult?

As your wisdom teeth develop, your jaw bone becomes denser.  As an adult, removing fully developed wisdom teeth can often take longer to heal.  And the rate of complication increases the older you get.  If your impacted teeth are not removed by the time you’re an adult, then it may be recommended by your dentist to be left alone unless an issue arises, such as a cyst formation or gum disease.

What happens on the day my wisdom teeth are extracted?

For most patients, the wisdom tooth extraction will be comfortable.  People are sometimes surprised that an extraction even took place.  That is, until we show them their extracted tooth.  Before extraction begins, local anesthesia will be administered.  This will ensure you experience minimal to no discomfort.  Our surgical team are highly trained, and wisdom teeth extractions are routine procedures for them.

After your extraction, you will be prescribed medication to alleviate and manage post-operative pain and swelling.  We ask that a parent or guardian accompany patients to the office and plan to stay with them for the rest of the day if necessary.  The extraction procedure often takes about 10 to 15 minutes.  With advances in medicine, patient may undergo the procedure with minimal discomfort and rapid healing.  

It is essential you do not eat or drink for at least 6 hours before surgery (unless you are required to take prescription medications with water).  It is preferable you fast before your surgery.  This does not mean you should try to fit in one “last meal’ exactly 6 hours before your surgery.  Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk of anesthetic complication such as nausea and vomiting.  Your procedure will be rescheduled if you have not followed these guidelines.  Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns before surgery. 

If your surgery requires stitches, these are usually the type that dissolves in a few days and do not require a visit to our office for removal.  It is normal if you sense your gums swelling and pulling away from your teeth.  This feeling should subside in a few days.

What should I eat after extraction?

Once the local anesthesia wears off, you may require over-the-counter pain medication such as Motrin.  We recommend a post-operative soft diet.  And gradually introduce solids as your body heals.

We do not recommend using dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, or milkshakes on the day of your surgery.  This may induce nausea and vomiting due to the anesthetic and pain medication.  If you are given antibiotics and you are on birth control pills, please be aware that birth control pills may be ineffective in the meantime.  So take extra precaution during the course of your medication.

What does wisdom tooth extraction cost?  Is it covered by insurance?

Your treatment fee will be determined by the difficulty and severity of your extraction.  During your consultation, we will diagnose and assess with radiographs (and if necessary, with our 3D CT scanner), to give you an accurate cost estimate.  

Every insurance plan provides different coverage for surgical procedures.  Our staff will review your benefits and eligibility.  (Note: In addition to dental insurance, PPO medical insurance may also help.  NO INSURANCE PAYMENT IS GUARANTEED.  If you have medical insurance, then please provide your medical insurance card during your consultation appointment.). We are here to help you obtain maximum insurance benefits for your treatment.

What if I have question before surgery?

Please do not hesitate to ask us any question during your consultation.  We are here to help educate and empower you.  If further questions arise after your consultation, please call our office at (626) 288-8940.

← Impacted Wisdom Teeth

After Extraction →

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.