Wisdom Teeth Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Answers to Common Questions About Wisdom Teeth

1. Does everyone have to get his or her wisdom teeth removed?
2. When is the best time to get wisdom teeth removed?
3. Is it true that the surgery takes less than an hour?/
4. How long does recover take after wisdom teeth removal?
5. Does it hurt to have your wisdom teeth removed?
6. Will I be awake for the extraction?
7. What does impacted mean?
8. What is a dry socket?

1. Does everyone have to get his or her wisdom teeth removed?

There is often not enough room for wisdom teeth to properly grow and emerge in the mouth, which causes them to push and grow into other teeth. When this happens, they are considered to be impacted and can lead to health problems such as infection, pain, overcrowding, cysts, and more. It’s recommended to get them removed early before these problems arise.

2. When is the best time to get wisdom teeth removed?

Early removal is recommended to avoid future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure. By waiting until the teeth have grown in fully, the risk associated with wisdom tooth removal and the recovery time from the procedure tends to increase. It is always preferable to remove wisdom teeth when they are not causing an emergent problem. While your wisdom teeth may not be causing you pain now, as you age, the risk of decay and infection increases. Dr Welch and Dr Sweeney are highly qualified in diagnosis and removal. Connect with us today to schedule a wisdom tooth consultation.

3. Is it true that the surgery takes less than an hour?/

Most times, the procedure to remove wisdom teeth takes less than one hour to perform. However, this is just a general timeframe. It will depend on each individual patient and how many teeth are being extracted.

4. How long does recover take after wisdom teeth removal?

The healing process after getting your wisdom teeth removed generally takes between 5 to 10 days. This can vary depending on the extent of your procedure. To ensure you have a smooth and speedy recovery, please follow our detailed post-operative instructions carefully. We recommend waiting at least 7 days following your procedure before participating in any vigorous activity. Exercising too early could aggravate the blood clot and increase your recovery time and discomfort.

5. Does it hurt to have your wisdom teeth removed?

Our practice offers a variety of anesthesia options so that you can rest comfortably during your procedure. Depending on the extent of the surgery, general anesthesia may be used, which will cause you to sleep comfortably and minimize any pain during surgery. If needed, we will prescribe pain medication or advise you of over-the-counter medication to take. Swelling usually peaks around the third day post-surgery, and your instructions will help you manage swelling and discomfort during the healing process. Most pain can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and ice packs.

6. Will I be awake for the extraction?

Our comfortable sedation method renders you into a sleep-like state during the procedure. If you need more sedation the doctor is right next to you!

7. What does impacted mean?

When a wisdom tooth becomes trapped beneath the gums, it is considered to be impacted and will not successfully erupt into the dental arch. Impacted teeth grow at an angle toward other molars and can knock them out of position. It’s difficult to clean around a partially emerged tooth, which can lead to infections and the formation of cysts.

8. What is a dry socket?

A dry socket is when the microscopic blood clot gets dislodged prematurely or dissolves from the tooth socket. Symptoms include pain at the surgical site and even pain that radiates from the ear to the anterior jaw may occur 3-5 days after surgery. A dry socket is not an infection, but will require treatment. Dry sockets occur most often in the lower jaw and are usually associated with removal of the molar teeth. The symptoms of a dry socket are easily treated with a medicated dressing, but the treatment is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Drs. Welch and Sweeney dry socket rate is less than 2%, compared to a national average of around 10%. Call the office if you believe you are developing a dry socket so we can treat it early and keep you comfortable.