Wisdom Teeth Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answers to Common Questions About Third Molars
- Does everyone need to get his or her wisdom teeth removed?
- When is the best time to get wisdom teeth removed?
- Do all four teeth have to be pulled?
- Is it true that the surgery takes less than an hour?
- How long does recovery take after wisdom teeth removal?
- Do wisdom teeth extractions hurt?
- Will I be awake for the extraction?
- What does “impacted” mean?
- What is “dry socket”?
Does everyone need to get his or her wisdom teeth removed?
No, there are those very rare cases when patients don’t need to have their wisdom teeth removed. From time to time, our doctors at North Shore Implant and Oral Surgery Associates see a patient whose wisdom teeth appear to have fit nicely in the mouth and don’t need removal. However, these patients’ wisdom teeth are still prone to disease and must be monitored for life.
When is the best time to get wisdom teeth removed?
We recommend having your wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 17-25, before the roots have fully developed and entwined themselves in the nerves located in the jawbone. Waiting makes removal much more complicated.
Do all four teeth have to be pulled?
We assess each patient’s oral health thoroughly as we determine the best course of action for each unique case. Sometimes only one or two third molars need to be removed.
Is it true that the surgery takes less than an hour?
Typically, yes! Of course, the number of teeth we are removing, the severity of impaction, and several other factors affect the length of the surgery. However, most extractions do take less than an hour, and we will keep you comfortable the whole time.
How long does recovery take after wisdom teeth removal?
You will probably be too sleepy to do much the first day of your recovery, but most patients are back to their normal activities within 3-4 days.
Do wisdom teeth extractions hurt?
No, during the procedure, you won’t feel a thing. It isn’t uncommon for patients to have soreness for a few days following the surgery as the anesthesia wears off. Before surgery, we will discuss pain control methods and set you up with any necessary prescriptions, so that you remain comfortable at home as well.
Will I be awake for the extraction?
It’s up to you. We have a variety of options of anesthesia to accommodate different patients’ needs, and we discuss your anesthesia preferences prior to your surgery day.
What does “impacted” mean?
Good question! Impacted wisdom teeth are are not able to fully erupt through the gums. It is a very common condition when it comes to wisdom teeth, and it is the number one reason why wisdom teeth need to be removed. In fact, 9 out of 10 people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
What is “dry socket”?
Dry socket is a temporary complication that arises when a blood clot becomes dislodged from the extraction site, exposing tissue. The condition can be painful, but luckily, most cases can be avoided by following home-care instructions including the avoidance of straws and smoking.