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Wisdom Teeth Info | Wisdom Teeth Removal Symptoms & Causes

Xray & Oral Examination
After taking a panoramic xray and evaluating your mouth, our doctor can provide you with a good understanding of the current health of your wisdom teeth and may be able to predict if there will be any future problems. Studies show that the best outcomes for patients are achieved by early evaluation and treatment when necessary. Patients usually get evaluated during their teenage years for wisdom teeth, during this time they are most likely to be seen by their general dentist or orthodontist.

Why should I remove my Wisdom Teeth?
If you notice bad breath, stuck food, red/bleeding gums, and/or cheek irritation it could be a sign of wisdom teeth problems. Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, come see us, we promise to advise you on the risks vs benefits of wisdom teeth removal. Patients usually have a better experience and more comfortable recovery between 16-25 years of age when the wisdom teeth roots are not completely formed. After age 25 there are increased risks of bone loss during healing and time out of work which leads to more costs in the long run. Preventing problems on the wisdom tooth itself or adjacent teeth before they happen is always best.

Why are Wisdom Teeth removed if they don’t bother me?
Preventive Care! Preventing problems leads to the most conservative care and better outcomes. Although you may not be having acute pain, your jaw may not have enough space for the wisdom teeth to come thru the gums, causing them to be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth push on adjacent teeth and prevent your ability to clean the teeth you need to keep for life. Wisdom teeth usually come in at an odd angle, pointing forwards, backwards, sideways causing cheek irritation and jaw pain. In a very small amount of cases wisdom teeth can lead to cysts or unwanted pathology in the jaw.

What if I don't remove my Wisdom Teeth?
When wisdom teeth are impacted, they have no ability to come thru the gums, yet the roots are still developing deeper into the jaw bone. Your bone is generally more flexible and softer when you are younger. As you get older the bone becomes more dense as well as brittle. If you end up needing your wisdom teeth removed in your thirties, it usually takes longer to heal and there can be additional complications with the nerve that would not be so had they been removed when you were younger. Additionally, with age we become concerned with your body's natural ability to heal the surgical site after wisdom teeth removal. Usually in your late twenties and early thirties, your body loses the ability to generate and maintain bone levels around adjacent teeth. Although this can be managed with additional measures such as bone grafting, it becomes an additional expense. In your thirties and onwards, sometimes we may recommend observing your wisdom teeth until a more localized reason for removal presents itself (such as swelling, pain, infection, cysts etc). If the teeth are stable, we usually do not recommend disturbing them.

What is the process of Wisdom Teeth Removal on the day of surgery?
We are here to help you make informed decisions on the wisdom teeth removal process. We have have some patients that prefer local anesthesia only and then we have patients who elect for either Laughing Gas or Sedation for a better experience. Our duty is to guide you and help you make informed decisions for the best way forward, we do not force anyone into a one size fits all experience.

Whichever option you choose, rest assured that our doctor and staff have the training, licensing, and experience to provide the various types of anesthesia. We provide care using state of the art equipment in a modern facility with appropriately trained and experienced team members to ensure your safety.

If undergoing sedation for your procedure, you must have a parent or responsible adult be present with you at the office. We ask that they stay with you for the rest of the day and next to ensure your safety, as sometimes the medications may have residual effects of making you feel sleepy or unaware. The entire procedure from paperwork to recovery usually takes 30-60 minutes, you may be in the office with us for 90 minutes until discharge depending on your recovery. Most patients have minimal discomfort and swelling after surgery due to advances in wisdom teeth care delivery. Each patient is unique however. We use state of the art infection control and sterilization techniques.

If having sedation, it is important that you do not have anything to eat or drink for at least 6 hours prior to your surgery. You should not try to fit in one last meal exactly 6 hours prior to your surgery as this may increase the risk of serious anesthesia complications. If you have not followed this advice it is absolutely important that you are truthful so we may hold off a little longer or reschedule so as to avoid any concerns with safety and your health.

If stitches are required, they usually dissolve in 3-5 days sometimes sooner, sometimes longer. Each patient's saliva is unique which contributes to the timeframe for sutures to fall out. We advise patients to get started on their antibiotics and pain medications as soon as possible to prevent breakthrough pain. Do not wait for the local anesthesia to wear off before taking pain medication.

We recommend avoiding dairy products during recovery as dairy allows for bacterial growth. You will most likely stick to soft foods for 1-2 days as noted in your care package. Remember, 2-3 days of swelling is common to any surgical procedure, if it lasts longer, there is a cause for concern so please call us right away if it does not resolve in 2-3 days. If you take birth control pills, remember that antibiotics diminish the effect or interfere with birth control, so use appropriate precautions for up to two cycles.

Sedation Instructions

  • Do NOT Eat or Drink anything for at least 6 hours prior to your appointment. This will ensure a safe sedation experience.
  • Take your regular medications with a sip of water at your normally scheduled time on the morning of surgery.
  • Stay well hydrated the night before with water. Avoid coffee, caffeine, alcohol.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing that does NOT restrict access to your upper arm or ability to breathe.
  • Wear flat shoes for safety and balance
  • Remove nail polish and fake nails, as this may prevent our sedation monitor from working.
  • For men, beards should be trimmed as neatly as possible.
  • Bring a responsible Adult (>18years of age) who will drive you and monitor you for the next 24 hours.

Setting Expectations Right

  • Safe Sedation in a clinic is NOT General Anesthesia
  • You will not lose consciousness. However, your memory will be limited
  • You will be able to respond to instructions from our team
  • We only use safe, reversible time-proven medications for sedation
  • If you do not want to be under sedation, you do not have to be. You have options- either way, we will ensure safe, comfortable care

Post Operative Instructions

In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. Take pain medication and antibiotics as prescribed. The following tips will help speed your recovery:

On the Day of Surgery

  • If you underwent IV Sedation, do not drive/operate machinery/or make important decisions for 24 hours after surgery as you may still be drowsy or less alert.
  • Bite gently on the gauze for the next 1 hour after surgery and change gauze every 30 minutes. Call us if you still have bleeding 24 hours after your surgery.
  • Never sleep with gauze in your mouth.
  • If you are coughing or have active seasonal allergies, please be careful with the gauze.

Post Surgery

  • Do not use a straw or spit for the first few days. Sucking on a straw or spitting can loosen the blood clot and delay healing- causing a painful dry socket.
  • Do not smoke or vape for at least 48 hours after your surgery. Smoking decreases the blood supply and can bring germs and contaminants to the surgery area.
  • While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite lip, cheek, tongue.
  • Rest elevated, do not lie flat. Lying flat will cause more bleeding.
  • Put an old towel on your pillow, so you do not drool on or stain your cover


Swelling is a normal part of the healing process where the body brings in good factors to help heal the site and defend against infection. Controlled swelling is expected for the 1st 48 hours and then reduce after.

  • Use an ice pack for 10 minutes on/10 minutes off for the first 24 hours, which will help with pain and swelling.
  • Take rest after surgery, watch tv, try not to run around as this may increase bleeding/pain.
  • Eating is important! Eat soft foods such as Jello/Pudding/Clear Soups for the first 1-2 days. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
  • Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or touching it with your fingers.
  • Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully.
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