Wisdom Teeth Frequently Asked Questions
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, and they are the last teeth to erupt into the gum line. Typically erupting between the age of 17 and 25, this final set of molars are not actually necessary for dental function. In fact, they may cause a number of oral health concerns. At Altitude Oral and Maxillofacial Implant Center, our oral surgeons offer safe, comfortable wisdom tooth extraction in our Denver dental offices. Call our team to find out more or schedule a dental implant consultation.
Do You Have to Remove my Wisdom Teeth?
We do not always have to remove wisdom teeth, but for the majority of patients, this is the best course of action. Some of the reasons we recommend wisdom tooth extraction include:
- Impaction, the tooth is unable to erupt from the gum line
- Crowding if there is not adequate space on the jaw to accommodate the additional set of teeth
- Wisdom teeth may shift the surrounding teeth out of their ideal positioning
How Many Wisdom Teeth Will I have?
Most patients have four wisdom teeth. Others don’t have any wisdom teeth, and some can have five or six third molars.
How do You Extract Wisdom Teeth?
In some cases, we’re able to pull wisdom teeth. If your third molars have fully erupted from the gum line, we can use metal tools to grasp the teeth and pull them from the socket. If wisdom teeth are not fully erupted, we’ll need to surgically extract them. We may begin by cutting away some gum tissue to fully reveal the tooth. Then, we’ll try to pull the wisdom tooth free. If it’s not possible to pull the entire tooth, we’ll need to break the tooth into two or more smaller pieces first.
Will Wisdom Tooth Extraction Hurt?
You will not feel any pain or discomfort during your tooth extraction procedure. We’ll begin with local anesthetic. We will also provide dental sedation for most patients. We provide a full range of sedation options from oral conscious and IV sedatives to complete general anesthesia. Following treatment, you will experience some mild discomfort for the first few days to a week, and our team will provide pain relievers. You should also use ice packs or cold compresses as necessary for the first 48 hours. If your pain is severe or lasts longer than a week, you should call our team right away. You may be experiencing dry socket or other complications.
How Long Does it Take?
Your tooth extraction procedure can take one or more hours to complete. Most patients choose to use some form of dental sedation to ensure comfort throughout these procedures, so you’ll need to plan to relax for at least 24 hours. After the first day, you’ll want to slowly take on more activities, and rest as necessary.