Having Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted
Consultation and Preparation
During your initial consultation, we will review any x-ray images and if necessary take specialized imaging to get a clearer picture of the position of your wisdom teeth.
Making Your Experience Great
We are committed to making your experience a great one! Thanks to the current techniques available, Dr. Falk, Dr. Vitale and Dr. Niebloom are able to perform the procedure in a way that promotes quicker healing and minimizes pain.
The Day of Your Procedure
Prior to your wisdom teeth removal surgery, we will discuss with you very specific pre and post-surgical instructions so that you know what to expect. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions that pertain specifically to you
A few key items:
- Anesthesia: Although many people prefer to be sedated for the procedure, we do offer a variety of levels of anesthesia to accommodate personal preferences. We are trained and highly experienced with anesthesia to provide you with a safe and comfortable experience.
- If you are considering IV sedation DON’T EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING FOR 6 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR PROCEDURE. (Pre-approved medications may be taken with a sip of water)
- Foods: Specific instructions will be sent home with you regarding the reintroduction of foods. But, as a general rule, start with clear liquids and progress to other soft foods slowly.
- NO Straws: Throughout the healing period, we recommend that you refrain from the use of straws for 7 days. Using straws can dislodge the clot that is covering your extraction site, resulting in a condition called “dry socket”. If you have any concerns regarding this condition please call our office.
Wisdom Teeth: The Procedure
The length of your surgery depends on a variety of factors including the level of impaction of your teeth and the number of teeth being removed. However, most wisdom teeth extractions can be performed in about an hour. During that time you will be kept comfortable with anesthesia.
Recovery from Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Post-op soreness can typically be managed with appropriate prescription medications. All medication options will be discussed ahead of your surgery to ensure that you have adequate pain relief at home as the local anesthesia wears off.
Wisdom Teeth Complications
Luckily, complications following wisdom teeth removal are rare. Below are some of the more common post operative conditions that may cause you concern. If you suspect any of these are occurring, please call us for instructions:
The most common “speed bump” following a tooth extraction is a “dry socket”, which occurs when the blood clot in an extraction site becomes dislodged or never develops properly. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including smoking, straw use, improper home-care such as vigorous rinsing, and a variety of other reasons. If you have symptoms of dry socket, please call our office immediately so that we can get you proper care and pain control. Dry socket symptoms typically appear 2-3 days after your surgery, and may include:
- Increasing pain
- Pain radiating to the ear, cheek, etc.
- Bad breath or unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Visible bone or an empty-looking socket
Signs of infection include fever, worsening pain and swelling. Although post op infections are extremely rare, they typically do not develop until at least 2-3 weeks post operatively.
Damage to Sensory Nerve:
It is normal to feel some numbness or tingling in the lower lip, chin or tongue following surgery. However, very rarely, sensory nerve damage occurs that causes the sensation to linger. Having your wisdom teeth out early (before complete root formation) lessens the likelihood that this condition will develop – another reason to take care of this important procedure during the teen years! If you have any signs of numbness on the day following surgery please call our office for instructions.
Because the upper wisdom teeth are so close to the sinus cavities, occasionally an opening appears between the sinuses and the mouth following extraction. This opening will usually close on its own, provided that you follow specific instructions (avoid blowing your nose, sneeze with your mouth open) to avoid a pressure buildup in the sinuses for a few days. Very rarely, we must perform an additional procedure to close the opening.
If you have any questions now or after your surgery, give us a call – the more you know, the more confidence you will have on the day of your surgery!