Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom Teeth Removal 2017-06-02T23:01:18+00:00

What are Wisdom Teeth?

impacted wisdom teethWisdom Teeth are the third molars formed  in your mouth, after the first (6-year) molar and the second (12-year) molar. They are the last teeth to form, but often never come in. When wisdom teeth don’t come in, or come in only partially,  they are called “impacted” wisdom teeth. In other words they are  trapped and can’t come into your mouth like the rest of your teeth.

The reason for this impaction is usually because there is not enough room behind your second molar for your third molar to come in.

When should I have my Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth should come out between age 12 and 18 depending on the situation. Most people have them removed around 14-16 years old. When you are in this age range there are several distinct advantages to you.

  1. Young patients in their teens heal very well, far better than when you get older
  2. Bone is softer and almost stretchy. This means a smaller surgery.
  3. The tooth roots are not fully formed. This means less complications and again, a smaller surgery.

If you are past this point, don’t despair! Come in for a consultation  and we will evaluate your specific situation and advise you of the best course of action. . Delaying treatment usually increases the risks.

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Do I really need to have my Wisdom Teeth Removed?


When wisdom teeth are impacted on the molar in front of them (the second molar) they can cause a very tight space. This tight space is not cleanse-able. You can’t floss it well enough and you can’t bush it well enough to prevent plaque and bacteria from accumulating. This accumulation of bacteria leads to cavities and bone loss. Since the cavities usually happen down low on the tooth, it usually cannot be saved.

The best way to avoid this is to get your wisdom teeth out early. The ideal time is when there is a small shell of bone over the wisdom tooth. When there is a small shell of bone there is no way for the bacteria to get there and thus the second molar stays healthy.

This ideal point is somewhere between 12 and 17 in most and up to 18 years old in some.

If you are past this point, don’t despair! Come in for an evaluation and we will let you know what the status of your wisdom teeth is. The only bad thing you can do at this point is continue doing nothing.

If you are past the golden age of wisdom teeth removal (16-18) years old, you should have a consultation ASAP

Why do my Wisdom Teeth hurt?

Wisdom teeth hurt for a couple reasons:

  1. You have cavities in the wisdom tooth or the tooth in front of it (the second molar).
  2. You have periodontal disease at the site of your wisdom teeth.
  3. You have an infection associated with your wisdom tooth.

Does it hurt to get Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Most of our patients choose to go to sleep for their wisdom teeth removal procedure. Drs. Baker and Delsol have great expertise in all types of office anesthesia and will discuss the options available for your surgery so you will be able to make the best choice for your comfort. You’ll enter one of our relaxing rooms and drift off to sleep with some gentle sleep medicines. After you are asleep, local anesthesia is given that numbs the area so when you wake up you will not experience any pain . Before the numbing medicine wears off, you will take medication and use ice packs to minimize the discomfort. Most patients are quite comfortable.

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Should I go to sleep to have my Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Yes! We go through every effort to make your experience great from your initial visit through your follow up. The most impactful thing you an do however is go to sleep for your procedure. The experience is 3 simple and safe steps:

  1. Get a small IV
  2. Receive gentle sedation medications
  3. Wake up in the recovery room without remembering or feeling anything

What kind of doctor should pull my Wisdom Teeth?

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (or Oral Surgeons-same thing) are the dental specialists most expert in removing wisdom teeth. General dentists are also licensed to pull teeth (including wisdom teeth) but generally refer these types of surgical procedures to the office of an Oral Surgeon.

How long will I be swollen after Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Swelling starts at about 24 hours after surgery and peaks between 48 and 72 hours after surgery. After this time period most patients see significant improvement each day. All noticeable swelling is usually gone at 7 days.

Dr. Baker and Delsol go to great lengths to make your swelling as minimal as possible. To do this we give strong anti-swelling medicines during surgery and some to take home. We focus on minimally invasive micro-incision techniques to give you the best possible outcomes.

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When can I go back to school after Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

It depends. Every patient is different. Some will need several days and some none. We recommend all patients take at least 1 day off of school or work after wisdom teeth extractions.

Does insurance cover Wisdom Teeth?

At Niguel Coast Oral and Facial Surgery we have staff dedicated to helping you get the most out of your insurance benefits. They spend countless hours on the phone to make sure the insurance companies do their part. We work with both medical and dental insurances to get you or your child’s wisdom teeth covered by insurance.

How much does Wisdom Tooth Removal Cost?

Getting your wisdom teeth removed doesn’t have to break the bank. If your insurance covers your wisdom teeth removal, that’s fantastic. If not, we will make sure we take excellent care of your financially as well. We partner with several companies that will help you to take care of your health while not being financially prohibitive.

What is a dry socket?

Dry sockets are painful extraction sockets that occur at 3 to 5 days after surgery. If you have ever heard of someone having a bad experience with wisdom teeth they likely had a dry socket. At Niguel Coast Oral & Facial Surgery we use a novel method to decrease your risk of dry socket by 10X!

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What to do after Wisdom Teeth pulled

After you get your wisdom teeth removed you will get extensive post operative instructions. There are a couple of really important do’s and don’ts.


  1. Use Ice. Ice is very effective to reduce swelling after having your wisdom teeth out. Ice WON’T however reverse swelling. Ice is effective in the first 24-48 hours.
  2. Eat a soft diet. Soft diets are important because in order for your gums to heal well, they shouldn’t be bumped and bruised from hard foods.
  3. Eat a cold diet.  Similar to using ice on your face, eating a cold diet is a great way to reduce swelling at the surgical site.
  4. Take your medications as prescribed. Each medication has been vetted by research to give you profound benefit. Our philosophy is minimally invasive, so we want you to take as few as possible. So feel confident that what you are taking is really important.


  1. Eat chips, popcorn, rice or other small pieces of food that may get stuck in your tooth socket.
  2. Exercise for 5 days. Raising your heart rate with exercise will increase swelling, bleeding and bruising.
  3. Rinse your mouth for 24 hours.

What can I eat after wisdom teeth pulled?

We think what you eat is really important. You can actually change the way your heal based on what you eat. But patients often describe not knowing what they can eat after having your wisdom teeth removed. That’s why we provide a list of delicious Doctor approved foods.

Doctor approved diets that will 1. give you the important nutrients necessary to allow your body to heal and 2. ensure you eat foods that won’t damage your surgical site.

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