Wisdom Teeth FAQs in Phoenix & Gilbert AZ

Commonly Asked Questions About Wisdom Teeth

We understand that you may have questions about having your wisdom teeth removed. The standards for wisdom teeth extraction and care are constantly evolving at XO Dentistry to ensure you receive the highest level of care. We want you to make any decisions regarding your wisdom teeth based on knowledge and understanding. We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about wisdom teeth below so you can make the best choice for your oral health.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars at the back of the mouth. They erupt later than other teeth, with most people getting them between ages 14 and 25.

Why should I get my wisdom teeth removed?

Many people do not have enough space in their jawbone and the back of the mouth for their wisdom teeth. Without enough space, the teeth often become trapped in the jawbone, come in crooked, or only partially erupt, making them difficult to care for and clean. Removing your wisdom teeth now is the best way to protect your other teeth and gums in the future. The resulting problems include:

  • Pushing other teeth out of alignment
  • Infections from debris trapped in partially emerged wisdom teeth
  • Cysts beneath the gum line
  • Infection in the jawbone
  • Damage to nerves in the jawbone
  • Painful impaction
  • Decay in the surrounding area
  • Gum disease

What is the best time to get my wisdom teeth removed?

Most people have the surgery around ages 16-18, but your dentist can advise you on the best time for you based on a complete exam and x-rays. We suggest getting your wisdom teeth removed in your late teens or twenties, before the teeth are fully developed or have grown long roots. The longer you wait, the more fully the roots integrate with your jawbone, and the more likely the roots will press on nerve bundles in the jaw, making surgery more complex.

Do I have to get my wisdom teeth removed?

No, but most people get them removed to prevent problems such as infection and impaction from cropping up later in life. Wisdom tooth removal is one of the most common preventive dental procedures performed because these teeth are prone to disease and other problems. If you do not have your wisdom teeth removed, it is crucial to have them monitored by your dentist throughout your life.

Are all four wisdom teeth removed at once?

If all four of your third molars need removing, it is simplest to do the surgery all at the same time to minimize time under anesthesia and recovery time. If some of your wisdom teeth are not a problem, we may decide that some do not have to be removed. Some people do not have to have any wisdom teeth removed, although this is not the norm.

How long does it take to remove wisdom teeth?

The surgery typically takes less than an hour per tooth. However, the time varies depending on how impacted the teeth are and how many are removed. You are sedated during the procedure, so it will seem like no time for the patient.

What is recovery like?

It takes about a week to fully recover from wisdom tooth extraction. During this time, be sure to get lots of rest and fluids. Avoid strenuous activities for the first two to three days. Most people can return to work after three to five days, but you may experience mild swelling and discomfort for the first few days.

Is wisdom tooth removal painful?

The surgery is painless because you are under anesthesia, and the area is numbed. Once the anesthesia wears off, you may feel mild discomfort or tenderness. We prescribe appropriate medications to alleviate any pain and recommend ice packs to reduce swelling.

Am I unconscious during wisdom teeth removal?

We offer several sedation and pain control options during wisdom teeth removal and review these with you before scheduling your surgery. We offer general and local anesthesia and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for our patients. Most patients prefer IV sedation, so they are asleep during the procedure.

What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

An impacted tooth does not fully erupt from the jawbone or is entirely trapped within the jaw. This often leads to infection and crowding of the adjacent teeth. It is common with third molars and is the main reason people have them removed.

What is a dry socket?

A blood clot forms over the empty space left behind when a wisdom tooth is removed. A dry socket may develop if the blood clot is knocked out of place. The exposed wound can cause extreme pain and sensitivity to heat and cold. With proper after-care, you can prevent a dry socket. It is essential to avoid smoking, using straws, and brushing the area while it heals. When rinsing your mouth, do not spit; instead, lean over the sink and let the water drain out of your mouth. We give you complete home care instructions to minimize your risk of dry socket after wisdom tooth removal.

If you have questions about wisdom teeth care or removal, please contact our Gilbert dental office at Gilbert Office Phone Number (480) 900-0001 or our Phoenix dental office at Phoenix Office Phone Number (623) 463-2222 to schedule an appointment.