Wisdom Teeth: What they are and why to remove them. 2016-12-05T20:03:12+00:00

What are wisdom teeth?

What are often referred to as “wisdom teeth” are actually your third molars. Third molars are the furthest teeth from the front of the mouth and they are the last teeth to come in. They typically develop between the ages of 17-25 and often need to be removed.

Wisdom Teeth Graphic

Why remove wisdom teeth?

The removal of “wisdom teeth” is often necessary because the jaw is not large enough to fit a third set of molars. If left alone, problems such as crowding, impaction, infection and damage to surrounding teeth are all possible.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Graphic

Does everyone get wisdom teeth?

No, not everyone has third molars develop and cause problems. Some people are born with all four third molars, some with three, two or even none.
Learn more about why that is from Livescience.com

What are some signs that your third molars are coming in?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms (especially if multiple at the same time), contact your doctor to discuss your current health and options:

  • Head ache
  • Ear ache
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in mouth
  • Swollen glands
  • Pain or swelling around the wisdom tooth area
  • Pain or swelling of gums
  • Ulcers on cheeks
  • Difficult or pain opening mouth

Getting wisdom teeth removed? Here’s what to expect:

The removal of third molars is an outpatient procedure that typically takes about 45-60 minutes, actual length of surgery is dependent on each patient. In most cases, the procedure is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia. These options as well as the surgical risks will be discussed with you at your consultation before the surgery is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured (no removal necessary, the sutures will dissolve by themselves).  Following the procedure you will need to have a ride drive you home, you will not be allowed to leave by yourself.  A follow up appointment will be scheduled one week after surgery.

Both Dr. Bukzin and Dr. Friend are highly experienced in this procedure and they are here to help answer any questions you may have. Please never hesitate to give us a call!

Arlington: (703) 483-9591

Gainesville: (703) 753-7933

Post-Operation Expectations & Instructions:

  • Slight swelling
  • Minor bleeding
  • Numbness due to anesthesia for up to six hours
  • Discomfort for several days
  • Sutures will dissolve on their own
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Eat a soft diet for the first 24 hours
  • Avoid hot food or liquids while still numb
  • Avoid crunchy food for the first week
  • If bleeding occurs, apply firm pressure to the area for 15-20 minutes with cotton rolls or gauze that was provided. Repeat as needed.
  • Avoid mouthwashes; rinse with saltwater three times a day for one week.
  • To reduce swelling, elevate head and apply ice packs to face
  • Limit physical activity the day of the surgery.