Wisdom teeth can lead to impaction, misalignment of surrounding teeth, and an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. While wisdom teeth are not necessary for chewing or speaking, they can cause many problems if you do not remove them early. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons can help you avoid these problems and enjoy better oral health by removing your wisdom teeth. If you are experiencing wisdom tooth discomfort, Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery in Charlotte offer wisdom tooth removal as a simple and effective way to improve your quality of life.
Most Common Reasons to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed
There are many reasons that people have their wisdom teeth removed. At Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery, our oral and maxillofacial surgeons find that the most common reasons include:
- Your wisdom teeth may affect the optimal alignment of your teeth after using braces.
- You have difficulty cleaning your wisdom teeth, which may lead to oral issues.
- They have become infected or show signs of decay.
- Your wisdom teeth are causing pain, which could signify an infection.
- You are experiencing cavities on adjacent teeth.
Is There A Right Age To Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Generally, we recommend having your wisdom teeth extracted at a younger age, typically between the age of 18 and your early 20s. During this period, most people’s wisdom teeth should be protruding through the gums, and the root has developed to around two-thirds of its full size.
However, in some cases, dentists will recommend having them removed earlier or later, depending on the individual’s circumstances. If you are experiencing dental issues due to your wisdom teeth, we recommend having them removed to prevent further complications.
Meet Our Specialists
The doctors at Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery perform wisdom teeth removal procedures throughout North and South Carolina. From routine extractions to complex removal procedures, our team is ready to provide an outstanding experience.
What To Expect
Taking the First Steps
The first step to having your wisdom teeth extracted is scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
At your consultation, we will perform an oral assessment, take scans of your wisdom teeth, discuss your medical history, answer any questions, and alleviate any concerns you may have about the procedure.
We will also discuss your treatment plan and determine which type of anesthesia is right for you. We offer three types of wisdom teeth removal: local, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation.
Preparing for the Procedure
Before your procedure, your surgeon will provide a list of preoperative instructions. Depending on the anesthesia, your doctor may ask you to come in on an empty stomach. Your doctor will give you a list of post-operative instructions to follow post-surgery, which will help foster optimal healing and recovery.
During the Procedure
On the day of surgery, your surgeon will administer your selected type of anesthesia to reduce any discomfort during the procedure. Next, using exceptional precision and the latest extraction techniques, your surgeon will make a small incision in the gum tissue and gently remove your wisdom teeth. Then, depending on the size of the incision, it may be closed with sutures to promote healing. Once the treated site is closed, you will be placed in our comfortable recovery room until the anesthesia wears off.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
Generally, wisdom teeth extraction takes between forty-five minutes to an hour. Our surgeons are highly-efficient at performing exceptional wisdom teeth removal surgeries and strive to complete the procedure in under one hour.
However, the length of your procedure will depend on your customized treatment plan, the number of wisdom teeth extracted, and the number of impacted teeth.
Does Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out Hurt?
You can expect your wisdom teeth removal surgery at Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery to be a comfortable, painless experience. Since you are under the influence of anesthesia and the area will be numb, you should not feel any pain or discomfort.
Immediately After the Procedure
After your wisdom teeth removal, you will be placed in our comfortable recovery room until the anesthesia wears off. Once you wake up, you may feel groggy, lightheaded, sleepy, or confused and will need to have someone else drive you home.
Have a Ride Home
If you have general anesthesia or IV sedation, you will need to arrange for someone else to pick you up and drive you home after your wisdom teeth removal at Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery. While not required for local anesthesia, arranging for a ride home ensures you have a smooth and safe mode of transportation after your surgery.
How Long Are You Groggy After the Procedure?
This depends on which type of anesthesia you choose for your procedure. If you choose general anesthesia, the effects will last between forty-five minutes to one hour. With IV sedation, it is common to feel groggy twelve to twenty-four following the surgery.
Recovery and Aftercare
To ensure you feel comfortable moving forward with your wisdom teeth removal at Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery, it is best to fully understand what you expect before, during, and after the procedure.
First 24 hours
You may experience discomfort once your anesthesia wears off in the first twenty-four hours after your procedure. You may also notice other common symptoms like bruising, swelling, and inflammation around the extraction sites. Do not use a straw, forcefully spit, or aggressively brush your extraction site.
You can expect your discomfort to peak between days one and three and your symptoms to alleviate in the three to seven days following your procedure. After one week, you can resume brushing the extraction site but be very gentle.
Around two weeks after your wisdom teeth removal surgery, your extraction site should not interfere with your daily life. While it may not look completely normal and still feel tender to the touch, it should be almost completely healed. At this point, you should be able to resume brushing and flossing your teeth normally.
How Long Should I Expect to Be Out of Work or School?
While every patient is unique, we recommend taking at least three days off to prioritize healing and recovery. This is when your discomfort will be at its peak, with swelling in the facial area. However, a whole week is best before resuming your normal routine.
How Long Should I Wait Before Eating?
Though we recommend you avoid food and drink in the first several hours after your wisdom teeth removal, you can begin eating liquid foods within twenty-four hours afterward. It is essential to avoid hard, crunchy, or extremely hot foods in the first week after your procedure, as these may impact the extraction site.
What Foods Can I Eat After Having My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
In the first couple of days after removing your wisdom teeth, it is best to stick to a diet of soft foods, jello, milk, broth and thin soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, oatmeal, and other such foods.
There are three main choices for anesthesia
Local anesthesia provides numbness directly where it is administered. It does not affect consciousness, so the patient remains awake while the feelings of discomfort are eliminated. Local anesthesia is commonly used for minor procedures.
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that the patient inhales to alleviate feelings of anxiety. It does not cause the patient to lose consciousness. It is often used together with local anesthesia.
IV sedation is commonly used for moderate to extensive oral or facial surgery procedures. This type of sedation is administered directly into the patient’s vein. Since amnesia (forgetfulness) is a common side effect of the medication, most patients who use IV sedation do not remember their procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions: About Wisdom Teeth Removal
You’re in Good Hands With Our Surgeons
Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons have a lot of experience with wisdom teeth removal, and they use advanced techniques to offer a comfortable experience. Contact one of our many offices to schedule a consultation, and let’s work together to improve your oral health.