An oral surgeon or a general dentist (even a prosthodontist) can extract a wisdom tooth, also known as third molars. Ninety-nine percent of the time we refer out to one of our participating oral surgeons. The procedure can be done in the dentist’s office and most of the time that is the case. However, it is possible that you could have the surgery in the hospital, if you are having all your wisdom teeth pulled. If the latter is the case, you may be at a higher risk for complications. So in the oral surgeon’s judgment, the use of a hospital is for precautionary measures. Patients with infections, their surgery will be delayed in order to avoid other health related complications. There is empirical evidence of the link between periodontal disease and heart related issues. Dental surgery may cause the periodontal bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of your body. Usually this can be cleared up by the prescription of antibiotics before and after surgery.
Wisdom teeth are usually the last teeth to erupt in your mouth and can cause crowding or food pockets which lead to undesired gum infections. About 35% of the population never develops wisdom teeth at all. For those that do, it is often recommended that people from the ages 17 to 25 will need to have this extraction, but we judge each patient on a case by case basis. If your wisdom teeth are not causing any noticeable problems, then it may be difficult to determine whether to have them removed to prevent future problems. It is quite possible that you may never have any problems. But is also possible that they fail to erupt and cause problems like cysts, crowding or decay or hygiene issues.
As a part of the procedure, the tooth and the surrounding tissue are numbed with a local anesthetic prior to having the extraction. Some people prefer to use nitrous oxide (otherwise known as “laughing gas”). In some cases, there is the use of a mild sedation, where the patient is still conscious but truly unaware of the procedure. It is even possible that you receive general anesthesia. If you decide to use the nitrous or sedation dentistry then you will need someone drive you home from the procedure. The recovery time is usually 12 to 24 hours of rest, but usually no more than 48 hours.
One of the more interesting or notable post procedure recommendations is not to use a straw to drink. The sucking through the straw may dislodge the blood clot in the socket area and delay the healing process.
If you feel you are a candidate for wisdom teeth removal, or we can be of service, please feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta, GA 30328
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 The Right Smile Center doesn’t push to have them extracted, we recommend you read up on the subject at http://www.aaoms.org/wisdom_teeth.php, to help make the final decision. Please remember that an oral surgeon is going to have a bias towards removal.
 Pediatric Dentistry: Infancy Through Adolescence, 4th Edition.