Wisdom teeth are usually the last 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. Contrary to a lot of practices 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. On the other hand it is also possible their failure to erupt could result in problems like cysts, crowding, decay or hygiene issues.
Many general dentists will attempt to extract a wisdom tooth. Yet 90% of the time we refer out to one of our participating oral surgeons. The procedure can be done in the office and most of the time that is the case. However, it is possible that you could have the surgery in the hospital. 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 purely for precautionary measures.
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 (“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 to drive you home following the procedure. The recovery time is usually 12 to 24 hours of rest, but usually no more than 48 hours.
One of the more notable post procedure recommendations is not to use a straw to drink. The sucking through the straw may dislodge the blood clot formed in the socket area and delay the healing process.
In our multi-specialty practice, many of these procedures are handled in-office. 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 (Sandy Springs), 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.