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Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars most people have at the very back of their mouths, which is why wisdom teeth are also sometimes called "thirds." Typically, wisdom teeth begin to erupt, or to break through a person's gums, sometime between the ages of 16 and 25. At around age 16, you will be encouraged to have a panoramic x-ray taken (an image that stretches from ear to ear) so that Dr. Davis can monitor the position of your wisdom teeth. When they do begin to erupt, Dr. Davis may recommend that they be extracted for a number of reasons. Some wisdom teeth can become impacted, which happens when there is not enough room in the jaw line for them to come through. Others may come in at the wrong angle and push against the adjacent teeth. Still others may become infected or decayed because it is too difficult to brush and floss around them. Most of the time, Dr. Davis will be able to surgically extract your wisdom teeth here in the office, but on rare occasions (like if one is too close to your sinus cavity or a nerve), he may refer you to an oral surgeon. 

What do wisdom teeth extractions do?

  • Remove painful, impacted, or infected teeth

  • Prevent acute infection from spreading to other areas in your body

What can I expect?

Depending on the number of wisdom teeth you are planning to have extracted (usually it just makes sense to do all four at once), you may elect to take a prescribed relaxant prior to your appointment. In this situation, you will need to have someone drive you to and from the office on the day of your surgery as you will be considered under the influence. You should eat a regular meal prior to your appointment as it may be a little while before you will be able to eat again comfortably.


When you arrive, we will numb the areas around the tooth or teeth to be extracted with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process, it is common to feel a lot of pressure. The affected tooth is either firmly rocked back and forth in order to loosen it for removal or it is cut and sectioned into pieces. You should not feel any pain, just pressure. 

Any post-operative bleeding that you might experience is best controlled by biting on the gauze we will provide. When you return home, you may want to lie down with your head elevated. Facial swelling is a normal consequence of dental surgery. It may get worse for 72 hours. To help with swelling, ice packs should be applied to the skin's surface outside the extraction site for the entire first day. During the following two days, it is advisable to continue to use ice packs as much as possible.

You will be given a prescription for pain medication or given instructions to take over-the-counter Ibuprofen (200mg) 600-800mg every 4 to 6 hours (not exceeding 2400mg in a 24 hour time period) (Tylenol can also be used as directed if preferred). A soft diet on the first day after your surgery is advised. After that, you may eat as tolerated, being mindful that you do not want to disturb the blood clots that have formed in your extraction sites. Do not drink through a straw to do anything to create suction in your mouth. It is imperative that you do not smoke while your extraction site is healing. Doing so increases your risk of developing a dry socket, which will cause excruciating pain and likely require an office visit. A clean mouth is essential for proper healing. Start rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or a commercial mouth rinse 24 hours after your surgery. Do not rinse during the first 24 hours.


After one week, you may feel hard projections in or around the tooth socket. These usually work themselves up and out through the gum tissue. Occasionally, it is necessary to remove these sharp particles, so feel free to call us for an appointment if they begin to bother you.

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