These molars (the third and final set) are the last set of molars to erupt in the mouth, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. When there is not enough space for your wisdom teeth to grow in, they tend to grow sideways. This angled growth can lead to a collision with the second molars, damaging the existing healthy teeth. These molars also tend to become impacted (partially trapped beneath the gums), which creates a space for bacteria and germs to hide and cause infections. Learn more about impacted wisdom teeth.
Most dentists or oral surgeons recommend having regular checkups to track the location of wisdom teeth and prevent these problems. Contact us in Los Angeles to learn more about wisdom tooth removal or if you’ve been referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to have them removed.
Why Have Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If your teeth grow in without causing problems, they will not need to be removed, but in most cases, removing them prevents oral and dental health problems.
Early wisdom teeth removal can prevent the following issues:
- Forced misdirection and crowding of healthy teeth
- Infections of the gum and bone tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth
- Impacted teeth damaging adjacent molars
- Swelling, stiffness, and pain caused by gum disease
- Development of cysts and tumors in the bone around infected teeth
Some of these problems can cause serious bone damage if not treated quickly. Having the molars evaluated regularly can help prevent unnecessary pain and discomfort for you or your child.
When Is the Right Time for Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
The teeth start developing beneath the gums long before they grow in. This makes it hard to know if they are growing correctly before it’s too late. Having regular dental checkups once every 6 months is the best way to know when removal is necessary. In general, early removal (between ages 14 and 20) can make the entire process easier for the following reasons:
- Wisdom teeth are smaller at earlier stages, making removal and recovery easier.
- Removing the teeth before problems arise prevents pain and discomfort later.
- Younger patients have better healing capabilities, which leads to faster recovery times.
Even if your teeth have fully grown in, removal is almost always possible when you go to a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Our oral surgeons have years of experience removing wisdom teeth efficiently and safely.
What Happens the Day My Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?
Prior to undergoing oral surgery, you will meet with a surgeon during a consultation. The goal of this visit is to assess your current oral health, determine what steps need to be taken, take 3D scans, choose the type of anesthesia, and answer your questions.
On the day of your wisdom teeth removal, your oral surgeon will administer IV sedation. While we offer many anesthesia and sedation options, this is the most common choice for this procedure. IV sedation will render you into a sleep-like state, unable to feel pain but able to respond to your surgeon. You will wake up with no memory of the surgery.
Your oral surgeon will extract visible wisdom teeth with forceps, similar to a standard tooth extraction. For an impacted wisdom tooth, your surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth, then remove it. Large teeth may need to be broken into smaller pieces for easier removal. Additional sutures will be placed as needed around the tooth sockets.
You will rest in our comfortable recovery area until the anesthesia wears off. It is your responsibility to arrange for a responsible adult to remain in the office during your surgery, drive you home afterward, and remain with you for 24 hours. Keep your extraction sites clean by brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth as directed in the instructions we provide. It’s important to not suck on straws for 72 hours, as this could dislodge the blood clot and cause a dry socket.
Wisdom Teeth Removal in Los Angeles, CA
At Los Angeles Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we use the most advanced tools, 3D imaging technology, and minimally invasive surgical techniques to help you achieve optimal results from treatment. To find out how much it would cost to have your wisdom teeth removed, visit our Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost page. If you need a wisdom teeth removal and you live near Los Angeles, CA, contact our office today. Our staff will be happy to help you schedule an appointment with one of our oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
What if I Have Questions Before Surgery?
Our staff is always here to help. We want our patients to feel informed throughout every step of their oral surgery journey. It’s a good idea to come prepared with questions to the consultation visit. If you have questions before your surgery, contact our office and a member of our staff would be happy to help.