pulled wisdom toothThe Definitive Guide to Wisdom Tooth Extraction


According to Business Insider, about 5 million people per year get their wisdom teeth removed just here in the United States. In fact, it’s become one of the most commonly performed dental procedures in the US.

Let’s talk about why someone might need their wisdom teeth extracted, what the procedure looks like, and how long recovery might take.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the molars that come in at the back of your gums. They’re usually the last of your teeth to come in and typically start poking their way through in your late teens or early twenties.

Technically, these molars are supposed to be your toughest teeth, able to chew through harsh foods. Having said that, these days we rarely really need them, since our food is packaged and cooked. Moreover, these teeth tend to cause oral problems since our jaws often don’t have enough space to accommodate them.

When Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?

According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth typically come in at the age of 17-21.

First Signs Of Wisdom Teeth Coming In

Some common symptoms of wisdom teeth coming in are:

  • Pain in the jaw area.
  • Swelling of the gums, especially in the areas near your wisdom teeth.
  • A bad taste in your mouth.
  • Light bleeding in the gum area surrounding your wisdom teeth.

Keep in mind that although these symptoms are common, you should keep an eye out for anything concerning. Wisdom teeth can occasionally get infected, so it’s best to consult with your dentist as soon as possible if you notice symptoms of infection or serious pain.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

wisdom tooth extraction

If you feel any pain or discomfort in your wisdom teeth, it’s always best to see a dentist. A specialist will catch any infections or impacted teeth earlier on, making it an easier fix. Here at Snodgrass-King Dental, we’re happy to do a consultation and evaluate your wisdom teeth’s health.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Get Removed?

As mentioned earlier, since wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in, our jaws often don’t have enough space to accommodate them. This can result in them being impacted or growing incorrectly. Even worse, these molars can overcrowd your existing teeth, hurting them as well. Since they’re harder to clean, wisdom teeth may also be more prone to cavities or infections.

These days, many dentists recommend getting wisdom teeth extracted at a young age in order to prevent future problems from occurring. Since the roots of the tooth are not fully formed when you’re a young adult, the extraction process is typically more straightforward. Additionally, getting these molars extracted at a younger age also has the added bonus of faster recovery for the patient.

How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

The first step to getting your wisdom teeth removed is a consultation or check-up with your regular dentist. Your dentist can tell you how your wisdom teeth are doing and whether or not a wisdom tooth extraction is recommended.

Following that, your general dentist will either schedule you for an in-house extraction or refer you to an oral surgeon. Make sure to ask your dentist about what medications and food to stay away from prior to the procedure. Your dentist or oral surgeon may also recommend that you bring someone along to drive you home. This is because many wisdom tooth extractions are performed under general anesthesia and may leave you too groggy to drive after the appointment.

During the procedure itself, your oral surgeon will start by numbing the area and/or administering a sedative. Following this, your surgeon will remove a bit of gum tissue in the area covering the wisdom tooth. If there is bone covering the tooth, your surgeon may have to remove a bit to get to the molar. Following this, your surgeon will loosen and pull the tooth out. Lastly, if necessary, your surgeon might stitch up the area to help the healing process along.

After the procedure, you’ll slowly come out from under the sedative. Prepare to feel a little groggy and/or swollen in the jaw area.

The most important thing to remember is to follow all after-care instructions given to you by your dental office. Also, keep in mind that there may be some pain and swelling for the next few weeks, so plan accordingly.

How Long Does A Wisdom Tooth Extraction Take?

Most wisdom tooth extractions take less than an hour, although the exact duration of the procedure varies.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost