What does the procedure for wisdom tooth extraction entail?

Many patients are referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon directly from their general dentist when their x-rays show the presence and misalignment of wisdom teeth. Others experience pain in the mouth and seek out an oral and maxillofacial surgeon on their own. During your initial consultation with your doctor you will receive an oral examination and additional x-rays or 3-D scanning might be necessary in order to properly diagnose your condition and develop the best plan of action for wisdom tooth extraction. Your doctor will review your options for extraction and help you pick the treatment plan that you feel the most comfortable with.

Many patients are nervous when they hear that they may need to undergo a surgical procedure. To ease pain and anxiety during treatment, oral and maxillofacial surgeons will provide patients with anesthesia and sedation options for the procedure. These option may include:

  • Local Anesthesia – an anesthetic applied directly to the area of removal
  • Nitrous Oxide – also known as laughing gas, an anesthetic option used in congruence with other anesthetic options to calm anxiety during the procedure
  • Sedation Anesthesia – administered through an intravenous (IV) line which suppresses your consciousness during the procedure
  • General Anesthesia – an anesthetic inhaled through the nose or administered intravenously which causes you to lose total consciousness during the procedure

Your doctor may give you specific instructions not to eat or drink anything prior to the procedure based on the anesthetic option you choose.

Wisdom tooth removal procedures can be performed at the oral and maxillofacial surgeon’s office and length of the procedure is dependent on the number and position of the wisdom teeth to be removed. During the procedure, the surgeon will gently open the gum tissue, separate the tooth from the bone and remove it from the mouth. Sometimes, small stitches will be made over the gum tissue to assist in healing. Most stitches will dissolve on their own after a few days.