Wisdom Teeth FAQ

Commonly Asked Questions About Wisdom Teeth

Opinions on how to treat wisdom teeth sometimes vary. Perhaps you have heard conflicting information or are confused about whether you should keep your wisdom teeth. Our answers to some frequently asked questions about wisdom teeth can help. At Momenta OMS, we want every patient to be confident they are making the right decision for their oral health based on accurate information.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to come in, located at the back of your mouth. You have two in your upper jaw and two in your lower jaw.

When do wisdom teeth come in?

Your wisdom teeth usually come in sometime between 16 and 25, although this varies. The term “wisdom teeth” refers to them coming in when you become older and supposedly wiser.

Does everyone get wisdom teeth?

Although it is common for people to have four wisdom teeth, it is not unusual for some people to get only a few or none.

What are the symptoms of wisdom teeth problems?

Wisdom teeth can come in without any issues, but most individuals experience unpleasant symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, please get in touch with us so that we can evaluate your wisdom teeth and help alleviate your discomfort. 

  • Pain in the jaw or back of the mouth
  • Swelling of the gums or cheek
  • Tenderness when eating, speaking, or chewing
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • Blood or discharge in the mouth
  • Earaches or headaches
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth

Why do wisdom teeth have to be removed?

We advise most of our patients to have their wisdom teeth removed before they become a problem to avoid more severe issues down the road. Impaction is the most common problem. This is when the tooth cannot fully erupt from the gums because there is no room or the teeth are trapped in the jawbone. Impaction often leads to infection that can be difficult to treat. If the wisdom teeth come in, they may shift the adjacent teeth, causing damage and creating alignment problems. Even wisdom teeth that fully erupt can cause problems because they are difficult to clean and prone to cavities and gingivitis.

What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

A third molar that cannot fully erupt from the gums is said to be impacted. When this happens, the tooth cannot develop normally and pushes other teeth out of place. Impacted wisdom teeth often become infected.

What are some issues I might have if I do not remove my wisdom teeth?

You may not have any problems. Some people do not have them removed and are fine. Still, they do have to see their dentist regularly and have the wisdom teeth monitored for the rest of their lives to make sure they do not erupt or become impacted later in life when correcting the problem is more complicated and the damage can be extensive.

Most people who do not have their wisdom teeth removed run into problems that can evolve into serious dental health issues. Problems include infections, inflamed gums, cavities, misaligned teeth, sinus issues, jaw damage, cysts, and improper bite.

How much does wisdom teeth removal cost?

The cost depends on how many teeth are removed, whether they are impacted, the complexity of the surgery, the type of sedation used, and many other factors. To get an accurate price, please call our office to arrange for a consultation. A full assessment of your wisdom teeth and overall oral health allows us to give you an accurate cost breakdown.

Am I sedated to have my wisdom teeth removed?

Yes, we sedate you so that you sleep through the entire procedure and wake up with no memory of the surgery. The type of sedation used depends on your medical history, the complexity of the surgery, and your preference. We discuss appropriate sedation options with you at your initial consultation.

Is wisdom tooth removal painful?

During surgery, you are anesthetized, and the area is numbed. After the anesthesia wears off, you will have some mild discomfort and swelling for a few days. These are easy to manage with ice packs and over-the-counter pain relievers. If pain or swelling increases after the first few days, contact our office immediately.

How long does it take to recover after wisdom teeth are removed?

For the first few days following surgery, you need to relax and get plenty of sleep. Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated is also essential. Although the timeline varies, most people are fully recovered within a week to ten days.

Will there be stitches in my mouth after wisdom teeth surgery?

Yes. We use dissolving stitches (sutures) to close the extraction site. These will dissolve naturally in a few weeks.

If you have more questions about your wisdom teeth or their removal, contact our North Oaks office at 651-482-0065 or our Roseville office at 651-636-2420 to schedule an appointment.