Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, generally surface in adolescents and young adults. Most mouths are too small to make room for these four additional teeth, so extraction is often recommended. Sometimes other teeth, too, are best removed for spacing or other reasons in patients of all ages.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons with Froedtert & the Medical College are experts at understanding how wisdom teeth will affect your mouth now and in the future. If removing them or other teeth is advised, conscious sedation and other best-practice techniques help make the procedure as painless as possible and recovery time minimal.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Not only can wisdom teeth crowd the mouth, but they may also be impacted, which means they do not break through the gums and enter the mouth fully or in the right position. This can damage neighboring teeth or cause infection. 

In these cases, or when wisdom teeth are full of cavities or related to tumors in the mouth, extraction will likely be recommended. It is possible for wisdom teeth to erupt through the gum in proper alignment and without crowding or infection. In these cases, leaving them in place is perfectly fine.

Conscious Sedation During Tooth Extraction

To help you feel as comfortable and anxiety-free as possible during tooth extraction procedures, conscious sedation is used to help you relax and to block pain. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are experts at using this approach safely and effectively for all types of patients. 

Patients are often semi-awake while under conscious sedation, but do not feel pain and will not remember much, if any, of the procedure later. Conscious sedation will allow you to recover quickly and get back to normal activities as soon after your procedures as possible.

Tooth Extraction Procedure

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons will meet with you to examine your teeth, review your history and plan for the procedure, including conscious sedation. On the day of surgery, once the conscious sedation has taken effect, the surgeon will make an incision through the gum tissue and gently remove the tooth or teeth as planned. 

Stitches, or sutures, will be used to close the openings in the gums. On rare occasions, if teeth are severely impacted or there are other complications, the surgeon may choose to perform the procedure in an operating room under general anesthesia.

Care After Tooth Extraction

Plan to take it easy the rest of the day following tooth extraction surgery. Some swelling and slight discomfort are part of the normal healing process, and you will have some diet and activity restrictions for a few days to protect sutured gums from reopening. The oral surgery care team will make sure you have the prescribed medications and patient care instructions you need to control pain, keep the sutured areas clean and recover quickly.

Download the patient care instructions

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