Wisdom Teeth

For many patients, wisdom teeth extraction is the first experience with oral surgery. This procedure is so common because many patients have jaws that are too small for their large third molars to erupt properly. As such, they must be removed in surgical extraction.

Many people will opt for a preventive wisdom tooth extraction to reduce their risk of the many issues associated with impacted wisdom teeth. It is less complicated to extract wisdom teeth in older teens and young adults, so the timing of the procedure matters as well.

If you still have your wisdom teeth and want to see if an extraction is recommended in your case, visit our office for an evaluation.

Are you ready to transform your smile?

Call today for a consultation!

Surgical Extraction Of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Ancient humans used to have larger jaws than we do today. They also were much more likely to lose teeth to injury or wear and tear. Therefore, they usually did not have a problem with impacted wisdom teeth. Fast forward a few millennia and that’s no longer the case.

Because modern human jaws are smaller and the wisdom teeth are the largest teeth in the mouth, there’s often not enough space in a patient’s jaw to accommodate them. Consequently, they get stuck or “impacted” in the jaw.

When this happens, a simple extraction cannot be used to remove these teeth. An oral surgeon must first remove the surrounding bone to access and extract the teeth. This requires a surgical procedure. We use specialized computer software to plan the procedure with predictable results.

Risks Associated With Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Why should people have impacted wisdom teeth extracted at all? Well, leaving impacted wisdom teeth in place creates some possible risks for patients, including:

  • Increased risk of abscesses
  • Increased risk of cysts and tumors
  • Discomfort as the teeth try to erupt
  • Affecting the alignment of other teeth

It is quite difficult to keep the rear of the jaw, where the wisdom teeth are located, clean and even more so when you are dealing with impacted wisdom teeth. This allows bacteria to congregate in the area and cause problems for people.

Most patients don’t want to wait for a problem to develop, so they’ll choose to have the wisdom teeth extracted even when they are asymptomatic.

Wisdom teeth extraction | Oral Surgery Oklahoma | Dr. Richard Miller | Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Optimal Timing For Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The roots of impacted wisdom teeth grow longer and more ingrained in the jaw as we get older. This makes extracting the wisdom teeth more challenging in older patients. That’s why we recommend that patients have their wisdom teeth removed by age 25.

We can schedule the wisdom teeth extraction at any time. For patients with a typical work or school routine, scheduling the extraction on a Friday can get you back to your normal routine by Monday, barring any post-extraction complications.

Students may also want to consider scheduling wisdom tooth extraction at the beginning of winter or spring break when they’ll have ample time to recuperate.

Common Wisdom Teeth Questions:

How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth removal?

Patients usually can get back to most aspects of their routine within 2-3 days of wisdom tooth extraction. You should hold off on any vigorous activity until cleared by the oral surgeon, however, as this can interfere with healing. Keep in mind that post-extraction complications, such as dry sockets, can extend the treatment timeline. If you closely follow the post-extraction instructions that we provide, you will minimize these risks.

How long does it take for the hole to close after a wisdom tooth extraction?

The gum tissue should regenerate within a couple of weeks after the wisdom tooth is extracted, although it still may be tender at the site for a while longer than that. The bone tissue takes several more weeks to rebuild completely.

How long does it take for local anesthesia to wear off after wisdom teeth removal?

Local anesthesia wears off within hours of the wisdom tooth extraction. Patients may experience some discomfort after the local anesthetic wears off, but this can typically be managed using over-the-counter or a prescription pain medication. Additionally, it takes a few hours for the effects of sedation to be reversed, so if you are receiving sedation, you’ll need to arrange for a responsible adult to escort you home from the appointment.

What does a dry socket look and feel like?

If you develop a dry socket, you will not see the protective blood clot that is supposed to cover exposed nerve endings in the empty socket. You may notice a hole in the soft tissue, with the white bone exposed underneath. You will feel a dry socket. The pain is quite severe, due to the sensitive nerve endings being exposed. Although dry sockets are the most common complication following a wisdom tooth extraction, they are also largely preventable. Avoid drinking through straws and smoking after your wisdom tooth extraction, and you will go a long way to reduce your risk of dry sockets.

Is it normal to have pain while swallowing after wisdom teeth removal?

You may experience some discomfort while swallowing for the first few days after your wisdom tooth extraction. This is normal. However, if the discomfort is severe or persists for several days, follow up with our office for further evaluation.

Patient Reviews

Featured Oral Surgery Procedures

at Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates
ALL-ON-4® (TEETH IN A DAY)

One of the primary complaints from patients who are pursuing dentures is the long wait they face to restore their smiles. Not only can you restore your smile in a single appointment with All-on-4, but you also get a number of important benefits with this treatment that surpasses the performance of standard dentures.

Learn more ›
DENTAL IMPLANTS

Dental implants are the ideal solution for tooth loss because they are structurally complete, consisting of an artificial root and crown. No other tooth replacement alternative replicates the root of the missing tooth, and that structure plays an important role in the stability and functionality of your smile.

Learn more ›
WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL

For many patients, wisdom teeth extraction is the first experience with oral surgery. This procedure is so common because many patients have jaws that are too small for their large third molars to erupt properly. As such, they must be removed in surgical extraction.

Learn more ›

Meet Dr. Miller

Dr. Richard Miller | Oral Surgery Oklahoma | Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates
Dr. Richard Miller specializes in the practice of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

He is a fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and is a fellow of the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the Oklahoma Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Miller is a member of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and the American Academy of Facial Esthetics.

Dr. Miller is certified in Basic Cardiac Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. He strives through attendance at continuing education courses, seminars and national meetings to deliver the most up-to-date and comprehensive surgical procedures available.

2020 Top Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon | Oral Surgery Oklahoma | Dr. Richard Miller | Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Three Convenient Locations

Locations map | Oral Surgery Oklahoma | Dr. Richard Miller | Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Stillwater Office

812 South Pine Street
Stillwater, OK 74074
Map of Location ›

Tulsa Office

8137 E. 63rd Place
Tulsa, OK 74133
Map of Location ›

OKC Office

9642 N. May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73120
Map of Location ›

SCHEDULE YOUR PERSONAL CONSULTATION

(405) 624-1300 or
(800) 352-8685