Wisdom Teeth FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to remove the wisdom teeth (third molars)?

Usually, it is best to remove wisdom teeth during their formative time, between the ages of 17 and 25 years. Root formation at this time is incomplete, resulting in less surgical complications.

How long will the surgical procedure take?

Usually, most patients spend an hour in our clinic. This includes the anesthesia, surgery and recovery time for the patient. Occasionally, the procedure may exceed one hour, but this is rare.

Do I have to go to sleep in order to have my wisdom teeth removed?

The removal of 4 impacted third molars is best completed with IV sedation. This is not a procedure that is easily done with just local anesthesia. Patient comfort is paramount to a good outcome and the sedation will improve the patient outcome.

Do I have to return to the office after the removal of my third molars for a follow up appointment?

Most patients do well enough that they do not need to return for a follow up appointment. You will be called within 24 hours at home and your progress will be reviewed. If you experience a problem we will see you immediately for a follow up visit. You will leave the office with a package of home care products including instructions that should help with your care. 24/7 care is available if you should you have a problem with your recovery.

Can my dentist remove my wisdom teeth?

Many general dentists remove third molars, however that does not mean that they are surgically trained. For comparison, consider this analogy: would you have your family doctor do your total hip or heart surgery? Probably not. Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons are specially trained in this area of care. We have the most experience and can provide the supportive care needed for complications.

Does it cost more to go to a specialist for wisdom teeth removal?

Most Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons belong to the same health panels as general dentists. There are no special rates for specialists. They must file their fees the same way a general dentist does, so the question of charging more is simply false.

Can I avoid narcotics for pain control? I am concerned about the Opiate addiction issues that I read about in the press.

Fortunately, postoperative pain control has moved to new parameters. We now have local anesthesia that will last 3 days, controlling the acute post-operative pain and negating the need for opiate pain medications. Ask about Exparel injections for long-term pain control instead of chronic medications. This is an additional medication available for your comfort and safety.

What can I do to eliminate food impaction in the 3rd molar sockets after surgery?

An irrigation syringe will be in you care package to use after the first few days in order to keep the socket sites clean of food and debris. You will need to follow the instruction carefully in order not to disturb the normal healing.

We are here to support our parents and patients: please call our friendly team at Portland Office Phone Number 503-292-8824 for more information.