Wisdom Tooth Removal in San Diego, CA
All About Third Molars
Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are the last teeth to develop and appear in the mouth around the age of 17. People can have between one and four, more than four, or none at all. In general, wisdom teeth removal procedures are quick and easy. If you undergo IV sedation for this procedure, you will need a responsible adult to drive you home after the surgery. Wisdom teeth are removed by an oral surgeon, who is extensively trained in the safe administration of anesthesia and complex surgical procedures.
Wisdom teeth rarely develop without causing problems. Third molars can lead to serious and costly problems in the future that jeopardize oral health. When a wisdom tooth grows sideways and cannot break through the gums, it is considered to be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth must be removed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon because it will not properly erupt into the dental arch on its own.
Leaving wisdom teeth untreated can cause:
Misalignment of other teeth
Gum disease, which can lead to tooth decay
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to perform complex surgical procedures, such as the removal of wisdom teeth. When wisdom teeth are impacted, they require precise surgical interventions that oral surgeons can perform.
In addition to the surgery itself, oral surgeons are the only dental professionals qualified to administer all forms of anesthesia. This includes local anesthesia, laughing gas, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. IV sedation is the most common form of anesthesia for wisdom teeth surgery. We offer all of these options for anesthesia and sedation at The Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Specialists of San Diego.
Why Should I Have Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are not needed for your mouth to function properly. Left untreated, wisdom teeth can pose a threat to your oral and overall health. It is rare for a wisdom tooth to develop and erupt without causing complications. This is why many dental professionals recommend having them extracted.
What Can Happen If I Don’t Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Misalignment and Damage to Other Teeth
Because the mouth does not have room for these molars, they can push other teeth out of alignment as they try to make room for themselves in the dental arch. This can affect your entire arch of teeth to shift out of place. The pressure of wisdom teeth pushing against adjacent teeth can also cause damage.
One of the most common symptoms of wisdom teeth is pain or pressure in the back of the mouth. This is caused by the teeth trying to squeeze in, and it can make normal tasks like eating or speaking uncomfortable.
Wisdom Tooth Infection
An impacted wisdom tooth is difficult to clean. Food and debris can become trapped around the tooth, causing infection. This infection may spread to nearby teeth and gums or cause chronic bad breath.
Wisdom Tooth Cysts or Tumors
When a wisdom tooth is infected, cysts or tumors can form around the tooth. These can be painful and get in the way of chewing.
When Should I Have Wisdom Teeth Removed?
You should have your wisdom teeth removed as soon as possible. We recommend having them extracted during the early teen years, but wisdom teeth can be removed at any time. Younger patients often have faster recoveries, and the surgery itself is easier because the teeth have not yet fully developed.
Wisdom Teeth Removal as an Adult
Although it’s recommended to have third molars extracted early, you can have them removed at any age. If the wisdom teeth have been left untreated for many years, they have likely fully developed and are more embedded in the jaw bone. By not undergoing this surgery sooner, the wisdom teeth may have damaged nearby teeth or pushed them out of alignment.
Adult patients may notice sudden pain or infection caused by their untreated wisdom teeth. If you have wisdom teeth, regardless of your age, you should have them removed by an oral surgeon to prevent complications and protect your overall health.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removal in San Diego, CA
If a wisdom tooth becomes stuck beneath the gums, it is considered to be impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth will not naturally erupt into the dental arch. It grows at an angle instead of straight up or down and can push against the adjacent molar.
Whereas an erupted wisdom tooth is simply removed using forceps, an impacted wisdom tooth requires surgical removal. Your surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth, then remove it. The tooth may need to be broken into smaller pieces for easier removal.
In some cases, a general dentist can extract a wisdom tooth that has erupted, similar to a simple tooth extraction. For impacted wisdom teeth or multiple teeth that need to be removed, the dentist will refer the patient to an oral surgeon.
Third Molar Extractions: What to Expect
During your consultation, one of our board-certified surgeons Dr. Koshgerian or Dr. Shelton will discuss your oral health goals and design a solution based on your needs. Wisdom teeth removal procedures are generally quick and easy, and many patients undergo general anesthesia, which requires a responsible adult to drive them home after the surgery.
We will provide you with post-operative instructions, which outlines everything you need to know about your recovery, the recommended diet to follow, and how to maintain oral hygiene. You can expect to rest for the first 24 hours. Post-surgical pain can be managed with pain medication and ice packs. During the healing process, be sure to brush your teeth gently around the extraction sites and rinse your mouth to prevent food buildup.
Cost of Wisdom Tooth Removal in San Diego, CA
The cost of having your wisdom teeth extracted varies for each patient. When determining the cost for your procedure, we take into consideration the number of wisdom teeth you need removed, if any are impacted, your choice of anesthesia, and your dental insurance. We will discuss each of these items in detail and provide you with a cost estimate for your wisdom tooth removal prior to performing surgery.
Bank Stem Cells From Wisdom Teeth
In general, wisdom teeth are healthy teeth that are removed only because there is not enough room for them. They contain an abundance of natural stem cells. These cells can differentiate into different types of cells your body needs, such as blood, tissue, organ, and bone. After having wisdom teeth removed, you can bank your wisdom teeth stem cells in a secure lab for potential future use.
At The Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Specialists of San Diego, both Dr. Koshgerian and Dr. Shelton are Stemodontics® certified and offer stem cell banking services to patients undergoing wisdom tooth extraction. By banking your stem cells now, you are investing in your future health. Learn more about stem cells or visit the official Stemodontics website to enroll in stem cell banking today!
Types of Anesthesia
The right anesthesia will depend on the complexity of your procedure and your level of anxiety.
Hear From Wisdom Tooth Removal Patients
These patients can tell you about the firsthand experience undergoing wisdom tooth removal at our office.
Reviews From Our Wisdom Tooth Removal Patients
Andrea Reviews Her Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
"Hi, I'm Andrea and I'm from El Cajon. We came to The Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Specialists of San Diego to have my daughter's wisdom teeth extracted. When we walked into the office, the first thing I noticed was how friendly everybody was. They made us feel safe. These doctors are our experts—very gentle, humorous. The procedure was great. The recovery was so much easier than I thought it would be, but the more important thing is the contact that this staff made with us to make sure she was okay. I would definitely recommend The Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Specialists of San Diego to anyone."
Lindsay Reviews Her Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
"Hi, my name is Lindsay, I am from San Diego, and I came to see Dr. Shelton to get my wisdom teeth out. The people at the office are so friendly, and they were super helpful and kind and patient with me, so it was really nice. Dr. Shelton is super kind and makes you feel really comfortable. It was just so thoughtful that he actually cared about the patient. He wasn’t just there to do the surgery. It was really nice. The surgery went perfect. I would say I had the best experience here. Out of five stars, I would give Dr. Shelton five stars."
Angel Reviews His Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
"Hello, my name is Angel and I’m from San Diego. I came to The Oral Surgery Specialists of San Diego to get my wisdom teeth removed. My overall experience here was awesome. When I came in for this procedure, I was a little bit nervous, but the doctor makes you feel very comfortable instantly. The doctors and staff do a very good job at letting you know exactly what’s going to happen. The procedure went very well. I feel awesome and very comfortable now that the procedure is done. I’m so glad I got my wisdom teeth removed here. I would definitely recommend The Oral Surgery Specialists of San Diego to anybody."
Patrick Reviews His Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
"Hi, my name is Patrick. I came from Ramona. I came to The Oral Surgery Specialists of San Diego to get my wisdom teeth removed. My overall experience here was just great. Everybody was real warm, real welcoming. Dr. Shelton is a very good guy, very attentive, great personality. The procedure went really well. The doctors made me feel very comfortable. The staff made me feel very comfortable. To my friends and family here in La Jolla or Coronado, I would highly recommend The Oral Surgery Specialists of San Diego. "
Mary Anne Reviews Her Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
"I’m Mary Anne, and I’m from San Diego, and I had my wisdom teeth pulled with Dr. Koshgerian. When I arrived [for] my first appointment—very welcoming. The office here is very modern and up-to-date. The staff here was very reassuring, and it made me feel more confident. Dr. Koshgerian was very trusting, and I felt very comfortable in his care. He actually answered all of my questions, so I didn’t really have any questions. The surgery went really well. Probably a day later I felt normal. No problem at all. I had a great experience here. I highly recommend Dr. Koshgerian for oral surgery."
Wisdom Teeth Removal FAQs
How long will it take to recover from wisdom tooth removal?Many patients return to their normal routines within a week after having wisdom teeth extracted. This time may vary depending on the number of wisdom teeth that were removed and the complexity of the surgery. You will be provided with detailed post-operative instructions to ensure you have a smooth and speedy recovery. These instructions will help you prevent dry socket, which is a painful condition where the blood clot in the socket becomes dislodged.
Will I be put to sleep for wisdom tooth removal?
Most patients undergo IV sedation for wisdom teeth removal. This type of sedation is administered into a vein in the arm or hand and will render you into a semi-conscious state. You will be able to hear and respond to your surgeon, but will not feel pain. You will not remember the surgery when the sedation wears off. This is different from general anesthesia, which is reserved for complex surgeries like jaw surgery or facial trauma treatment and renders you totally unconscious.
What happens if I get wisdom teeth with braces?
Your orthodontist measures the progress of your braces regularly. This involves X-rays and imaging, which can detect the presence of wisdom teeth. If any are detected by your orthodontist or general dentist, you will be referred to an oral surgeon to have them removed.
Is it wisdom teeth or a toothache?
Pain or tenderness in the back of the mouth can indicate the presence of wisdom teeth. You should schedule a visit with your dentist or an oral surgeon if you are experiencing pain. Any pain or soreness in the front of the mouth could be a toothache that does not involve wisdom teeth, since wisdom teeth are only in the back of the mouth. You should schedule an appointment if the pain does not subside and can use salt water rinses or cold compresses to help manage the pain.
Can wisdom teeth fall out?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop in the mouth. Since there are no teeth beneath them, they will remain inside the mouth until extracted by a surgeon. It’s very rare that a wisdom tooth will develop in line with other teeth and never cause problems. That’s why many dental professionals recommend having wisdom teeth removed in the early stages of their development.
Can wisdom teeth come in as an adult?
Typically, third molars erupt into the mouth during the mid to late teen years, but they can come in earlier or later. Some may have wisdom teeth their entire lives without experiencing problems, but this is very rare.
Why do wisdom teeth hurt?
The average mouth can only accommodate 28 teeth. This can cause some problems when an additional set of molars try to push their way in. A common symptom of wisdom teeth is pain, as a wisdom tooth can push into the other molars and cause them to fall out of alignment.
How Can We Help?
If you have questions, would like to learn more about a procedure, or wish to schedule an appointment, give us a call. Our board-certified surgeons and attentive team are here to help.