Wisdom Teeth Removal FAQ

1How is the wisdom tooth removed?
Often the unusual position of the wisdom tooth may mean that it needs to be removed surgically. This involves lifting the gum around the tooth, removal of a small amount of bone and sometimes the tooth may need to be sectioned into pieces. During the procedure no pain is felt because of the local anaesthetic’s numbing ability. Only the sensation of pressure is experienced.

If the wisdom tooth removal procedure is particularly difficult, we may recommend that the wisdom teeth are removed under a general anaesthetic by our Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon specialist in a clinical/hospital setting.
2Will I have any problems after the wisdom tooth is removed?
Swelling of the face and discomfort in the mouth may occur, which may last for a week. Pain or difficulty in opening your mouth after the wisdom tooth removal should be anticipated, although our prescribed pain medications largely mitigate this.

Stitches are usually used to close the socket after the tooth is removed. A socket may not heal and can become a ‘dry socket’. Sometimes tingling or numbness of the lower lip and/or the tongue occurs after the operation.
3What is a dry socket?
A dry socket is where the blood clot has been disrupted preventing the healing process occurring. A dry socket generally presents approximately 3 days after tooth removal resulting in tenderness or pain, bad breath and a bad taste.

A dry socket is more likely to occur after lower wisdom teeth extraction, and with patients who are smokers.
4What is temporary numbness?
A nerve in the canal on each side of the lower jaw carries feeling from the skin of the lip and chin. In some people the roots of the lower wisdom teeth lie close to the canal, and after removal of the tooth a feeling of numbness may temporarily occur.

It is not serious as the lip moves quite normally (the nerve to the muscles of the lip are not affected). Most cases take a few weeks for the last bit of numbness to completely disappear, while a small number take a few months. Very rare cases have been known where a small area of numbness lasts for years.

Occasionally a similar feeling of numbness may extend along the side of the tongue due to the bruising of another nearby nerve. Again, this feeling of numbness is likely to be of a very temporary nature.
5Number of Appointments
At least 2 appointments At the first consultation visit we will listen to your needs, examine your teeth and discuss the options with you Usually you would have your wisdom teeth removed at your next appointment
6How long does Wisdom Tooth Extraction takes?
This depends on the removal procedure and where it is done.

In office, at BC Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, the extraction will usually take around 30 to 60 minutes If performed in a clinical setting it will usually take around 45 to 90 minutes For extraction under general anaesthetic at the clinic you will usually be at the clinic for around 2 to 3 hours. In some cases you might have to stay overnight for observation
7Before your Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Before surgery you should: Take pre-operative medication at as prescribed Follow the pre-sedation fasting protocol given to you by your dentist If you are having anesthesia, have someone accompany you and drive you to your appointment Be at BC Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Clinic at the time allocated to you
8After your Wisdom Tooth Extraction
After Surgery you should: If you are having anesthesia, be accompanied home Rest for around 2 to 4 hours following surgery Not drive or operate machinery until the following day
9What does wisdom tooth extraction cost and is it covered by insurance

The fee for your treatment is determined by a number of factors that may include the difficulty involved in removing your teeth and which type of anesthesia is best for you.

During your consultation appointment, our Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon will need to review your x-rays, complete an examination, and determine the best option for anesthesia before an accurate estimate can be provided.

Every insurance company has a different policy regarding the extent of coverage for a given surgical procedure. We will help you obtain maximum insurance coverage for your treatment.
10Do I need to remove my wisdom teeth?
As a general guideline, if you are in your 20’s or younger and have impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth then you are usually better off having them removed. Often if one side causes trouble then the other side will too. Removal when you are young is a much simpler procedure with slower complication rate and fast recovery.

If you are 30 or above then things change, consideration of long term future of the teeth vs risks of surgery and other factors will be discussed with you. Cases are individual and we recommend to have a consultation with our Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon to find out if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed or not
11Do I need to have all four wisdom teeth removed if only one is the problem?
You will need a consultation and X-rays to determine how many wisdom teeth you have. In general most people are symmetrical so if one side is giving you problems then it’s likely the other side will too. Often upper wisdom teeth are less likely to require removal. The risk of this can be reasonably well predicted from your X-rays.

If you need more than one wisdom tooth removed then it is best to remove them all in one sitting.People have been surveyed on the different combinations of treatment; all who had all 4 wisdom teeth removed say they would do it again this way, those who had 1 or 2 removed and the other side removed at a later date all felt they would have rather had it done at one sitting. So I would recommend you have everything that needs to be done performed in one sitting.


Schedule a Wisdom Teeth Examination

At BC Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon can perform an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems, whether your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room for them to erupt, and how difficult it will be to have them removed

Contact us today to arrange for a wisdom teeth examination to determine whether you may or may not require wisdom tooth removal. 


Schedule a Wisdom Teeth Examination with our Oral Surgeon >