Grossmont Oral Surgery Center
Randall Stettler DDS Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Call: (619)463-4486

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Need Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Wisdom teeth removal is one of the top procedures that we perform at our La Mesa
dental office. Your wisdom teeth are your third molars; they generally do not
emerge until you are between the ages of 17 and 25. They are located in the very
back of your mouth, close to your throat.
Unfortunately, wisdom teeth rarely come in the way they are supposed to. They
tend to get impacted in positions where they can cause pain as well as other
undesirable side-effects, like infection, cysts, or tumors. They can also damage
other teeth.

Several different types of impaction are common:

  • Soft tissue impaction:  With this type of impaction, the crown of the tooth has pushed above the bone, but the gum is covering all or part of it.  Food particulate can get underneath the gum.  The result is often pain and swelling from infection, and may lead to tooth decay.
  • Partial bony impaction:  In this situation, the tooth has erupted partially from the gum, but a portion of the crown remains trapped underneath.  This type of impaction also may result in infection.
  • Complete bony infection:  This is a situation where your wisdom tooth is entirely stuck in your jawbone. 
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removal: One, more, or even all of your wisdom teeth may be impacted.

Should You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

When is it important to take action and have your wisdom teeth removed? If you are already experiencing symptoms such as pain, swelling, or infection, or you are developing tooth decay, it is essential to act right away.  The longer you wait, the worse the problems will become.  They will not go away on their own. If an x-ray reveals that your wisdom teeth are impacted in such a way that they are likely to cause one or more of these problems, you should get them removed as a preventative measure.  That way you will not go on to develop infection or disease.

Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed May Prevent:

  • Damage to your teeth, including cavities, bone loss, and decay
  • Gum disease
  • Cysts
  • Tumors (rare, but it can happen)
  • Infections
  • Tooth crowding and misalignment
  • Headaches and other resulting pain

Your Wisdom Teeth Exam

To evaluate whether you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed, you will need to schedule an exam.  We will ask you questions about any symptoms you are currently experiencing, do a visual check of your mouth, and take panoramic or digital x-rays to get an inside look at what is going on.  The x-rays will tell us what position your wisdom teeth are impacted in, and can help us screen you for tooth decay and other problems which may already be developing. 

We recommend that patients receive their first wisdom teeth evaluation in the mid-teen years.  If you are already an adult and have never had a wisdom teeth examination, we recommend doing it at your earliest convenience. 

What Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Like? 

Wisdom teeth removal is a simple, fast surgery.  It can be performed under local or general anesthesia, with the option of intravenous (IV) sedation.  We will discuss all anesthesia options with you when you schedule your wisdom teeth removal procedure.  Following the procedure, we will release you with post-operative instructions as well as any medications needed to manage the swelling and pain.  Recovery is generally fast and complication-free, and once your wisdom teeth are extracted, you no longer will have to worry about impaction and infection.


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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.