Wisdom Teeth Removal is not as Painful as you Fear

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Wisdom teeth removal automatically conjures visions of the mad dentist in the dental office happily waiting for the innocent, terrified patient to be at his mercy while he tortures them in glee.  Think of Steve Martin as the crazed dentist in Little Shop of Horrors, and you will see my nightmare.  It really does NOT work like that.  Dentists now have a professional demeanor and a large array of tools and anesthetics to make wisdom teeth removal much less painful than previously.

Who needs wisdom teeth removal?

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We all do. Wisdom teeth are the third and last set of molars that people get when aged between their twenties and their early thirties.  These teeth have long roots that get impacted, which means the roots are so long and twisted that they wrap around the jaw bone and intrude into the gum tissue.  When they enter this way, they cause pain in the mouth from the crowding of teeth, plus the pressure from the deep teeth pushing through the gums is very painful.

When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

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Wisdom teeth removal is less uncomfortable when the patient is younger.  The older you are when your teeth are extracted the denser your jaw bone, causing a much more complicated extraction as the tooth usually has to be removed in sections.  For a younger patient, the tooth is not as deep and the bone is softer, requiring much less time to heal.

What is the procedure like?

Wisdom Tooth ExtractionCredit: http://tooth-gums.blogspot.com/2010/06/extraction.html

Wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure, requiring local anesthetic and sedating medications.  In addition, if you have anxiety at the thought of dental procedures, your dentist will likely also prescribe Valium to ease your discomfort.  After the teeth are pulled a recovery period of at least three days is suggested.

Why does it take so long to recover?

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During the first 24 hours after your wisdom teeth removal you will have bleeding for several hours from your gums.  In addition, when the teeth are removed surgically you will have stitches and a gauze packing inside of your mouth. You must apply constant pressure for at least 45 minutes to allow your blood to clot at the site of the incision.  You also must not eat or drink hot liquids, or suck through a straw, as it can cause the clot to dislodge.  Your face will be swollen from the surgery and you will be wearing ice packs for at least the first 24 hours.  It will take five to seven days for your mouth to heal enough for any foods with texture.  Remember, there are 4 wisdom teeth in all four corners of your mouth.  All of your mouth will be sore, not just one section.  Eat carefully and consume a very soft diet to adjust to the feeling of food over your incisions.


Wisdom tooth removal is almost a rite of passage.   It is a surgery for young adults that requires several days of recovery. Although it may be daunting to consider this procedure, it will be very painful if the decision is prolonged or avoided.  Impacted wisdom teeth are dreadful and can cause decay to several of your teeth if they are not removed.