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Wisdom teeth are molars found in the very back of your mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early 20s but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry.

Wisdom teeth are typically removed during the late teens or early 20s because there is a greater chance that the roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier and the recovery time much shorter.

There are several signs that may indicate wisdom tooth removal is necessary:

  • Pain or discomfort in the back of the mouth where the wisdom teeth are located.
  • Swelling, redness, or tenderness in the gums around the wisdom teeth.
  • Difficulty opening the mouth or swallowing due to inflammation or infection.
  • Crowding or shifting of adjacent teeth caused by the wisdom teeth pushing against them.
  • Recurring infections or inflammation in the gums (pericoronitis) around the partially erupted wisdom teeth.
  • Tooth decay or damage to adjacent teeth due to the inability to clean properly around the wisdom teeth.
  • Development of cysts or tumors around impacted wisdom teeth.

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it will need to be removed by an oral surgeon. If it is not removed, you may develop severe pain, swelling, or damage adjacent teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's best to contact East Texas Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for an evaluation and recommendation for treatment, which may include wisdom tooth removal.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction at East Texas Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Getting your wisdom teeth out at ETOMSA makes it EASY. With our in-house anesthesia, the procedure is painless, and you will typically recover in a matter of days due to the quality of care from our doctors and staff.

Drs. Andy Mack, Luke Mack, and Nathan Yang, as well as our staff, have the highest level of certification for administering anesthesia, and all our surgeons are board certified (the highest level of certification you can receive). At ETOMSA, you can rest assured that you are receiving the highest quality experience at the best price.

Each patient’s situation is unique. Your oral surgeon will take a panoramic X-ray to determine whether your wisdom teeth will need to be removed. If he recommends the removal of your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them removed sooner rather than later.

To remove a wisdom tooth, your surgeon will first provide IV sedation and then numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic.

Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your jawbone, your oral surgeon will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To minimize the amount of bone removed with the tooth, your wisdom tooth may be “sectioned” (cut into pieces) so each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.

Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Healing time varies, depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction. The oral surgeon will let you know what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.

Pre-op Care

  1. Follow pre-operative instructions provided by your oral surgeon, such as nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before the procedure.
  2. Inform our ETOMSA team about any medications you are currently taking and any medical conditions you have.
  3. Arrange for transportation to and from the appointment, as you may be under the effects of anesthesia.
  4. Prepare a comfortable recovery area at home with soft foods, ice packs, and any prescribed medications.

Post-op Care

  1. Follow post-operative instructions carefully, including taking prescribed medications as directed.
  2. Apply ice packs to the cheeks in the first 24 hours to reduce swelling.
  3. Eat soft foods and avoid chewing on the surgical site to prevent irritation.
  4. Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water after meals to keep the surgical area clean.
  5. Avoid smoking, drinking through a straw, or vigorous rinsing for at least 24 hours to prevent dislodging the blood clot and dry socket formation.
  6. Keep your head elevated while resting to reduce swelling.
  7. Attend follow-up appointments at our Longview or Mt. Pleasant oral surgery office as scheduled for proper healing assessment.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a smoother and more successful recovery from wisdom teeth removal.