Removing wisdom teeth, improving your oral health

Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure that involves the extraction of one or more wisdom teeth, which are the final set of molars that typically emerge in a person’s late teens or early twenties. While some people may not experience any issues with their wisdom teeth, others may require removal due to various reasons such as impaction, infection, crowding, or decay. This procedure is typically performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist and is considered a routine outpatient surgery. 

What is wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars located at the back of your mouth, usually appearing between the ages of 17 and 25. While these teeth can be useful for chewing and grinding food, they can also cause problems if they do not have enough space to grow properly. Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure that is often recommended to prevent potential issues.

The procedure of wisdom teeth removal involves a minor surgical process to extract the teeth. The process is typically performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist, depending on the complexity of the case. Before the procedure, the dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the wisdom teeth. 

It is common to experience some pain and swelling following wisdom teeth removal. Your dentist will provide you with instructions on how to manage any discomfort and prevent infection. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure a smooth and quick recovery.

What to expect during wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth removal is a routine dental procedure that involves the extraction of one or more wisdom teeth, the final set of molars that typically emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood. This procedure is often recommended to prevent potential oral health problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and overcrowding, that can occur when the wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow properly.

Expect Xrays
Before the procedure, the dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of the teeth and gums, and may take X-rays to determine the position and condition of the wisdom teeth. Based on the findings, the dentist will then recommend the best course of action, which may include removal of one or more wisdom teeth.

Expect Anesthesia
During the procedure, the patient will be given anesthesia to ensure comfort and minimize pain. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the patient’s preference and the complexity of the case. Local anesthesia is typically used to numb the area around the wisdom teeth, while laughing gas or general anesthesia may be recommended for patients who prefer to be sedated or asleep during the procedure.

Expect Extraction
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the wisdom teeth and the bone. The teeth are then gently loosened and removed from the sockets using specialized instruments. After the extraction is complete, the dentist will place stitches in the gums to promote healing.

More Questions about Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. We can answer any question you have about wisdom teeth removal and address any issues unique to your specific situation. We look forward to seeing you.

What are reasons why wisdom teeth might need removal?

There are several reasons why wisdom teeth might need to be removed. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • Lack of space: If there is not enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to fully emerge, they can become impacted and cause pain or infection.
  • Crowding: Wisdom teeth can push against neighboring teeth, causing crowding, shifting, and damage to adjacent teeth.
  • Angle of growth: If wisdom teeth grow at an angle, they can cause pain, discomfort, and damage to other teeth.
  • Decay and gum disease: Wisdom teeth can be difficult to clean properly, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Cysts and tumors: In rare cases, cysts or tumors can develop around impacted wisdom teeth, causing pain and potential damage to the jawbone.

If you experience any of these symptoms or signs, it’s important to schedule a consultation with our Charlottesville dentist to determine if wisdom teeth extraction is necessary.

What is pericoronitis and how is it treated?

Pericoronitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding a partially erupted tooth, most commonly the wisdom teeth. It occurs when bacteria and debris get trapped under the gum flap covering the tooth, leading to infection and swelling. Here is an overview of how pericoronitis is treated:


  • Pain and tenderness in the affected area
  • Swelling and redness of the gum tissue
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Fever and swollen lymph nodes (in severe cases)


  • The first step in treating pericoronitis is to clean the area thoroughly to remove any debris and bacteria.
  • Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and reduce inflammation.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen may be recommended to manage pain and discomfort.
  • Warm salt water rinses can help reduce swelling and promote healing.
  • In some cases, the dentist may need to perform a minor surgical procedure to remove the gum flap covering the tooth, allowing it to fully emerge and preventing future episodes of pericoronitis.

Call us at Charlottesville Dental Care if you are experiencing symptoms of pericoronitis. You may need treatment to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further complications.

How can I prepare for wisdom teeth extractions?

Preparing for a wisdom teeth removal procedure can help ensure a smooth and successful surgery and recovery. Here are some tips on how to prepare:

  • Consult with our dentist: Before the procedure, it is important to consult with our dentist to discuss any pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking that may affect the procedure or recovery process.
  • Arrange for transportation: You will likely be under the influence of anesthesia during the procedure and will not be able to drive home. Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the dental office.
  • Plan for downtime: Plan to take a few days off work or school to allow for a proper recovery period.
  • Stock up on supplies: Before the procedure, purchase soft foods such as soup, yogurt, and smoothies, as well as ice packs to help reduce swelling.
  • Follow pre-operative instructions: Your dentist will provide you with instructions on what to do and what to avoid before the procedure. This may include avoiding food and drink for a certain amount of time before the procedure.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are fully prepared for your wisdom teeth removal procedure and set yourself up for a successful recovery. Schedule a consult with our dentist to determine if a wisdom tooth extraction is necessary.


Can wisdom teeth grow back after they are removed?

No, wisdom teeth cannot grow back once they are removed. The tooth roots are completely extracted, so there is no way for the teeth to regrow.

How many wisdom teeth can be removed at once?

It is possible to remove all four wisdom teeth at once, but the number of teeth removed at once depends on the patient’s overall health, the complexity of the case, and the dentist’s recommendation.

Is wisdom teeth removal painful?

The procedure itself is typically painless due to the use of anesthesia. However, some discomfort and swelling are common following the procedure. Your dentist will provide you with instructions on how to manage any discomfort.

Can you eat after wisdom teeth removal?

It is recommended to wait a few hours after the procedure before eating or drinking anything. Soft, cold foods like yogurt, applesauce, and ice cream are typically recommended during the first few days of recovery.

Is there a dentist near me in Charlottesville that offers wisdom teeth removal?

Yes.  At our Charlottesville dental office we offer wisdom teeth removal to patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area.  Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.