Wisdom Teeth Removal in Milwaukee

Extractions can be performed to remove problematic wisdom teeth. For Dr. Ruba Khader, the specialist at Community Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, wisdom tooth removal is quick and straightforward.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the four adult molars that grow at the back four corners of the mouth. They tend to grow between ages 17 and 25, making them the last permanent teeth to appear in the mouth. Some people have their wisdom teeth develop and become functional with no problems. Others don't develop wisdom teeth at all.

For those who develop wisdom teeth, issues arise when the teeth grow at an angle or when there isn't enough room for the teeth to grow correctly. These conditions cause the wisdom teeth to become impacted, and develop cavities, or gum disease, which necessitates their extraction. Several factors influence whether or not you need to remove wisdom teeth:

Illustration of an wisdom tooth under the gum line
  • Age
  • Jaw size
  • Form
  • The functionality of the wisdom tooth
  • Level of impaction
  • The health of the tooth and surrounding teeth and gums

Removing impacted wisdom teeth can help prevent decay, swollen or painful gums, gum disease, and, on rare occasions, jaw pathologies, including tumors and cysts. However, it is possible to keep your wisdom teeth in your mouth. Therefore, removing them is only recommended if their continued growth will cause significant oral health problems and if the risk of surgical intervention doesn't outweigh the benefits.

How Is A Wisdom Tooth Extraction Performed?

During a routine dental visit, your dentist will likely obtain digital radiographs to evaluate the growth of your wisdom teeth. If necessary, they will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgery specialist for a consultation regarding removing these teeth. Your doctor will discuss all anesthesia options available for your procedure and the steps you may need to take before and after.

Most wisdom tooth removal procedures can be performed safely and comfortably in the office with local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. General anesthesia can be used for wisdom tooth removal, when the procedure is performed in a hospital setting. However, even with a general anesthetic, you should still be able to go home on the same day.

If the wisdom tooth hasn't fully grown in, the surgeon will make a small incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth. An impacted wisdom tooth could still be partially or fully covered by bone, so the doctor will remove the bone covering tooth using a surgical drill. The surgeon will then gently loosen and remove the wisdom tooth. The surgeon may also cut the tooth into smaller pieces to facilitate easier removal. 

Due to the use of local anesthetic (and sometimes sedatives), wisdom tooth removal should not be painful. However, following the surgery, you may develop inflammation and swelling. These conditions peak around 72 hours after the extraction and will slowly subside from there. Medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help reduce discomfort if not otherwise contraindicated.

In addition, Dr. Khader may recommend the placement of Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) in the wisdom tooth extraction socket to promote healing. PRF is produced by obtaining a blood sample from the patient and using a centrifuge to condense the fibrin clot. The fibrin portion of the clot can then be used in the socket to help initiate the first step of healing. Be sure to ask your doctor about PRF to see if you are a good candidate for it.

Side Effects of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom tooth extraction, if performed well, should not produce side effects. However, as with any oral surgery procedure, there are risks to consider. These include:

  • Excessive pain
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Damage to adjacent teeth and vital structures of the mouth
  • Bone loss

Illustration of an impacted wisdom tooth

In addition, there is a risk of developing a condition called dry socket. This painful condition occurs when the blood clot in the socket comes loose or dissolves prematurely, leaving the socket open and exposed. The pain usually starts around 4-5 days after the surgery, and it can be intense enough to wake patients from sleep. Unfortunately, pain medications aren't very effective at relieving the discomfort of dry socket.

If this condition develops following a wisdom tooth extraction, we advise patients to call us to be seen and assessed. If a dry socket is detected, the wound is washed with antibiotic mouthwash, and a packing containing an analgesic is placed. These dressings need to be changed every few days until the pain subsides. A dry socket can take up to two weeks to resolve. During that time, your surgery team will see you frequently and ensure that you are in no pain.

Post-Surgical Care and Tips: Preventive Care and Monitoring

Post-surgical care is important for a smooth recovery after wisdom teeth removal. We advise patients to rest, apply ice packs to reduce swelling, and consume soft foods. It's essential to maintain oral hygiene gently but effectively, avoiding the surgical area initially to not disrupt the healing process. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to manage discomfort. Additionally, we emphasize the importance of preventive care and regular monitoring, especially for adolescents and young adults. Regular dental check-ups allow for the early detection of potential issues with wisdom teeth, ensuring timely intervention. Our team at Community Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is committed to guiding patients through every step of this journey, from initial consultation to post-operative care and beyond.

Detailed Explanation of Symptoms and Issues

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, often emerge during late adolescence or early adulthood and can lead to various issues if not monitored properly. Common symptoms indicating the need for wisdom teeth removal include:

  • Pain and Discomfort: Wisdom teeth often cause persistent pain, swelling, and discomfort in the back of the mouth, which can radiate to the jaw, ear, and throat.
  • Infections and Gum Problems: Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to recurrent infections, gum pain, bleeding, and inflammation.
  • Difficulty in Chewing and Limited Mouth Opening: Wisdom teeth can interfere with proper biting and chewing, making it difficult to open the mouth fully.
  • Cysts, Tumors, and Sinus Issues: In severe cases, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to the development of cysts, tumors, and infections that affect the sinuses and overall oral health.
  • Damage to Adjacent Teeth: Wisdom teeth may push against neighboring teeth, potentially causing misalignment, crowding, or damage.

Why Choose Community Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

At Community Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we specialize in providing a stress-free wisdom teeth removal experience. Led by Dr. Ruba Khader, a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, our practice employs state-of-the-art technology and evidence-based methods to ensure optimal outcomes. Our team is dedicated to offering a compassionate approach to treatment, ensuring that each patient receives personalized care tailored to their unique needs. From the initial consultation to the final follow-up, our focus is on delivering a high level of professional care with a warm, friendly touch. Trust us to handle your wisdom teeth concerns with the utmost expertise and attention to detail.

Trust The Experts With Wisdom Teeth Removal

x-ray of a wisdom tooth extraction patient in Milwaukee WI

At Community Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, your oral health is just as important to us as it is to you. And wisdom tooth extraction can be a procedure that causes anxiety and concern. That's why Dr. Ruba Khader and her team are dedicated to providing a caring environment for patients and their families. In addition, Dr. Khader's years of experience with pain management after wisdom tooth extractions will ensure an improved recovery with minimal opioid use.

So, if you have problems with your wisdom teeth, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us for a consultation today.