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Top Questions

When should I have my Wisdom Teeth removed?

It isn't always wise to wait until your wisdom teeth start to bother you. In general, earlier removal of wisdom teeth results in an easier and quicker healing process. AAOMS/OMSF researchers found that older patients may be at greater risk of disease, including periodontitis in the tissues surrounding the third molars and adjacent teeth.


What happens during surgery?

Before surgery, your oral and maxillofacial surgeons will thoroughly discuss the procedure with you and tell you what to expect. This is a good time to ask questions or express your concerns. It is especially important to let the doctor know about any illness you have and medications you are taking.

The relative ease with which a wisdom tooth may be removed depends on several conditions, including the position of the tooth and root development. Impacted wisdom teeth may require a more complicated surgical procedure.

Most wisdom tooth extractions are routinely performed with little or no discomfort in the oral and maxillofacial surgery office under local anesthesia, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will recommend the anesthetic option that is right for you.


What happens after surgery?

Immediately after surgery you will rest for a time in the surgeon's office. During this recovery time the surgeon or an assistant will monitor your condition before allowing you to leave for home with your companion.

Before you leave the surgeon's office you will receive specific instructions to follow over the next few days. You may be asked to modify your diet for a day or two, to eat soft foods and drink fluids. Medication prescribed by your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will make you comfortable. You should generally be able to resume normal activities within a relatively short period of time.


What if I decide to keep my Wisdom Teeth?

If, after discussion your situation with your family dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon, you decide to keep your wisdom teeth for the time being, it's important to agree on a long-term plan for monitoring the health and condition of the teeth and gum tissue in the third molar area. Most oral and maxillofacial surgeons believe that X-Rays to see the wisdom teeth and surrounding bone, and a clinical examination to determine whether any pathology is developing should be performed annually.

For your part, it is critical that you take particular care in cleaning and flossing the area as part of your oral health care regimen.


Who is a candidate for dental implants?

Virtually any adult with missing teeth may benefit from dental implants, as long as the jaw has stopped growing (which is why they are not appropriate for children) and there are no underlying medical risk factors.


What is the success rate of dental implants?

Success rates vary according to the system used. Long-term results have shown that Straumann implants have a 98.8% success rate after five years. *


Will I need to go into the hospital for the procedure?

Most procedures do not require a hospital visit and can be performed in a dental office.


Does the procedure hurt?

The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia to minimize discomfort.


Does insurance cover dental implants?

Insurance coverage of implant treatment depends on the individual policy. Many plans provide coverage for at least part of the implant therapy. It is best to check with your insurance provider to learn details of your benefit.


 

* For SLA® implants. Data on life.