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An oral and maxillofacial surgeon or dentist can remove (extract) a wisdom tooth. The procedure often can be done in the dentist’s or surgeon’s office. Patient may have the surgery in the hospital, especially if all of the wisdom teeth will be pulled at one time or if the patient is at high risk for complications.

A wisdom tooth is extracted to correct an actual problem or to prevent problems that may come up in the future. Some of the problems that can occur when wisdom teeth come in are:

  • Jaw may not be large enough for them, and they may become impacted and unable to break through the gums.
  • The wisdom teeth may break partway through the gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them. Food and germs can get trapped under the flap and cause the gums to become red, swollen, and painful. These are signs of infection.
  • More serious problems can develop from impacted teeth, such as infection, damage to other teeth and bone, or a cyst.
  • One or more of the wisdom teeth may come in at an awkward angle, with the top of the tooth facing forward, backward, or to either side.
Treatment Preparation Important to Know:

Potential Risk

  • Pain and swelling in gums and tooth socket where the tooth was removed.
  • Bleeding that won’t stop for about 24 hours.
  • Difficulty with or pain from opening the jaw (trismus)
  • Slow-healing gums
  • Damage to existing dental work, such as crowns or bridges, or to roots of a nearby tooth
  • A painful inflammation called dry socket, which happens if the protective blood clot is lost too soon

Numbness of mouth and lips after the local anesthetic wears off, due to injury or inflammation of nerves in the jaw.

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