Wisdom teeth removal may not be the daunting prospect you think it to be. While it’s probably not on the top of your list of things to do, it’s a standard procedure and will save you pain later.
One of the most common questions we hear is, “how long does wisdom teeth removal take? “
That depends on several variables.
This post will discuss how long wisdom tooth removal takes and what to expect.
But first, let’s discuss why wisdom teeth removal is necessary?
What are wisdom teeth?
They are the third set of molars that tend to appear at the back of the mouth in the late teens or early twenties. As most people have a complete set of teeth by this time, their jaws are often not large enough to accommodate another four teeth. You may experience discomfort as wisdom teeth jostle for position with other teeth as they erupt through your gums.
Fortunately, we don’t need wisdom teeth, and our dentists can extract them with a routine procedure. While there is no set age for wisdom teeth removal, dentists recommend that, ideally, they should be removed between the ages of 18-24.
Why is wisdom tooth removal necessary?
Wisdom teeth that are misaligned or stuck in the gums can lead to infections, cysts, and crooked teeth. Our dentist may decide you need wisdom tooth removal if they negatively impact the neighbouring teeth. Even if the wisdom teeth aren’t causing any problems per se, our dentist may decide to extract them so you can brush and floss the teeth properly in front of them.
Ignoring problematic wisdom teeth can be more painful than the process of wisdom teeth removal.
Issues caused by wisdom teeth include:
- Bad breath
- Trapped food
- Jaw aches
So, how long does wisdom teeth removal take?
How long it takes to extract your wisdom teeth depends on several factors. A straightforward procedure may only take around 20 minutes, whereas a more complex case will take longer.
The removal process
We’ll go over the details before extracting your wisdom teeth. While it’s a standard procedure we do regularly, your comfort is our priority. Nervous patients can request dental sedation to help them relax during the process.
Most people only require a local anaesthetic to numb the area, which means you’ll be awake through the procedure.
If your tooth has not erupted through the gums, the dentist will make a small incision in the gums to access it. Any bone that is covering the tooth will also have to be removed.
The dentist may cut the tooth into smaller pieces, making it easier to remove through the opening.
You will feel some discomfort before your tooth is removed, as the dentist needs to widen the socket by wiggling the tooth back and forth before they can extract it. Should you feel any pain, tell your dentist, and they will give you more anaesthesia. Since often all four wisdom teeth are removed in one visit, wisdom teeth removal can usually be completed by the dentist in less than one hour.
Post-surgery recovery time
Not everyone walks out of the dentist’s chair following wisdom tooth removal and straight back to work. It’s essential to follow your dentist’s instructions and take things easy if you need to. Typically your recovery should only take a few days, but more complex surgery may require a few weeks before you feel back to normal.
Tips to help speed up recovery following wisdom teeth removal
- Bite down periodically on the gauze pad issued by your dentist to stop the bleeding.
- For the first 24 hours, apply an ice pack intermittently to your face to reduce any swelling.
- Start with soft foods like yoghurt and soup, progressing to solid foods as your mouth heals. Avoid hot foods for a few days to prevent dislodging the blood clot that has formed in the tooth socket. The blood clot helps control the pain and promotes healing.
- Avoid smoking and sucking through a straw after wisdom teeth removal as this can disturb the clot and lead to a painful dental condition – dry socket.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water two or three times a day to help heal and disinfect the mouth.
Hopefully, this has answered your question, how long does wisdom teeth removal take. As you can see, it varies for each individual depending on the complexity of your case.
Do you need wisdom teeth removal?
If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, why not book a consultation with the experienced team at Synergy Dental Group. We can quickly evaluate your case and determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need extraction.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
CenExcel – What Age Is Best For Wisdom Teeth Removal?
PubMed – Current methods of sedation in dental patients – a systematic review of the literature
Mayo Clinic – Dry Socket