Wisdom Tooth Removal in Whittier CA

Wisdom Tooth Removal: What You Need To Know

Why do we have wisdom teeth if they only seem to cause trouble? Why does it appear like everyone you know has had theirs removed?

They tend to show up late (usually in our late teens to early twenties), and sometimes, they just don’t fit in. That’s when your dentist might suggest bidding them goodbye.

But what does that really involve? Are there any risks? What should you expect before, during, and after the procedure? These are all questions you may have, and getting clear, accurate answers is essential when you need your wisdom teeth removed. Contact our family dentist in Whittier. 

Insights into Wisdom Teeth

Our third molars are the last set of teeth that usually appear in your late teens or early twenties. You might be wondering: why are they called “wisdom” teeth? Well, their arrival coincides with an age when people were traditionally thought to become wiser. 

They are remnants from our ancestors who needed these tough teeth to grind down plant tissue. But with evolution and changes in our diets, our jaws have become smaller, often leaving not enough room for them to grow properly. When they do grow, they usually appear at the back of your mouth.

When Problems Arise: Why You May Need Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Let’s be honest: our third molars can often cause more trouble than they’re worth, leading many to an oral surgeon’s office for extraction. Let’s dive into why this happens!

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When these rear molars grow at an angle or don’t fully erupt, they can become impacted and get stuck in the gum tissue. This can cause problems like pain and infection and even disrupt the position of your other adult teeth. In such cases, this may need to be removed to safeguard your oral health.


Sometimes, our mouths don’t have enough room for these latecomers. This could cause crowding of your other teeth, leading to discomfort and possible alignment issues. 

When the chaos of overcrowding ensues, your oral health takes a hit. Misaligned teeth become challenging to clean, leading to a higher risk of gum disease, cavities, and root canal issues.


When there’s insufficient space for proper cleaning, bacteria can sneak around. This can cause swelling, redness, and pain. Moreover, when your teeth are only partially erupted, they can create pockets in your gums. This is a perfect hideout for bacteria, leading to gum disease and tooth decay. Yikes!

These can lead to serious issues if left unchecked. They may require a trip to the doctor for a prescription of antibiotics and, in some cases, surgical intervention to address the root of the problem.

So there you have it, the scoop on why our molar teeth may need to hit the road! It seems our mouths haven’t quite caught up with evolution, leaving these latecomers often without a proper welcome mat.

When Trouble Brews: Signs and Symptoms

Let’s explore some common signs of trouble:

Time to Seek Professional Help

Now, having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you must sprint to the oral surgeon immediately. But if the pain, swelling, or discomfort keeps bugging you or worsens, it’s time to consult a professional. They can examine how your pearly whites are growing and decide if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed.

The Process of Dental Evaluation

Dental examinations are akin to detective work for your oral wellness. It’s a comprehensive process that helps your dentist or oral surgeon to ensure everything is in tip-top shape. With this, they can catch any potential issues before they become major problems.

The Initial Assessment

Your journey begins with the initial check-up. Here, the dentist can evaluate your overall oral well-being and hygiene. They’ll examine the condition of your cheek tissues, tongue, and jaw joints. It’s also an opportunity for them to check for signs of diseases such as oral cancer. 

The dentist will typically examine the following:

The Role of X-Rays

Beyond the physical examination, X-rays are crucial in the evaluation process. They offer a detailed view of your mouth. 

X-rays can reveal if there is an impaction, meaning there’s blockage hindering proper growth. Impacted wisdom teeth may cause pain, infection, or other complications and often require removal. 

They also allow the doctor to see if the mandibular wisdom teeth (those in the lower jaw) are close to the nerves. This could risk nerve damage during extraction. 

Early Detection Is Key

Spotting potential problems early can save you from discomfort and expensive treatments down the line. This is particularly true for wisdom teeth management. 

Early detection also allows for a discussion about the best course of action.

The Consultation Process

Now, let’s move on to the important part – the Consultation Process! This is your chance to sit down with your doctor and ask all your burning questions. 

The Open Discussion

First off, let’s have a good chat! This is when you meet your dentist and share any concerns. Here’s what we’ll discuss:

The Gentle Check

Next, the doctor will carry out a gentle check. This is different from a regular check-up. It’s more focused on the area where the affected chompers are nestled. You may also have some X-rays taken to help us see what’s happening hidden away.

The Personalized Plan

After the check, the specialist will discuss your personalized plan. This could include a recommendation for removal or maybe another treatment. Here’s what you’ll find out:

Your Time to Talk

We encourage you to ask any questions you might have. This is your chance to express any thoughts, fears, and hopes about the procedure. We’re here to make you feel as comfortable and informed as possible.

Remember, it’s totally normal to feel a little nervous. But armed with knowledge and understanding, it doesn’t have to be scary. We’re here to support you every step of the way. Let’s walk this path together!

Preparing for Your Oral Surgery

Pre-Surgery Steps

Before your surgery day, there are a few things you’ll need to do:

Pain Management Techniques: Dental Anesthesia Options

Anaesthetics plays a crucial role in ensuring your comfort during the procedure. Here are the three main types:

Your surgeon will discuss these options with you and recommend the best one based on your comfort level and the complexity of the procedure.

A Walkthrough of the Surgical Process

Let’s take an exciting journey through the process of extraction. We’ll dive into using tools and techniques, ensuring your comfort and understanding every step of the way!

Step 1: Numbing the Area

The first step in the journey is to make sure you’re comfortable. Your doctor will administer local anesthesia to numb the area. You won’t feel any pain, just a little pressure during the procedure.

Step 2: Sedation (if needed)

Depending on your comfort level and the complexity of the extraction, your surgeon may also recommend sedation. This can help you relax or even sleep through the procedure. Remember, your safety and comfort are the top priority!

Step 3: Accessing the Teeth

Now, it’s time for your surgeon to get to work. If the teeth haven’t come out (also known as being impacted), your surgeon must make a small incision in the gum to access it. Don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing!

Step 4: Removal

Using special dental tools, your surgeon will carefully loosen and remove it. Sometimes, the teeth may need to be divided into smaller pieces for easier removal. 

Step 5: Clean Up

After successfully removing it, your surgeon will clean the area, clearing any debris from the socket. This ensures a clean site for healing.

Step 6: Closing the Site

Your surgeon will then stitch up the incision if necessary. They’ll place a piece of gauze over the extraction site to help control any bleeding and promote blood clot formation. 

Step 7: Recovery Time

Once the procedure is complete, you’ll spend a short time in the recovery room under the watchful eye of the surgical team. When you’re ready, you can head home (with a designated driver, of course!)

Remember, each person’s journey is unique, and your surgeon is there to guide you every step of the way. With this walkthrough, we hope you feel more prepared and confident as you approach your removal surgery!

Treat a Toothache at Home by Medical Centric

The Recovery Timeline and Post-Extraction Care

Welcome to the next chapter of your journey – the healing process! Let’s explore the recovery timeline and dive into some aftercare instructions. 

The First 24 Hours: Time to Rest

In the first 24 hours, it’s all about taking it easy:

Days 2-3: Swelling Peaks and Soft Diets

Around the second or third day, you may notice some swelling. To help with this:

Days 4-7: Keeping It Clean

Good oral hygiene is essential:

One Week and Beyond: On the Road to Recovery

By the end of the first week, you should start feeling more like yourself. Continue to follow your surgeon’s instructions and attend any scheduled follow-up appointments. 

It typically takes about 7-10 days for the swelling to go down and about two weeks to recuperate fully. However, remember that everyone’s healing time is different, so don’t rush!

Following these aftercare instructions closely is crucial for a smooth and speedy healing. With this guide, you’re well-equipped to navigate your recovery journey!

Navigating Potential Side Effects

Now, let’s talk about some potential side effects you might experience and how to manage them. Plus, we’ll touch on when it’s time to ring up your doctor.


Bleeding is normal during the first 24 hours after the extraction. If you see a bit of blood mixed with saliva, don’t worry! Here’s what you can do:


You might notice a bit of bruising. This is a standard part of the healing process. To handle this:


Due to the anesthetics, you could feel a bit of numbness. This should fade after a few hours. If it doesn’t:

Pain and Swelling

A bit of pain and swelling are expected after the procedure. You can manage this by:

When to Contact Your Oral Surgeon

While it’s normal to experience some discomfort and swelling after the procedure, there are times you should call your doctor:

Remember, your doctor is there to guide you through the healing process. If anything feels off, don’t hesitate to get in touch. It’s always better to err on the side of caution!

Potential Risks and Complications

Getting your wisdom tooth removed can be a smooth journey when you’re in the hands of a skilled oral surgeon. However, like any surgical procedure, it does come with potential risks and complications. 


After wisdom teeth are removed, there’s a small chance of developing an infection. This could occur if bacteria sneak into the empty socket left behind by the extracted tooth. You might experience signs like fever, constant pain, and pus from the area where the tooth was.

Dry Socket

A dry socket can happen when the blood clot that forms in the empty socket gets dislodged or dissolves prematurely. This leaves the underlying bone and nerves unprotected, leading to intense pain. 

Nerve Damage

Although rare, nerve damage can occur during the removal process, especially if the roots of the wisdom teeth are located close to the nerves. This could result in numbness or tingling in your tongue, lower lip, chin, or teeth.

The Crucial Role of a Skilled Oral Surgeon

An experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon is adept at handling the complexities of the removal. They’ll evaluate your teeth and gums, consider the positioning, and plan the procedure to minimize risks.

While potential complications exist, they can be significantly minimized when you’re in the right hands. So, take your time, research, and choose your doctor wisely!

Frequently Asked Questions

The procedure typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour. However, this can vary depending on the number of teeth removed and their position in your mouth.

After the extraction, rinsing your mouth gently with warm salt water can help soothe the area and keep it clean. Also, applying a cold compress to your cheek can reduce swelling and bring some comfort. But remember, these are just supportive measures. Still, you should always follow the specific aftercare instructions from your doctor!

Yes, many insurance plans do cover a portion of the costs. However, it’s essential to check with your specific insurance provider to understand the details of your coverage. Remember, each insurance plan is unique, so it’s always a good idea to know what’s included in yours!

Your Journey to Oral Wellness Starts Here!

Just give us a ring at 562-696-2862. You can also reach out to us through our website at https://www.dentistsinwhittier.com/contact-us/. Our team will be thrilled to help you pick a time that fits your schedule.

So, why wait? Get in touch with us today. Together, let’s ensure that your smile stays as bright and healthy as ever!

Additional Resources

Colgate. (2023, January 9). What to eat after wisdom teeth removal. Colgate. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/wisdom-teeth/what-to-eat-after-wisdom-teeth-removal#

Colgate. (2023, January 23). Wisdom tooth extraction. Colgate. https://www.colgate.com/en-ph/oral-health/wisdom-teeth/wisdom-tooth-extraction

Should you have your wisdom teeth removed? (2020, May 7). NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279590/

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