Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are typically the last teeth to erupt into the mouth. For some people, these teeth emerge normally and without problems. However, many other people opt for wisdom teeth removal, either to promote a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come or to resolve issues that have developed because the wisdom teeth weren’t extracted previously.
As oral and maxillofacial specialists with decades of experience, our doctors have performed hundreds of wisdom teeth removal procedures. Patients and families in the Washington, DC area rely on our practice in part because of the skill and innovative techniques we bring to their treatment and in part for the personal and attentive care we offer.
Wisdom Teeth Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.
Protecting Smiles and Improving Comfort
Wisdom teeth removal is extremely common. General dentists and orthodontists often recommend that their patients have the surgery in their teens or twenties, referring their care to our practice because our specialists have trained extensively in these types of procedures.
Patients who choose to have treatment at a younger age can prevent:
- Chronic infections.
- The formation of cysts around the wisdom teeth.
- Cavities that spread from the third molars to adjacent teeth.
Preventative wisdom teeth removal patients are the majority of cases that we see in our Washington, DC practice. However, we also provide care for older adults who have not yet had their wisdom teeth extracted. Patients at this stage are often experiencing pain, infection, and damage to their teeth and the procedure helps alleviate these symptoms.
Our Approach to Wisdom Teeth Removal
Capital Center® for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery prioritizes patient comfort, safety, and effective outcomes. Our specialists spend significant time in consultation so that patients can choose treatment with confidence. For younger patients, this usually involves their parents as well. Meeting with our doctors gives families the chance to get to know us and our staff and to learn more about the surgery.
During wisdom teeth removal procedures, we use a variety of techniques and resources to improve the patient experience and limit recovery time:
- Pre-operative medications help prevent infection and inflammation.
- A range of anesthetic options allow our Washington, DC patients to be pain-free and completely relaxed in the procedure. As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, we have years of advanced training and certification in anesthesia.
- Antibiotics applied to the surgical site can all but eliminate the risk of dry socket (a low-grade infection common after wisdom teeth removal).
- EXPAREL®, a non-opioid medication, can completely numb the area for 2-3 days without affecting the tongue or lips.
Dr. Robert Emery, the founder of our practice, is also the co-creator of X-GUIDE. This dynamic 3D navigation technology provides an unprecedented vision for surgeons during procedures. Patients with complex needs related to wisdom teeth removal benefit from X-GUIDE, as it allows our doctors to work at a more precise level of detail, resulting in a less invasive procedure.
Having Third Molar Surgery from AAOMS.org
An Overview of Wisdom Teeth Removal
Procedures take place in our AAAHC-compliant facility, one of the few of its kind in Washington, DC. This level of accreditation demonstrates that the practice meets or exceeds nationally-recognized standards for care.
Typically, wisdom teeth removal patients receive both local anesthetic and deep IV sedation. The combination allows patients to be comfortable and relaxed as the procedure takes place. Most people don’t recognize that any time has passed from the moment they sit down in a treatment chair to the moment the surgery is over, and they wake up without pain.
After the doctor extracts the wisdom teeth, patients will spend time in a private recovery room with a dedicated nurse, who will monitor them as part of the practice’s safety protocols. They can expect to go home shortly afterwards, driven by another responsible adult.
Capital Center® for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery will provide extensive post-operative instructions for care, which typically include:
- Taking medication for pain management.
- Keeping the surgical sites clean.
- Following guidelines for eating and drinking.
It’s normal to experience some swelling after wisdom teeth removal, and this swelling should go down within 7-10 days. We will call patients one week after surgery to see how they are feeling and to address any questions or concerns that they may have. By the end of their recovery, patients can expect a normal, comfortable, and healthy smile.
To learn more about wisdom teeth removal, schedule a consultation with Capital Center® for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery online or by calling us in Washington, DC at (202) 386-7100.