Wisdom tooth removal, also known as third molar removal, can be a scary procedure to undergo, especially if you’ve heard dry socket horror stories or suffer from dental anxiety. As with most frightening prospects, knowing a little bit more about third molars and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure is a great way to go into your wisdom tooth extraction with confidence.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are an evolutionary leftover. Back before the times of the knife and fork, human jaws had to work through foods such as raw meat and were therefore both stronger and larger than they are today. The first and second set of human molars grow in around ages six and twelve respectively, and a third set typically grows in between the ages of 17 and 25. This third set of molars, or wisdom teeth, were necessary back then as replacements for teeth lost due to poor dental hygiene, damage, etc. Nowadays, humans have smaller jaws and improved dental hygeine, so there is simply no room or need for a third set of molars.

What Can I Expect?

Preparations for your wisdom tooth removal will depend on what sort of procedure you and your dentist agree is best for you. For example, if you will be put under during the procedure, you will need to coordinate with a family member or friend to drive you home from your appointment. Trust me, standing up will be tricky enough. The procedure itself will also depend on your particular case. Wisdom teeth are removed at many stages of growth, and the manner in how they are growing in may impact what sort of procedure is best for their removal. After your wisdom tooth extraction, you can expect to be swollen and sore. This is normal and unfortunately unavoidable, but by staying ahead of pain using prescribed medication and by following your dentist’s cleaning and dietary instructions, you can be back to normal in no time!

Need your wisdom teeth removed, or not sure if you even have any? Visit Concord Smile! Our general dentistry professionals in Concord offer oral sedation for tooth extractions!