Reviewed by Dr. Thao Le, DDS, MD

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth, typically in the late teens or early twenties.

However, our mouths can often lack the space needed for these new teeth, causing various oral health issues. In these cases, wisdom tooth extraction is recommended to maintain optimal dental health.This blog post will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of wisdom teeth removal and address common concerns about the procedure.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure, performed for several reasons.

  • Not enough space: In many cases, our jaws do not have enough room to accommodate the eruption of wisdom teeth. This can lead to overcrowding and misalignment of nearby teeth.
  • Wisdom teeth are impacted: When wisdom teeth are unable to fully emerge from the gums, they can become trapped or impacted. This can cause pain and discomfort, as well as increase the risk of developing infections or cysts.
  • Risk of tooth decay: Due to their position at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth can be challenging to clean properly. This makes them more prone to tooth decay and cavities.

Potential for gum disease: The difficulty in cleaning wisdom teeth also increases the risk of developing gum disease, which can spread to neighboring teeth if left untreated.

Key Takeaway

Removing wisdom teeth prevents tooth decay, damage to nearby teeth, and overcrowding. While there are no real disadvantages to removing wisdom teeth, it is important to be aware of the risks of oral surgery. Risks may include infection, delayed healing and dry socket.

Who Is More Qualified To Remove Wisdom Teeth-Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

The decision to remove wisdom teeth is typically made by your dentist. Your dentist is qualified to perform the procedure, but an oral surgeon may be recommended for more complex cases.

If your dentist has suggested removing your wisdom teeth, but it is too complex for them to do, they will refer you to an oral surgeon in your area. 

If you would like your dentist to refer you to our qualified surgeons here at Foley & Le, have them fill out this referral form. If your dentist has already referred you to us, fill out the patient registration form here.

Advantages of Removing Wisdom Teeth

Now that we understand the common reasons for wisdom teeth removal, let’s discuss the advantages of wisdom teeth extraction.

  1. Prevention of tooth decay and gum disease: Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, making them difficult to clean. Food particles can become trapped around them, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Removing them can help maintain a clean and healthy oral environment.
  1. Reduced risk of damage to neighboring teeth: Wisdom teeth can cause damage to the adjacent teeth by exerting pressure or creating pockets where bacteria can thrive. Extraction can protect the nearby teeth from this potential damage.
  2. Avoiding orthodontic treatment: Impacted wisdom teeth can cause teeth to shift, leading to the need for orthodontic treatment. By removing the teeth early, patients can avoid the expense and discomfort of braces or other corrective measures.
  3. Elimination of pain and swelling: Wisdom tooth issues can cause swelling, pain, and even jaw problems. Removing the offending teeth can provide relief from these symptoms and restore normal function.

Disadvantages of Removing Wisdom Teeth: Surgical Risks

Though there are many advantages to having wisdom teeth removed, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with dental surgery. Some of the common complications include:

  1. Dry socket: After a tooth extraction, a blood clot forms in the empty tooth socket. If the clot dislodges or fails to form, patients may experience a dry socket, causing severe pain. This condition is treatable by your dentist or oral surgeon.
  1. Risk of infection: As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection. Practicing good oral hygiene after the extraction and following your dentist’s post-operative instructions can minimize this risk.
  2. Nerve damage: Although rare, there is a chance that the nerves near the wisdom tooth could be temporarily or permanently damaged during extraction.
  3. Prolonged recovery: Some patients might experience a longer-than-average recovery period due to factors such as the complexity of the extraction or personal healing ability.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Boulder, CO

At Foley & Le Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, our experienced team offers minimally invasive wisdom tooth extraction to help maintain optimal oral health.

We understand that the thought of any surgery can be daunting, but our compassionate and skilled surgeons will guide you through the procedure and ensure a comfortable experience.

If you have concerns about your wisdom teeth or are experiencing any symptoms related to them, schedule a consultation with us today.

To book an appointment with Dr. Benjamin Foley, Dr. Thao Le, or Dr. Daniel B Foley, call (303) 444-2255 or complete the online booking form.

If you are searching for ‘best wisdom teeth removal near me’ or ‘wisdom teeth extraction near me’, call Foley & Le. 


Does Removing Wisdom Teeth Change Face Shape?

In most cases, removing wisdom teeth does not change the face shape. However, it can alleviate swelling or pressure, which may have been affecting the appearance.

Do They Put You To Sleep When Removing Wisdom Teeth?

Many patients are given anesthesia during the procedure, ranging from local numbing agents to IV sedation or general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia depends on the patient’s preference, medical history, and the complexity of the extraction.

Can You Talk After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Though you may experience some discomfort and swelling, you can typically talk after the procedure. It’s best to avoid excessive talking during the first few days of recovery to promote healing and minimize potential complications.

How Long Does an Extraction Take?

The length of an extraction can vary based on the complexity of the case. On average, it takes about 45 minutes to one hour to remove all four wisdom teeth.

Will There Be Any Pain After Surgery?

Pain after surgery is normal and can be managed with prescribed pain medication or over-the-counter options. Most patients experience discomfort for a few days following the procedure, but this should gradually subside. If you experience severe or prolonged pain, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

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