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Wisdom Teeth – Do they always need to be pulled?

When wisdom teeth first come in, sometimes they may be impacted. This is why they almost always need to be pulled. Wisdom teeth, or third set of molars, are often pulled because there simply isn’t enough room in the mouth to fit all the teeth. For those who still have their wisdom teeth, they came in with enough room to keep them. While this rarely happens, I can warn you about getting your hopes up. Impacted teeth will normally need to be extracted by a professional surgeon. At the Vartanian Dental Group in Mission Viejo, we have the best oral surgeons in Orange County. Located off the 5 Freeway at La Paz, they are centrally located in South Orange County, making it convenient for all Orange County residents to visit our office. Sometimes they can be pulled by your dentist, although in most cases, you will need an oral surgeon.


For most people, wisdom teeth emerge usually around the ages of 17 – 25. One question a lot of patients have is, “Do we need to pull the wisdom teeth or can they be left in the mouth”. For many years, there has been a lot of controversy as to the need to remove or not to remove these teeth. Here’s a good rule of thumb, if the teeth do not cause any harm or pain, it is usually fine to stay in place. This usually means there is enough room in your mouth to allow the wisdom teeth to fully come in. If they cause you a lot of pain or discomfort, they will need to be removed. This is usually the case for most people because there simply isn’t enough room in our mouth for all those teeth. I remember when I had my wisdom teeth removed, I was around 20 years old.


If you find yourself having to pull your wisdom teeth, you will need surgery to have them removed. You’ll have the option of using local anesthesia or going with an IV sedation. An IV sedation is the preferred way to have wisdom teeth extracted, as you’ll be so relaxed you won’t know what is going on. This is the way I went with and I simply woke up and the procedure was done. If you decide to just use local anesthesia, which is numbing, you’ll be fully aware of the procedure. You’ll also hear the popping and cracking involved, which can make you feel quite uncomfortable. Personally, I wouldn’t choose this option.


Depending on the shape, size, and the formation of the wisdom teeth, the removal process can vary from simple to difficult. If the root tips have managed to wrap themselves around the bone, the removal process can be very time consuming and quite painful. Once the extractions have been completed, there is normally little to no swelling involved. The Vartanian Dental Group in Mission Viejo will prescribe you some pain medicine, which you should use as soon as you arrive home. If you are going to use IV sedation, you’ll need to someone to accompany you, as you won’t be able to drive home.


Dr Vartanian and staff will go over what you need to do to ensure the proper healing of your gums and mouth after surgery. Usually, we will give you information to go over, to ensure that you experience no problems in the healing process. Someone will need to be with you for the first 24 hours, to make sure that you ok. You won’t be able to eat certain foods for the first 48 hours, which is to be expected. Once your wisdom teeth have been removed, you may notice a big improvement in your mouth and overall health.


To schedule your next appointment at The Vartanian Dental Group, call our Mission Viejo Office at 949-586-5669.