Wisdom Teeth Removal

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Drs. Maharaj and Pham can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or future potential problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist, or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Our doctors are trained, licensed, and highly experienced in providing various types of anesthesia for patients.

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If you do not have enough room in your mouth for your third molars to fully erupt, a number of problems can happen. Impacted wisdom teeth should be removed before their root structure is fully developed. In some patients, it is as early as 12 or 13, and in others, it may not be until the early twenties. Problems tend to occur with increasing frequency after the age of 30. Some of the possible problems related to not removing your wisdom teeth include:

Diagram of Dental infection


The most frequent clinical problem we see is pericoronitis, (a localized gum infection). Without enough room for total eruption, the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth can become irritated and infected, resulting in recurrent pain, swelling, and problems with chewing and/or swallowing.

Diagram of Dental Cyst Formation

Cyst Formation:

Non-infectious diseases may also arise in association with an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts are fluid-filled “balloons” inside the jaw bone that develop as a result of impacted teeth and slowly expand destroying adjacent jaw bone and occasionally teeth. They can be very difficult to treat if your wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years. Although rare, tumors can be associated with the delayed removal of wisdom teeth.

Diagram of Tooth Crowding

Possible Crowding:

Impacted wisdom teeth may contribute to crowding of your teeth. This is most noticeable with the front teeth, primarily the lower front teeth and is most commonly seen after a patient has had braces. There are a number of factors that cause teeth to crowd after braces or in early adulthood. Retained, impacted wisdom teeth may be a contributing factor. Unless you have an active problem when you see the oral surgeon, the reason for removal is primarily to prevent long-term damage to your teeth, gums and jaw bone.

Diagram of Damaged Tooth

Damage to Adjacent Teeth:

If there is inadequate room to clean around the wisdom tooth, the tooth directly in front, the second molar, can be adversely affected resulting in gum disease, bone loss around the tooth, and/or decay.

Is there a better time to have wisdom teeth removed?

As wisdom teeth develop, the roots become longer and the jaw bone denser. Removing wisdom teeth from a teenager to the early twenties can help alleviate potential risks and complications.  When wisdom teeth are removed in the thirties, forties, or beyond, the post-operative course can be prolonged and with a higher risk of complications. Treating these complications is often less predictable than with younger patients. These complications can include nerve damage which results in loss of feeling to the lip and tongue, infections, pain, delay in healing, and more.

What happens on the day of surgery?

Most people prefer to be unaware of the experience, usually deciding to be sedated. Our office will provide appropriate anesthesia options during your consultation. Our office staff has the training, licensing, and experience to provide the safest types of anesthesia.

On The day of the procedure, you will arrive at our office after not having anything to eat or drink for the last 8 hours. This includes water, gum, mints, a sip, or a bite. If there has been any change in medical history since the consultation or anything previously left out, it should be told to the medical staff immediately. Violating these rules can lead to threatening complications during surgery, including death.

The procedure will take about 30-60 minutes. There will be an IV placed in your arm or hand to allow access to sedatives and rehydration. Local anesthesia will be given so you will wake up from surgery numb and pain-free.

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Fee for treatment is determined by a number of things. These factors include the number of teeth being extracted, the type of anesthesia, and the level of impaction. During the consultation, the surgeon will review your x-rays and complete an examination. This information will be used in coordination with your insurance benefits to get the most accurate estimate. All payments are due the day of surgery.

What If I Have Questions Before Surgery?

At the time of your consultation, your specific situation will be discussed in greater detail. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have. If new questions arise after your consultation, please call our office at Lansdowne Office Phone Number 703-723-7858 to speak to one of our patient care coordinators.

A smiling woman

The Day of Treatment

Please do not eat or drink anything prior to your surgery. Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk for serious anesthetic complications.