Dental Extractions | Wisdom Teeth

Oral Surgery and Tooth Removal

Treating tooth pain or gum disease sometimes requires oral surgery. A dental extraction means to have a tooth removed. While it’s always best to try and prevent the loss of permanent (adult) teeth, some teeth may need to be extracted because of extensive decay, gum disease or trauma. Wisdom teeth may be removed because they are impacted or are causing your remaining teeth to shift.

Dr Abbey offers oral surgery and tooth extraction services in the Fishhawk and Lithia area. Dental extractions are performed in the dental office with local anesthesia (a numbing shot) to prevent pain, along with sedation anesthesia to relax you when necessary. Recovery times are short, and after a procedure you will likely need just a minor amount of pain relief medicine to ease any discomfort.

Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth.  This generally occurs between the ages of 17 and 25, a time of life that has been called the “Age of Wisdom.

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly, and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen.

The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to erupt successfully. These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth.

The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.


In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia (asleep). These options as well as the surgical risks will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Following surgery, you may experience some swelling and mild discomfort, which are part of the normal healing process.  Cold compresses may help decrease the swelling, and medication prescribed by your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon can help manage the discomfort.  You may be instructed to modify your diet following surgery and later progress to more normal foods.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.