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Contact Us:

Redmond Medical Center
8301 161st Ave NE, #305
Redmond, WA 98052

425.885.5529 (p)
425.885.2024 (f)

Office Hours:

Mon-Thurs:  8am - 5pm


Brian J Dillon DDS PLLC is a BBB Accredited Dentist in Redmond, WA

Wisdom Teeth


Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Sometimes these teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, they are misaligned and require removal.

Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned - they can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars or be angled inward or outward. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves. Wisdom teeth that lean toward the second molars make those teeth more vulnerable to decay by entrapping plaque and debris. In addition, wisdom teeth can be entrapped completely within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through or erupt through the gum. Teeth that remain partially or completely entrapped within the soft tissue and /or the jawbone are termed "impacted." Wisdom teeth that only partially erupt allows for an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease because their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning makes brushing and flossing difficult.

How Do I Know if I Have Wisdom Teeth?

Dr. Dillon will take an x-ray periodically to evaluate the presence and alignment of your wisdom teeth. He may recommend that your wisdom teeth be extracted even before problems develop. This is done to avoid a more painful or more complicated extraction that might have to be done a few years later. Removal is easier in young people, when the wisdom teeth roots are not yet fully developed and the bone is less dense. In older people, recovery and healing time tend to be longer.

How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

The relative ease at which your wisdom teeth can be extracted depends on their position. Dr. Dillon will be able to give you an idea of what to expect during your pre-extraction exam. A wisdom tooth that is fully erupted through the gum can be extracted as easily as any other tooth. However, a wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone will require an incision into the gums and then removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth. Oftentimes, for a tooth in this situation, the tooth will be extracted in small sections rather than removed in one piece to minimize the amount of bone that needs to be removed to get the tooth out.

What Happens During Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Before your wisdom teeth are pulled, the teeth and the surrounding tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic - the same injection with the same medication you would receive to numb a tooth prior to having a cavity filled.

What Does Recovery Involve After Wisdom Teeth Are Pulled?

After having your wisdom teeth removed, the speed of your recovery depends on the degree of difficulty of the extraction (a simple extraction of a fully erupted tooth versus a tooth impacted into the jawbone). In general, here's what to expect.

During the first 24 hours:

After 24 hours:

What Are Potential Complications of Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Two of the more important complications after having your wisdom teeth removed include:

If you have any further questions or would like more information regarding wisdom teeth, then please feel free to contact our Redmond office at 425-885-5529.

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