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Wisdom Teeth Removal FAQ
Image showing impacted wisdom teeth. Joseph J. Radakovich, DMD - Portland OR

Why are they called Wisdom Teeth?


The last teeth to develop and erupt into the jaws are called the third molars. Third molars usually erupt in the late teen years, which coincides with passage into adulthood and is referred to by some as the age of wisdom; hence "wisdom teeth".

When Do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?


When wisdom teeth become impacted, they can begin causing significant pain in your teeth and jaw. This is because the tooth is growing incorrectly, pushing against the other teeth. This can also cause your surrounding teeth to shift. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, we'll recommend extraction.

How do you keep my mouth open during surgery when I'm asleep?

A small rubber cushion is placed between your teeth before you go to sleep, and this holds your mouth open.

What is a "dry socket"?

Dry socket is a term that refers to a healing complication that used to be seen somewhat frequently, but is rarely a problem today. With current techniques we have all but eliminated "dry sockets", although we encourage you to call us if you experience anything post operatively that is not improving day by day or just doesn't feel right.

When can I go back to work or school?

Every individual has a different healing response to surgery, but on average there is not much disruption of one's activities, and generally not for more than a few days. We frequently see people back at work or school on the day following surgery, even when all four wisdom teeth have been removed.

When can I brush my teeth after surgery?

Teeth can be brushed immediately, being careful to avoid the surgical areas for the first day or so.

When will my stitches dissolve?

Unless you are told otherwise, your stitches will dissolve after about a week.

When can I take the gauze out that I was biting on when I left your office?

The gauze may be removed when you get home; to be replaced with new gauze if significant bleeding continues, or if it feels better to have gauze in place. If the bleeding is not tapering off within a few hours of surgery, you should call our office. A small amount of blood on your pillow on the night following surgery is nothing to be alarmed about of there is no active bleeding.

If I'm a smoker, how long should I wait to smoke after surgery?

Smoking is harmful to the healing process and makes numerous complications more likely. Smoking in the first two weeks is especially harmful.

More Questions About Wisdom Teeth?


If you have any problems or questions, please contact Dr. Radakovich at our Portland office.
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Office Location:

Joseph J. Radakovich, DMD
Providence Professional Plaza Building
5050 NE Hoyt St, Suite 322
Portland, OR 97213
Phone: 503-455-4673 Fax: 503-230-0344

Office Hours:

Monday: 9AM to 3PM
Tuesday: 9AM to 3PM
Wednesday: 9AM to 2PM
Thursday: 9AM to 3PM
Friday: currently by appointment only

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Joseph J. Radakovich, DMD | www.radakovichoralsurgery.com | (503) 455-4673
5050 NE Hoyt St, Suite 322, Portland, OR 97213