Wisdom Teeth Removal

Oral Examination for Extraction of Wisdom Teeth

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Adams and Dr. Gladwell 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.

To schedule a Wisdom Teeth Consult, please use our Request an Appointment form or call our office: Oral & Facial Reconstructive Surgeons of Utah SLC Office Phone Number 801-262-7447.

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.

Reasons For Removal | Wisdom Teeth & Age | Day of Procedure | Wisdom Tooth Removal Cost | Questions?
Impacted Wisdom Teeth | After Wisdom Tooth Extractions

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:

Wisdom Teeth illustration: Infected lower, partially erupted tooth


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.

Wisdom Teeth illustration: Cyst formation from non-erupted tooth in lower jaw

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.

Wisdom Teeth illustration: Teeth crowding in lower jaw from impacted wisdom tooth

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.

Wisdom Teeth illustration: Root damage to normal tooth that is next to a non-erupted tooth in lower jaw

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.

What if I don’t have my wisdom teeth removed as a teenager or young adult?

As wisdom teeth develop, the roots become longer and the jaw bone more dense. When it is necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth in your thirties, forties or beyond, the post-operative course can be prolonged and there is a higher complication rate. Treating these complications is often more difficult and less predictable than with a younger patient. Healing may be slower and the chance of infection can be increased. If your impacted wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years or early in your twenties and they are completely impacted in bone, it may be advisable to wait until a localized problem (such as cyst formation or localized gum disease and bone loss) develops. In general, you will heal faster, more predictably and have fewer complications if treated in your teens or early twenties.

What happens on the day wisdom teeth are removed?

Most people prefer to be unaware of the experience when they have their wisdom teeth removed and usually decide to be sedated. You will be provided with appropriate anesthesia options at your consultation. All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize your comfort. Our office staff has the training, licensing, and experience to provide the various types of anesthesia. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and a well trained experienced staff. The Surgical Care Team, the office facilities, and the doctors are inspected on behalf of the Board of Dental Examiners on a regular basis.

On the day of your procedure, you will take medications to help minimize post-operative pain and swelling. We ask that a parent or responsible adult accompanies you to the office and plans to stay with you the rest of the day. The procedure will take about 30 to 60 minutes and you will probably be in the office for 90 minutes. Recent advances in medicine and technology allow patients to undergo wisdom tooth removal in a manner, which promotes rapid healing and minimal post-operative discomfort. State-of-the-art sterilization and infection control techniques are used at all times.

On the morning or afternoon of your surgery, it is essential that you have nothing to eat or drink (excluding prescription medications with a sip of water) for at least 6 hours (preferably longer). This does not mean you should try to fit in one “last meal” exactly six hours before your surgery. Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk for serious anesthetic complications, including nausea and vomiting. Your procedure will be rescheduled if you have not heeded these guidelines. We may provide you with a prescription for pain medication at your consultation appointment, which for your convenience, can be filled in advance. When you are seated in the surgical room, we will make every effort to make you as comfortable as possible. If you are going to be sedated, we usually will place an IV in your left arm. This is a quick and nearly painless procedure that ensures optimal delivery of your medication. Local anesthesia is given to you afterwards to ensure comfort, and allow adequate time to travel home and rest. You will be sleepy for a significant portion of the day.

Photo: A smiling & relaxed teenage son with his mother

The Day of Treatment

Be sure to have an adult with you at the time of removal. Make plans to have a parent or responsible adult stay with you for the rest of the day, following wisdom tooth removal.

If your surgery requires stitches, these are usually the type that dissolve in 3 to 5 days and do not require removal. You may also notice a sensation of your gums feeling swollen and pulling away from your teeth. This is all part of the normal recovery, and will subside in several days.

Once the local anesthesia wears off, you may require prescription pain medication. Please try non-narcotic anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil®) first, to see if that adequately treats your pain. If not, begin your other prescription pain medication. The local anesthesia may last until the following day, and should not be confused with an injury to your nerve. We recommend starting your post-operative diet with clear liquids such as jello and broths, gradually increasing in substance as your body permits.

We do not recommend using dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream or milkshakes on the day of surgery, as nausea and vomiting may develop in conjunction with the anesthetic and pain medication. If you are given antibiotics and you take birth control pills, please be aware that the birth control pills might become ineffective and take appropriate precautions.

What does wisdom tooth removal cost and is it covered by insurance?

The fee for your treatment is determined by a number of factors. These may include the difficulty involved in removing your teeth and which type of anesthesia is best for you. During your consultation appointment, the surgeon will need to review your x-rays, complete an examination and determine the best option for anesthesia, before an accurate estimate can be provided. Every insurance company has a different policy regarding the extent of coverage for a given surgical procedure. The oral surgeon’s office staff will help you obtain maximum insurance coverage for your treatment.

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 Oral & Facial Reconstructive Surgeons of Utah SLC Office Phone Number 801-262-7447 to speak to one of our patient care coordinators.

Photo of a smiling woman outside

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.

Oral & Facial Reconstructive Surgeons of Utah

5 out of 5 stars based on 33 Wisdom Teeth reviews.

Patient Testimonial by Emilie E

Felt trust and confidence in treatment

- Emilie E

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Jaclynn H

The staff was nice and made sure I was comfortable

- Jaclynn H

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Olivia J

Great experience

- Olivia J

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Drake B

Dr Adams was very patient and kind, and the procedure was quick and painless.

- Drake B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Jessica G

I love how much this entire office took care of me from the consultation, to throughout the surgery, to weeks after my surgery. I haven’t felt this from a doctors office before, let alone one for a surgery, but I felt so cared for the entire time. Makes me wish they did more cosmetic procedures too! This office and Dr. Adam’s will forever be my go to for any oral surgery needs. Will recommend him to everyone I know!

- Jessica G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Tatjana C

I felt I was in good hands. Everyone’s very friendly. The procedure felt quick and easy. Highly recommended!

- Tatjana C

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Bruce M

What could have been an anxiety provoking procedure turned out not to be as bad as I anticipated. This was in large part due to the confidence Dr. Adams and his staff instilled in me.

- Bruce M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by mehgan t

my daughter is recovering very nicely and i feel it is because of the care and concern she received from your office. thanks for all you do.

- mehgan t

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Jessica T

Had a great experience.

- Jessica T

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Maggie A

I was extremely anxious to get my wisdom teeth out, but I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. They were quick and meticulous. I woke up feeling only a bit “out of it” and tired but quickly recovered. Thank you!

- Maggie A

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Vance F

We loved Dr. Gladwell. He was so kind and caring.

- Vance F

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Jim C

Awesome experience for my 17 year old son - thank you so much for; your high level of care, kindness & being available during COVID.

- Jim C

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Caroline K

I only grew one upper wisdom tooth so I chose not to be sedated for it's removal. Dr. Adam's got me comfortably numb and took the tooth out with impressive efficiency. The assistant was very detailed about the post op care instructions and my healing process was better than expected. I was very pleased with the office feel and the care I received. Hopefully I won't have need of an oral surgeon in the future, but if I (or my loved ones) ever do I will NOT go anywhere else!

- Caroline K

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Fern D

I can't think of a bad thing to say. Billing great, reception great, assistant great, doctor great.

- Fern D

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Justin B

Dr. Adams is amazing! In addition to his exceptional clinical care and compassion, Dr. Adams did a fabulous job of connecting with my teenage son and engaging him in the conversation! From convenient appointment times, to friendly staff, to office procedures that made us feel comfortable and safe – this practice gets “5 Stars” all the way around.

- Justin B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Lauren M

They did everything the could to make sure the anesthesia didn't make me sick and it made my recovery so much better. They were very pleasant and took wonderful care of me.

- Lauren M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Amy K

Wisdom surgery for my son. Have another son having his removed next month. Your office was wonderful. Thank you very much!!!

- Amy K

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Becky M

Making an appointment was easy! The staff was friendly - reception desk, nurses, assistants, doctor. We had a pleasant experience!

- Becky M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by AB H

great experience. We will return for any future oral surgery needs.

- AB H

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial by Lesly A

Excellent services and patient care.

- Lesly A

5 out of 5 stars on

Don’t Hesitate To Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Call us: 801-262-7447