Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars in the back of your mouth. They usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25, and they're spotted on X-rays. Most people have them removed for one of these reasons:
• They’re impacted. Because they're so far back in your mouth, wisdom teeth may not come in normally. They can be trapped in your jawbone or gums, which can be painful.
• Your wisdom teeth may come in at the wrong angle. They may press against your other teeth.
• Your mouth isn’t large enough. Your jaw has no room for an extra set of molars.
• You have cavities or gum disease. You may not be able to reach your wisdom teeth with your dental floss or toothbrush.
Your surgery should take 45 minutes or less.
You’ll get one of these types of anesthesia so you don’t feel pain during the removal:
• Local: Your doctor will numb your mouth with a shot of Novocaine in your gums. You may also breathe nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to relax or even doze off during surgery. You should feel alert again shortly afterward.
• IV sedation: The surgeon will numb your mouth and give you drugs through a vein in your arm to make you drowsy. You might sleep during the whole procedure.
• General: You’ll either get drugs through a vein or breathe gas in through a mask. You’ll be asleep the whole time and might not wake up for an hour or so after the surgery.