Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom Teeth Removal by Fairfax Oral Surgery

5 Northern Virginia locations for convenient wisdom teeth removal surgery.

3rd molars, or ‘Wisdom’ teeth as they are called, are the last molars to develop in your mouth.  Normally a person will start to see the wisdom teeth appear behind the upper and lower second, or 12-year, molars between the ages of 17 and 25.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Most people only develop four wisdom teeth, or 3rd molars. Some people may develop more or less wisdom teeth, all depending on the individual.

They are referred to as ‘wisdom’ teeth because they erupt during young adulthood, or during the ‘Age of Wisdom’ according to 19th century dentists who coined the term.

What Is An Impacted Tooth?

A tooth is considered to be impacted if it is unable to erupt from the gum-line into the mouth. This causes the tooth to grow on an angle towards the other molars and their roots. Not all wisdom teeth are impacted, and not impacted teeth are wisdom teeth, but it’s important to have these teeth removed if they are impacted due to the damage they can do to the rest of your teeth.

Why Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth A Concern?

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain and can contribute to a variety of problems, including:

  • Infection
  • Damage to neighboring teeth and roots
  • Tooth decay
  • Periodontal disease
  • Receding gums
  • Loosened teeth
  • Cysts
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth loss

Frequently Asked Questions

It Starts With An Oral Examination

Typically, most people learn they need wisdom teeth removal from their dentist, who will refer you to an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth removal surgery. However, you may experience an onset of jaw pain or gum swelling that will indicate the need for an extraction. You can call us directly and schedule an appointment without a dentist referral. Patients are typically evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist, or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Drs. Dolan, Silloway, Park, Theberge, Ramsey, Robertson, Liu, Baker and Hur can determine and evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and envision if there are current problems or the possibility of future problems exists. It is important that early evaluation and treatment occurs in order to provide the best possible outcome for the patient.

Before the start of your surgery, your surgeon will thoroughly discuss the procedure with you so that you will know what to expect.  The relative ease with which a wisdom tooth may be removed depends on several conditions, including root development, level of impaction, and position of the tooth.  A wisdom tooth that is more impacted will require a more complicated surgical procedure rather than a wisdom tooth that is not impacted.

A simple non-impacted wisdom tooth removal can take as little as 15 minutes in the chair. An impacted tooth can take longer, depending on the severity of the impaction.

Wisdom teeth can be removed using local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will recommend the anesthetic option that is best for you prior to your surgical procedure.

Depending on the anesthesia you chose, you may feel dizzy and/or drowsy for a short while afterwards.

We strongly recommend having someone come with you on the day of your appointment so that you do not have to drive home. Please remember to take care of any billing or paperwork before your surgery so that you do not have to worry about it afterwards.

After your wisdom teeth are removed you will rest in the office for a period of time so your surgeon and assistant can monitor your condition. Normal symptoms of the healing process include swelling, mild discomfort, and light bleeding. Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully as dry socket can occur.

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  • In Our Patients Words

    “The aftercare was top notch! The entire staff was familiar with my status and Dr. Ramsey was always within reach for anything I needed. I would deeply and whole-heartedly recommend this procedure, the offices of Dr. Ramsey and his staff to all of my friends and family"

    Frank S.,
    All-On-4 Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth taken out within an hour and was fine by the next day. The doctors and team are top tier.

    James Sweet,
    Wisdom Teeth Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    Thanks for making a not-great experience not so bad! I appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness, before and after the procedure. It made a huge difference for me, as I imagine it does for all your other patients. Thank you again.

    Judy Lacourciere,
    Dental Implant Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    Thank you and your team for making what I thought would be a horrible experience a pleasant surprise with my upper implants. I'll be back this year for work on the lower teeth. If I or my family ever needs any type of oral surgery, we know where to go. Thanks again.

    William H. Lovelace,
    Dental Implant Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    I had my wisdom teeth taken out last week by Fairfax Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The office was very professional, very personable and friendly. The procedure went really quickly and the pain/swelling I felt afterwards was minimal/minor compared to some of the horror stories I've heard of wisdom teeth extractions. The doctor walked me through the risks of having one of my impacted teeth removed and what the risks were of not having it taken out. The office also took care of billing my dental and medical insurances for the procedures and at the time of surgery, I just had to pay a deposit, which is MUCH appreciated from other practices that I had looked into where they wanted me to pay for the ENTIRE surgery and it was my responsibility to get my money from the insurance companies.

    Kim N,
    Wisdom Teeth Extraction Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    My husband and I both came to the Fairfax Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery office to get our wisdom teeth surgically extracted. The doctors were great to work with and answered any questions we had.

    Katie Proudfoot,
    Wisdom Teeth Extraction Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    After having a wisdom tooth removed, I developed severe pain a few days later. I called your office, got an immediate appointment and was seen by a dentist within hours. The pain continued and three days later I called again. I was immediately given an appointment and was seen by the doctor even before the time of the appointment! I want to commend your practice since in so many cases a patient is all but ignored when any follow-up is required. Getting immediate appointments and being seen within hours is something you can be very proud of. This is what makes America's medical care the best in the world.

    Dave Stottlemyer,
    Wisdom Tooth Removal Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    Thank you all for making what I thought would be a horrible experience “forgettable”. If I or my family ever needs any type of oral surgery again, we know where to go. Thanks again.

    M. Schutter,
    Oral Surgery Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    I had a wonderfully easy and comfortable experience with my procedure at Fairfax Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Theberge was my oral surgeon and helped me feel at ease with the whole anesthesia process (I was a little anxious). The staff was super friendly and helpful! They put a blanket on me and made sure I felt comfortable. The healing process was quick and I had no problems at all. Overall I highly recommend this office.

    Heather G,
    Oral Surgery Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    Whether it's a complex facial injury that occurs to one of our players during a game or routine care requiring the specialized services of an oral surgeon, the doctors of Fairfax Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery have always been my first choice when any of the Washington Capitals or their family members need specialized care by an Oral Surgeon.

    Thomas Lenz, Jr., DDS, PC,
    Washington Capitals Team Dentist

  • In Our Patients Words

    I had a tooth extracted this morning. I was really dreading it. The doctor and his assistant were just great. They made the whole experience so easy for me. While I hope not to have to do this again anytime soon, if I did, I would immediately call your office for an appointment.

    Catherine,
    Wisdom Teeth Patient

Practicing the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from dental implant surgery and wisdom teeth removal to corrective & reconstructive jaw surgery. Fairfax Oral Surgery proudly serves Fairfax, Centreville, Burke, Reston, Woodbridge and the Counties of Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun, as well as the rest of the Northern Virginia Area.

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