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Weissman Dental - Dr. Sheryl K. Weissman
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Wisdom Tooth Removal Downtown Portland OR

Illustration of an impacted wisdom toothThe term "wisdom teeth" stems from the notion that they emerge later in life, presumably when one has gained wisdom. These molars, also referred to as third molars, have piqued the interest of both patients and dentists for generations. Despite their lofty name, the appearance of wisdom teeth often brings more discomfort than enlightenment.

These tardy arrivals on the dental scene can stir up quite a commotion. Although they may be the last to arrive, they aren't always the most welcome guests. In reality, for many individuals, the emergence of wisdom teeth can be accompanied by various issues, including pain, swelling, and complications with neighboring teeth.

Understanding the Relevance of Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, the final set of molars to emerge at the back of the mouth, typically make their appearance between the ages of 17 and 25. While the term "wisdom teeth" may imply significance, their actual importance in modern dentistry is often debated.

In reality, wisdom teeth are remnants of our evolutionary past, serving a purpose when our ancestors consumed diets requiring more extensive chewing. However, as our diets have evolved to be softer and more refined, the necessity for these additional molars has diminished.

For many individuals, wisdom teeth lack adequate space to erupt properly, leading to impaction, crowding, and misalignment. Consequently, removing wisdom teeth becomes a practical solution to prevent further complications and maintain oral health.

The potential complications associated with wisdom teeth extend beyond discomfort. Impacted wisdom teeth can also elevate the risk of dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even damage to adjacent teeth or bone. In some instances, cysts or tumors may develop around impacted wisdom teeth, exacerbating the problem.

However, some argue that not all wisdom teeth necessitate dental extraction. When these molars erupt fully without causing discomfort or dental problems, they may coexist harmoniously with the rest of the dentition.

Nevertheless, such cases are relatively uncommon, emphasizing the importance of consulting Dr. Weissman to assess the individual's situation.

Indications You Require Wisdom Tooth Removal

As the last set of molars emerge, wisdom teeth often make their presence felt through various signs and symptoms. Following are some common indicators that suggest your wisdom teeth may require attention.

Pain and Discomfort

Pain or discomfort in the back of the mouth is one of the most prevalent signs of problematic wisdom teeth. This discomfort may range from mild to severe and can be persistent or intermittent.

Swelling and Tenderness

Swollen gums around the area where wisdom teeth are erupting are another clear sign of trouble. The gums may appear red, swollen, and tender to the touch, indicating inflammation and potential infection.

Difficulty Opening the Mouth

Impacted wisdom teeth may exert pressure on neighboring structures, leading to difficulty fully opening the mouth. This restriction in jaw movement, known as trismus, can interfere with eating, speaking, and oral hygiene practices.

Unpleasant Taste or Odor

Impacted wisdom teeth can create pockets where food particles and bacteria accumulate, resulting in bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. This can persist despite regular brushing and flossing.

Difficulty Chewing or Biting

Misaligned or impacted wisdom teeth can cause discomfort or pain while chewing or biting down. This discomfort may arise from pressure on neighboring teeth or irritation of the surrounding soft tissues.

Headaches or Earaches

In some cases, problems with wisdom teeth can manifest as referred pain, leading to headaches or earaches. This occurs when discomfort radiates from the jaw to other areas of the head and neck.

Visible Signs of Tooth Decay or Gum Disease

Wisdom teeth that are partially erupted or impacted may be more challenging to clean properly, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Visible signs of decay, such as dark spots or cavities, may indicate the need for extraction.

Recurrent Infections

Impacted wisdom teeth can form pockets that foster bacterial growth, resulting in recurrent infections known as pericoronitis. Symptoms may include swelling, pain, and pus discharge from the gums around the affected tooth.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure

Extracting a wisdom tooth is a routine dental procedure aimed at relieving discomfort and preventing further oral health issues. While the thought of undergoing dental extraction may evoke apprehension, understanding the process can help alleviate concerns and ensure a smoother experience.

Here's what to expect during the extraction procedure:

Consultation and Evaluation

Before the extraction procedure, your dental surgeon will conduct a comprehensive examination of your wisdom teeth and surrounding structures. This may involve taking X-rays to assess the position, size, and orientation of the teeth and identify any potential complications, such as impaction or proximity to nerves.


To ensure your comfort during the extraction procedure, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the affected area. In some cases, particularly for complex or multiple extractions, general anesthesia may be recommended to induce temporary unconsciousness and prevent pain sensation throughout the procedure.

Incision and Access

Depending on the position and condition of the wisdom teeth, your dentist may need to make an incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth and surrounding bone. In cases of impaction, a small portion of bone may also need to be removed to facilitate extraction.


Once access to the tooth is gained, the dentist will carefully loosen it from its socket using specialized instruments such as forceps or elevators. If it is impacted or firmly anchored in the jawbone, the tooth may be divided into smaller pieces for easier removal.


After the wisdom tooth is successfully removed, the dental extraction site may be gently cleaned to remove any debris or bacteria. In some cases, dissolvable stitches may be placed to close the incision and promote healing.
Alternatively, the extraction site may be left open to heal naturally over time. Full recovery after tooth extraction can take up to two weeks.

Schedule Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction with Your Dentist in Downtown Portland, OR

Wisdom tooth extraction is a pivotal step toward maintaining oral health and comfort. Whether you are experiencing wisdom tooth pain or other potential complications, timely intervention is crucial to prevent further issues and preserve oral health.

At Weissman Dental, we are dedicated to providing compassionate dental care and expertise in oral surgery. With a focus on patient comfort and satisfaction, our experienced team is here to guide you through every step of the extraction process. Alongside our commitment to excellence, we emphasize the importance of regular dental cleanings and exams in preventing dental problems and promoting long-term oral health.

For appointments and inquiries, please contact Weissman Dental at (503) 274-2222. Take the first step towards a healthier smile today.

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Impacted Wisdom Tooth Portland OR
Impacted wisdom teeth present certain signs & symptoms - learn more on our website! Getting your wisdom teeth removed is common - call today!
Weissman Dental - Dr. Sheryl K. Weissman, 833 SW 11th Ave # 514, Portland, OR 97205 ^ (503) 274-2222 ^ ^ 6/23/2024 ^ Tags: dentist Portland OR ^