Wisdom Teeth Removal

Many dental health professionals recommend removing wisdom teeth to prevent future dental complications from arising.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Why get wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, develop last in the mouth and usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Unfortunately, they often encounter a lack of space, leading to their forceful pushing through the gum line or growing at awkward angles.

Left untreated, these teeth can cause a number of complications, including:

  • Impaction. The tooth cannot erupt properly because it is stuck in the bone or gum tissue.
  • Infection. When the molars fail to grow properly, they may not receive proper cleaning and can become infected. This can contribute to gum disease.
  • Root damage. Wisdom teeth are so large that they can damage adjacent teeth.
  • Dental crowding. The average mouth can only hold 28 teeth, so when 32 teeth try to squeeze in, it can be problematic.
  • Cysts and tumors. Bacteria and infection can cause tumors or fluid filled sacs, also known as a dentigerous cyst, to form around these teeth.

Impacted wisdom teeth

When a tooth can't properly erupt in the mouth, it may grow at an angle toward your other teeth or even remain trapped beneath the gums and/or stuck in the jaw bone.

When this happens, the tooth is considered to be impacted and can cause many other problems. Learn more about impacted wisdom teeth here. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have impacted wisdom teeth:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away.
  • Pain, swelling, pressure, or sensitivity in the back of your mouth.
  • An unpleasant taste, indicating infection.
  • Jaw pain.
  • Discomfort when opening or closing your mouth.

The wisdom teeth removal process

When you first come to 7x7 Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Specialists of San Francisco, you will meet with one of our experienced oral surgeons. They will listen to your concerns, review and/or order any X-rays or 3D imaging, and determine if it is the right time for your wisdom teeth to be removed.

Your surgeon may use local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, or intravenous (IV) sedation to make you comfortable during the procedure. Your options for anesthesia will be discussed with you during your consultation.

After the anesthesia has taken effect, your surgeon will carefully remove the wisdom tooth. If the tooth has already erupted, it can be extracted just like any other tooth extraction.

Unerupted wisdom teeth must be surgically removed. If the tooth is partially or completely beneath the gums, your surgeon will first make a small cut into the gum tissue where the wisdom tooth is located. They will then remove any of the soft tissue that surrounds the tooth before proceeding with extracting it from its socket in the bone. In some cases, your surgeon may need to break the tooth into section for easier extraction.

Once the tooth has been removed, your surgeon will close the wound with sutures. Gauze may be used to encourage a blood clot to form in the socket, which helps to prevent dry socket, a common complication of wisdom tooth extraction. You will be sent home with detailed post-operative instructions to follow to ensure a smooth recovery.

The wisdom teeth extraction procedure typically takes 30 to 60 minutes.

Recovery from wisdom teeth removal surgery

When it comes to recovering from a wisdom teeth removal procedure, there are several important considerations to help you have a smooth recovery:

  • Monitor progress. It is important to monitor your healing progress following surgery. Your surgeon will send you home with a set of instructions on proper dental care and when to come back in for follow-up visits. It is critical that you follow these instructions closely in order to ensure proper healing and avoid complications such as dry socket or infection.
  • Relieve discomfort. To help minimize discomfort and swelling, your surgeon may recommend applying an ice pack to the area. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, can also help. Your surgeon may prescribe a stronger medication if needed.
  • Minimize risk of infection. It is important to keep the extraction site clean following surgery. You should brush and floss your teeth, but avoid the extraction site for at least 24 hours after. Your surgeon may recommend using a salt water rinse or an antibacterial mouthwash to promote healing and prevent infection.

The cost of wisdom teeth removal in San Francisco, CA

Wisdom tooth extraction procedures vary in cost depending on your insurance coverage, the number of teeth that need to be extracted, the type of anesthesia selected, and more. Our staff works hard to maximize your insurance reimbursement. We offer competitive prices for our area as well as convenient payment plan options.

Visit our West Portal, Van Ness, Westborough, or Stonestown office in San Francisco, CA, for a consultation with one of our oral surgeons and to receive a price estimate.

The value of getting wisdom teeth removed

Sometimes, wisdom teeth grow correctly and pose no problems to your teeth or oral health. However, this is very rarely the case. When wisdom teeth are left untreated, they can cause a that put your oral and overall health at risk. It's recommended to have your or your child's wisdom teeth evaluated by a professional so that the course of action can be determined.

Wisdom teeth FAQ


Wisdom teeth usually don't have enough space to grow properly in the mouth. As a result, they push and grow into other teeth. When this happens, they become impacted and can cause various oral health issues such as infection, tooth pain, overcrowding, cysts, and more.


Common symptoms include ongoing bad breath, bad smell, pain, jaw pain, or sensitivity toward the back of your mouth, or if you can see part of a wisdom tooth poking through your gum line. With regular dental visits, you can often prevent severe complications associated with wisdom teeth. Through the use of X-rays, dentists can identify the presence of wisdom teeth and keep an eye on their progress. When the time is appropriate, your dentist can refer you to an oral surgeon to discuss possible management options for your wisdom teeth.


Every insurance company has a different policy regarding the extent of coverage for any given surgical procedure. Our staff works with you to obtain maximum reimbursement and establish payment plans that work for you.


If wisdom teeth have erupted into the mouth, they may be extracted just like other teeth. If they are below the gums, surgical removal is required.


Some discomfort is to be expected following oral and maxillofacial surgery. However, we offer many forms of anesthesia, including local, IV, and general anesthesia, to ensure your comfort during your procedure. We will also provide post-operative instructions to help you have a smooth recovery.


In general, recovery from wisdom teeth removal takes between 7 and 10 days. However, many patients feel better much sooner than this. We recommend waiting at least 2 days following your procedure before participating in any vigorous activity. Exercising too early could aggravate the blood clot and increase your recovery time and discomfort.


It's normal to experience some swelling and bruising after getting your wisdom teeth removed. The swelling will typically improve after a few days. You can use an ice pack to help reduce swelling.


Contact us in San Francisco to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Find us in San Francisco, CA

We have four convenient practice locations to serve you in San Francisco, CA choose from our West Portal office (on W. Portal Avenue), our Stonestown office (on Buckingham Way), our Westborough office (on Westborough Blvd), or our Van Ness office (on Daniel Burnham Court).