Wisdom Teeth Extractions

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom Teeth Extractions is the easiest surgical procedure performed by Dr. Schmitz. Commonly known as Wisdom Teeth (Mandibular Third Molars). Wisdom teeth are the last molars to erupt in the mouth. They usually begin coming in between the ages of 14 to 25 or older “coming of age time period” in a person’s life. Wisdom teeth cause problems as people age. Approximately 85% of wisdom teeth need to be removed. Most adults have four wisdom teeth, some adults may have more or less.


Early humans had a rougher diet.That diet created wear on their teeth making it spatially possible for them to keep and use their wisdom teeth. With our current diet and the desire to have orthodontic teeth straightening, humans now produce a fuller arch in the jaw, creating less room for wisdom teeth to grow.

Why Do They Get Impacted?

A tooth becomes impacted when there is a lack of space in the dental arch. The tooth grows on an angle towards the other molars and their roots or toward the jaw. This impaction can cause a lot of pain for the individual and leads to infection (See Figure 1).

The wisdom tooth can also crowd or damage the adjacent molar and its roots (See Figure 2), or damage the jaw bone and its nerves. As the wisdom tooth is growing toward adjacent teeth it traps plaque and debris. Teeth are more vulnerable to decay.


Wisdom teeth will cause problems as patients age. Wisdom teeth need to be removed in 85% of all cases.. Dr. Schmitz may recommend that your wisdom teeth are removed before they begin to cause problems in your mouth. Avoiding a more complicated procedure in the future.

What Does Removing My Wisdom Teeth Require?

The position of the tooth and root development determines the ease of wisdom tooth removal. A wisdom tooth that has fully cut through the gum can be as easily extracted. A wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums and pushed into the jawbone will require an incision into the gums and removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth. In this case, the tooth will be extracted in sections minimizing the amount of bone removed.

Most wisdom teeth extractions require a local anesthesia (an injection to numb the gum around the tooth being extracted, just like any other extraction), IV anesthesia may be used helps ease any anxieties you may have. Dr. Schmitz will discuss with you what type of anesthesia is best for your needs.

What Do I Need to Do During Recovery?

After your wisdom teeth are removed you may experience some swelling and mild discomfort. These are normal symptoms and are part of the healing process. Here is what to expect after the procedure.

The First 24 Hours

Bleeding: likely occurs for several hours. Place a piece of clean moist gauze or moistened tea bag over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly to control bleeding. Do this for about 45 minutes. The tannic acid in tea helps blood clots (similar to a scab on an open wound) to form. Avoid rinsing, spitting or sucking actions for 24 hours after wisdom teeth are removed. Do not smoke, and avoid hot liquids (such as soup or tea). These activities can cause the clot to dislodge and cause dry socket.

Facial Swelling:  Apply a cold compress to ease the swelling and pain. Place the compress or ice (in a wrapped cloth) on the area of your face for 10-minutes on, followed by 20-minutes off. Repeat as necessary during this first 24-hour period.

Pain Medications: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) manage pain. We may prescribe more potent pain relievers when necessary.

Food: Avoid hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours. When the extraction is more difficult, you will need to consume a soft or liquid diet for at least 24 hours after we removed your wisdom teeth.

Brush your Teeth: You need to continue to brush your teeth. Avoid brushing into the socket. Do not use commercial mouth rinses because these can irritate the area of extraction.

Antibiotics: prescribed prior to removing your wisdom teeth (to treat any infection around the wisdom tooth).  Continue to take until you afinish the full prescription.

After 24 Hours

Facial Swelling: Manage facial swelling with heat after the first 24 hours. Use a moist warm towel and apply it to the area on a 20-minute on, 20-minute off schedule. Repeat as necessary.

Rinse your mouth with Warm Salt Water: Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water before bed and after meals. Do not use commercial mouth rinses.

Complete Healing: will not occur for a few weeks to a few months following the removal of your wisdom teeth. Within the first week or two, you will feel reasonably comfortable because enough healing has taken place. We will explain what to expect regarding your healing process.


Dr. Schmitz practices the following Oral and Maxillofacial Procedures in San Antonio, Texas: Facial Cosmetic Surgery, Dental Implants, Wisdom Teeth, All-On-4 Technique and Corrective Jaw Surgery.