Wisdom Teeth Removal in Salem OR

About Your Wisdom Teeth

The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.” By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth: 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.

To read more about wisdom teeth, view our informative pages below.

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly, and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. Wisdom teeth extraction is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result is swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Do You Want Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain or you want to avoid future problems, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Call us: 503-581-0223

What Happens On The Day Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?

Most people prefer to be unaware of the experience when they have their wisdom teeth removed and usually decide to be sedated. You will be provided with appropriate anesthesia options at your consultation. All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize your comfort.

Our office staff has the training, licensing, and experience to provide various types of anesthesia. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and a well-trained, experienced staff. The Surgical Care Team, the office facilities, and the doctors are inspected on a regular basis on behalf of the Board of Dental Examiners.

On the day of your procedure, you will take medications to help minimize post-operative pain and swelling. We ask that a parent or responsible adult accompany you to the office and plan to stay with you for the rest of the day. The procedure will take about 30 to 60 minutes, and you will probably be in the office for 90 minutes. Recent advances in medicine and technology allow patients to undergo wisdom tooth removal in a manner that promotes rapid healing and minimal post-operative discomfort. State-of-the-art sterilization and infection control techniques are used at all times.

On the morning or afternoon of your surgery, it is essential that you have nothing to eat or drink (excluding prescription medications with a sip of water) for at least 6 hours (preferably longer). This does not mean you should try to fit in one “last meal” exactly six hours before your surgery. Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk of serious anesthetic complications, including nausea and vomiting. Your procedure will be rescheduled if you have not heeded these guidelines.

The Day of Treatment

Be sure to have an adult with you at the time of removal. Following wisdom tooth removal, make plans to have a parent or responsible adult stay with you for the rest of the day.

We may provide you with a prescription for pain medication at your consultation appointment, which can be filled in advance for your convenience. When you are seated in the surgical room, we will make every effort to make you as comfortable as possible. If you are going to be sedated, we usually will place an IV in your left arm. This is a quick and nearly painless procedure that ensures optimal delivery of your medication. Local anesthesia is given to you afterward to ensure comfort and allow adequate time to travel home and rest. You will be sleepy for a significant portion of the day.

If your surgery requires stitches, these usually dissolve in 3 to 5 days and do not require removal. You may also notice a sensation of your gums feeling swollen and pulling away from your teeth. This is all part of the normal recovery and will subside in several days.

Once the local anesthesia wears off, you may require prescription pain medication. Please try non-narcotic anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil®) first to see if that adequately treats your pain. If not, begin your other prescription pain medication. The local anesthesia may last until the following day and should not be confused with an injury to your nerve. We recommend starting your post-operative diet with clear liquids such as jello and broth, gradually increasing the substance as your body permits.

We do not recommend using dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, or milkshakes on the day of surgery, as nausea and vomiting may develop in conjunction with the anesthetic and pain medication. If you are given antibiotics and you take birth control pills, please be aware that the birth control pills might become ineffective and take appropriate precautions.

What Does It Mean To Have An Impacted Wisdom Tooth?

Although most people develop and grow 32 permanent adult teeth, their jaws are often too small to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. When inadequate space prevents the teeth from erupting, they are called impacted. This indicates their inability to erupt into the proper position for chewing and cleaning.


Diagram and X-ray of impacted wisdom teeth

Types Of Impactions

We will need to see you for a consultation to determine if wisdom tooth removal will benefit you. A special X-ray of your mouth and jaws (panorex) will be taken to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room for them to erupt, and how difficult it will be to have them removed.

  • Soft Tissue Impaction: There is not enough room for the gum tissue to retract for adequate tooth cleaning.
  • Partial Bony Impaction: There is enough space to allow the wisdom tooth to partially erupt. However, the tooth cannot function properly in the chewing process, which creates cleaning problems, among other things.
  • Complete Bony Impaction: There is NO space for the tooth to erupt. It remains embedded in the jaw bone or, if even partially visible, requires complex surgical techniques for removal. The impacted wisdom tooth may also be in an unusual position and difficult to remove. This situation can also arise when the shape or size of the jaw bone and other facial structures make the removal of this tooth significantly more complex.
Soft tissue tooth impaction diagram
Soft Tissue
Partially bony tooth impaction diagram
Partial Bony
Complete bony tooth impaction diagramComplete Bony

Why Choose Us for Your Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Dr. Swiderski has been performing third molar surgery (also referred to as wisdom teeth removal) for over 12 years in the Salem, Oregon, area. In addition to routine wisdom teeth removals, he is one of the few surgeons in the Willamette Valley who performs a unique procedure referred to as coronectomy—a treatment performed on complex impacted lower third molars that are at high risk for nerve injury.

Alongside Dr. Swiderski‘s many years of experience and high level of skill, we pride ourselves on our incredible staff & modern technology. Our surgical assistants are certified by the Dental Anesthesia Assistant National Certification Examination (DAANCE) and our Salem Oregon office has state-of-the-art anesthesia equipment. Rest assured you are in capable and safe hands.

Do You Want Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain or you want to avoid future problems, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Call us: 503-581-0223

Frequently Asked Questions about Wisdom Teeth Removal

Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery use anesthesia?

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Swiderski has the training, license, and experience to provide various types of anesthesia so that patients can experience the best outcome.

In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed under nitrous oxide (laughing gas) analgesia or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (e.g., sensory nerve damage and sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and experienced staff in anesthesia techniques.

What Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Cost, And Does Insurance Cover It?

A number of factors determine the fee for your treatment. These may include the difficulty involved in removing your teeth and which type of anesthesia is best for you. During your consultation appointment, the surgeon will need to review your X-rays, complete an examination, and determine the best option for anesthesia before an accurate estimate can be provided. Every insurance company has a different policy regarding the extent of coverage for a given surgical procedure. The oral surgeon’s office staff will help you obtain maximum insurance coverage for your treatment.

What If I Have Questions Before Surgery?

Your specific situation will be discussed in greater detail during your consultation. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have. If new questions arise after your consultation, please call our office at Oral Surgery Office in Salem office Phone Number 503-581-0223 to speak to one of our patient care coordinators.