Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Here you can find:

  • General Description
  • Videos:
  • FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
  • Consent Form you will be asked to sign
  • Postoperative Instructions: ENGLISH
  • Postoperative Instructions: SPANISH; las Instrucciones


Wisdom teeth or third molars are the most common teeth that become impacted, but they are not the only ones to become impacted. IMPACTED means the teeth are stuck for some reason and given all the time in the world they will not fully erupt. Impacted teeth that are close to the surface of the gum carry the risk of infection and may cause bone loss of adjacent teeth. Impacted teeth that are deep in the bone can develop cysts and tumors. Rarely cancers can develop associated with impacted teeth. But not all impacted teeth need to be removed. It depends on the age they are discovered among other factors. Dr. Heffez will be able to tell you if your impacted teeth should be removed.


For the lower wisdom tooth the greatest risk is injury to two nerves: the nerve that goes to t the tongue (Lingual Nerve) and the nerve that goes to the lip, chin, gum, and tongue (Inferior Alveolar Nerve). Both rarely occur because care is taken in the removal of the teeth by cutting them up into little pieces and each piece is gently removed from the socket.

For upper wisdom teeth the greatest risk is creating an opening in the sinus. If this occurs, it is usually caused at the time of surgery.

For a detailed review of the risks, read the CONSENT FORM. If you have any questions, ask Dr. Heffez.

If a wisdom tooth is removed as a teenager, the recovery is very quick. Usually you are fine the next day but feel a bruise inside your mouth and have limited mouth opening or stiffness. The soreness will last 5-7 days depending on the severity of the impaction. If you are in your 30’s, the recovery is longer. You can still return to work after 1-2 days, but you will not feel 100% for about 2 weeks.

Usually, you will be on liquid food for the first day and then, soft food the remainder of the week.

Usually, all four wisdom teeth, if indicated to be removed, are removed at one sitting. Remember not all wisdom teeth may need to be removed. If a wisdom tooth caries a high risk for injury to a nerve in your jaw, then Dr. Heffez may choose to do one side at a time. If all wisdom teeth are removed at one sitting, there ill be only one recuperative phase and one anesthetic.

Yes. The tissue will be submitted for BIOPSY.

Dr. Heffez always uses local anesthesia, that is, he numbs your jaw. If you are awake you will NOT feel any pain but you may feel the pin prick of the anesthetic needle, pressure of extracting the teeth, hear the noise of the drill and the working conversation of Dr. Heffez and the assistant. If you feel these distractions will bother you, then an INTRAVENOUS ANESTHESIA is offered. With this technique you ’wake up’ without being aware of the difficult parts of the procedure.

Impacted teeth are classified according to the amount of work required to remove them. If the teeth are covered with bone, require sectioning or cutting into small pieces and removal of bone, they are considered FULL BONY impacted teeth. Impacted teeth are classified according to difficulty: bony, partial bony, and soft tissue impacted.

Even the ancient Egyptian mummies had wisdom teeth. Most people develop wisdom teeth. A few people are lucky not to develop these teeth. These teeth frequently become impacted because the teeth and jaw are not properly matched. This may occur due to the genetics governing the size of the teeth and jaw in your parents.

Full bony impacted teeth are usually covered under medical insurance, but each insurance plan is different. We will check your insurance by providing a pre-estimate or calling the company.

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