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What Are They?

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to appear in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 14 and 25. Many people develop impacted wisdom teeth — teeth that don’t have enough room to grow into the mouth or develop normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may grow only partially or not at all.


Having wisdom teeth extracted early on can prevent many oral health complications and improve a person’s quality of life. Some of the benefits include:


Reduce Headaches


Prevent Damage to Nearby Teeth


Decreased Risk of Oral Disease


Less Orofacial Pain


Prevent Cysts, Tumors and Jaw Damage


Improve Oral Health


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my Wisdom Teeth are coming in?

Often, your dentist will let you know during a check-up, but if you don’t visit your dentist as regularly as you should, there are other symptoms to look out for. Pain and tenderness in the jaw or swelling around the gums can be a sign. You may even be able to feel or see the wisdom teeth poking through the gums. 

Why do Wisdom Teeth need to be removed?

It’s actually a misconception that all wisdom teeth need to be removed. If they grow in healthy, positioned correctly and without any other complications, then there’s no reason to have your wisdom teeth removed. Today, it’s a rare occurrence that wisdom teeth will grow, in the right position or without complications. For everyone else, impacted wisdom teeth can cause crowding, cavities, gum infection, cysts, or bone loss — requiring removal to ensure no damage is done.

What are impacted Wisdom Teeth?

If your wisdom teeth are impacted or breaking through the gums, this means there is not enough room in your mouth for the wisdom tooth to emerge and develop naturally. This can cause crowding, cavities, gum infection, cysts and more that can damage to your teeth or surrounding structure and can cause considerable pain.

Will I be sedated or put under anesthesia for the procedure?

A patient undergoing wisdom tooth extraction will be provided with a local anesthetic in the infected area. Based on patient needs and doctor recommendations, patients may need sedation. Sedation will likely require thorough review of your health history to avoid risk of complications.

Will this require stitches? How will those be removed?

It may, though it’s not always necessary. If you do require stitches, they will likely dissolve on their own within a week. On the rare occasions this does not happen, a dental visit will be required to have them removed.

What can happen if my Wisdom Teeth are not removed?

Assuming your wisdom teeth are impacted, as most tend to be, can cause a variety of dental problems:  crowding, cavities, gum infection, cysts, or bone loss.

Does getting Wisdom Teeth removed hurt? How is recovery?

There are a variety of anesthetic options available when removing wisdom teeth that should significantly minimize any pain felt during the procedure itself.  Immediately following the procedure, you’ll want to pay close attention to the directions given to you by your doctor in order to manage your pain – this will likely include icing your jaw as well as pain medication depending on your medical history.  The most common cause of pain following the procedure is dry sockets, which may occur four-to-five days after wisdom teeth are removed. On rare occasions, there is some risk of prolonged numbness as well. Patient recovery varies, depending on each patient, how many wisdom teeth were removed and the degree of impaction. For some, they may feel back to normal very quickly, while for others it may take longer. 

What are dry sockets?

Dry sockets occur when the blood clot that forms in the tooth socket is dislodged, exposing the area to air, fluids and food. Symptoms of dry sockets include a dull throbbing ache that does not resolve with pain medication, an unpleasant taste in your mouth and bad breath. Don’t worry if you develop a dry socket, let us know as soon as possible and we will get you in to rinse out the site and treat the area so you can continue to heal.

When can I resume normal activities (eating, working, etc.)

Immediately following your surgery, it’s recommended that you strictly follow your surgeon’s advice and care instructions. Within 24 hours you should be able to resume normal oral activities such as brushing your teeth or gargling. If you smoke, it’s recommended that you wait even longer, as inhaling smoke may cause the blood clot in your socket to burst, potentially causing dry sockets. Returning to work may depend a lot on the level of physical exertion required by your occupation, and the same applies to exercise, which can also aggravate the blood clot. Simpler, more sedentary work activities can otherwise be resumed as soon as you feel up to it, although it’s recommended that you avoid traveling for a few days. 


What Our Patients Say

“I Love My Smile”

Dr. Leach and his team were amazing and made me feel comfortable during my journey of having jaw surgery. He gained my trust quickly because he made sure he discussed all my options and reasons why I needed the surgery. After my jaw surgery, I love my smile and is no longer self-conscious about my jaw or the way my chin looks. I could not have asked for a better team or experience.

Candice C.

“One of the Biggest Fans”

In December of 2019, Dr. Daniel Leach performed an extensive oral surgery on our 19-year-old son. In the 4 to 5 years of preparation for this surgery with our orthodontist, Dr. Loring Ross, we met with many qualified oral surgeons. Our son felt most comfortable and confident with Dr. Leach, as did we. The communication between these two doctors was evident. In layman’s terms, my sons lower jaw was shifted to one ...

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Julie C.

"Love, Care, & Compassion”

Dr. Leach and all of his team treated me great. I received great customer service along with great patient care. Dr. Leach and his wife were great with me throughout this lengthy procedure. Not everyone can do what they do and actually enjoy doing it. Not everyone treats their patients with love, care, and compassion like they do. I felt 0 pain while under their care. They made my procedure as ...

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Emma V.

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4986 Calvin Street

North Charleston, SC 29418

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