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If the thought of having your wisdom teeth removed makes you start to sweat, you’re not alone.

For lots of people, anything involving going to the dentist is a nightmare. The good news? Wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure with a typically quick recovery — and it might give you reason to grab an ice cream scoop or two when it’s over.

At Cleveland Clinic, we’ll guide you step by step through the process and make you feel as comfortable as possible.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

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Collaborative care:

Our dental specialists work together as a team and with your other healthcare providers to manage your care — all in one place — and with easy access to your electronic medical record. Meet our team.

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Specialized knowledge:

Our team often sees patients who are waiting to have or have had medical treatments, including radiation to the head or neck, an organ transplant or heart surgery. These patients usually feel more comfortable having their wisdom teeth taken out in a hospital setting.

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Caring approach:

We understand that dental procedures might be intimidating and scary. Feeling anxious is a real thing. Our specialists get it and will do everything they can to make sure your experience is a good one.

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National recognition:

U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s top hospitals. And in 2021, Newsweek named us one of the world’s top hospitals.

Wisdom Teeth Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic

If your wisdom teeth haven’t come in yet, dental X-rays and an exam of your teeth and gums will help your dentist see if your wisdom teeth are impacted (stuck under your gums). Your dentist will also ask if you’re having pain in the back of your mouth. Besides being impacted, other reasons your dentist might recommend getting your wisdom teeth removed include:

  • Gum disease around your molars.
  • Cavities in a wisdom tooth that hasn’t completely popped through your gums.
  • Food trapped around your wisdom teeth (also called food entrapment).
  • Cyst (fluid-filled sac) around a wisdom tooth.
  • Damage to nearby healthy teeth or surrounding bone.
  • Prevention against future gum disease and tooth decay.

If your dentist recommends removing your wisdom teeth, they’ll likely refer you to an oral surgeon for a consultation. If you have impacted wisdom teeth, the surgeon will take more dental X-rays to see exactly where they are beneath your gums.

You and your surgeon will also discuss the type of anesthesia that’s best for you — local anesthesia (to numb your mouth), IV sedation (anesthesia given through your vein to produce a twilight sleep) or general anesthesia (to lose consciousness completely).

Wisdom Teeth Removal at Cleveland Clinic

Wisdom teeth removal is typically an easy procedure done in a single office visit. Here’s what to expect:

  • If your wisdom teeth have already grown in, we can simply remove each tooth from its socket.
  • If you have impacted wisdom teeth, your oral surgeon will make an incision (cut) in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and then remove it. If bone covers the tooth, your surgeon will remove enough bone to get to the tooth and take it out.

Afterward, your surgeon will typically stitch the incision (cut) and pack the empty space with gauze.

Recovery and Aftercare

After the procedure, you’ll get time to recover before you leave the office. You may feel mild discomfort, slight bleeding and swelling. You must have an adult family member or friend take you home. Your oral surgeon will give you detailed instructions that will help you continue to recover quickly at home.

Taking the Next Step

Taking good care of your teeth and mouth is an important part of staying healthy. And don’t be afraid if your dentist says it’s time to take out your wisdom teeth. Talking to your dentist about the procedure — and if it’s right for you — can help ease those nerves.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s wisdom teeth experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s wisdom teeth experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


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