Wisdom Teeth Removal in Westminster, CO

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in the back of your mouth, it could be due to your wisdom teeth.

These teeth, located at the back of the mouth, typically emerge in the late teenage years or early twenties, but they can cause a range of dental problems that require removal.

As an expert oral and maxillofacial surgeon based in Westminster, CO, Douglas Hong, DMD, MD, and his team are here to help. Here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth removal:

What Are Wisdom Teeth and Why Should They Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that emerge at the back of the mouth. Although they can be useful for chewing and grinding food, many people don’t have enough space in their mouth for them to emerge properly.

As a result, they can cause pain, inflammation, infection, and even damage to adjacent teeth. Removing wisdom teeth can prevent these issues and improve overall oral health.

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that fail to emerge through the gum line properly. This can happen when there isn’t enough space in the mouth or when the teeth are growing at an awkward angle.

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, and infection, and may require surgical removal.

Types of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

There are four types of impacted wisdom teeth:

  • Soft Tissue Impaction: There is not enough room to allow the gum tissue to retract for adequate cleaning of the tooth.
  • 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 and creates cleaning problems, among others.
  • Complete Bony Impaction: When there is no sufficient space for a tooth to emerge, it can remain embedded in the jawbone or require complex surgical techniques for removal, even if partially visible. The wisdom tooth may also be positioned abnormally, making it difficult to extract. In some cases, the shape or size of the jawbone and other facial structures can make the removal of impacted wisdom teeth significantly more complex.

If Your Wisdom Teeth Don’t Have Room to Grow, They May Need to Be Removed

Schedule a Consultation Today to Discuss Pulling Your Wisdom Teeth!

What Happens If I Don’t Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

If you don’t remove your wisdom teeth, you may experience a range of dental problems, including:

A representation of a pericoronitis infection on a wisdom tooth


The most frequent clinical problem we see is pericoronitis, (a localized gum infection). Without enough room for total eruption, the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth can become irritated and infected, resulting in recurrent pain, swelling, and problems with chewing and/or swallowing.

An example of a cyst formation on a wisdom tooth

Cyst Formation:

Non-infectious diseases may also arise in association with an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts are fluid-filled “balloons” inside the jaw bone that develop as a result of impacted teeth and slowly expand destroying adjacent jaw bone and occasionally teeth. They can be very difficult to treat if your wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years. Although rare, tumors can be associated with the delayed removal of wisdom teeth.

An illustration of teeth crowding caused by a wisdom tooth

Possible Crowding:

Impacted wisdom teeth may contribute to the crowding of your teeth. This is most noticeable with the front teeth, primarily the lower front teeth and is most commonly seen after a patient has had braces. There are a number of factors that cause teeth to crowd after braces or in early adulthood. Retained, impacted wisdom teeth may be a contributing factor. Unless you have an active problem when you see the oral surgeon, the reason for removal is primarily to prevent long-term damage to your teeth, gums and jaw bone.

A visual of a wisdom tooth damaging an adjacent tooth

Damage to Adjacent Teeth:

If there is inadequate room to clean around the wisdom tooth, the tooth directly in front, the second molar, can be adversely affected resulting in gum disease, bone loss around the tooth, and/or decay.

Benefits of Wisdom Teeth Removal

The benefits of wisdom teeth removal include:

  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • Improved oral health
  • Prevention of dental problems
  • Reduced risk of infection and inflammation
  • Preservation of adjacent teeth

Wisdom Teeth Removal Process

At our Westminster, CO office, we use the latest techniques and technologies to ensure that the wisdom teeth removal process is as quick and painless as possible.

First, we’ll evaluate your mouth and take X-rays to determine the position and condition of your wisdom teeth. We’ll then develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs.

During the procedure, we’ll use local anesthesia or sedation to ensure your comfort. After the procedure, we’ll provide detailed instructions for aftercare and follow-up appointments to ensure a smooth recovery.

Aftercare for Wisdom Teeth Removal

After your wisdom teeth removal, it’s essential to follow our aftercare instructions carefully. This includes:

  • Resting for the first few days
  • Avoiding hard and crunchy foods
  • Applying ice to reduce swelling
  • Taking pain medications as prescribed
  • Rinsing with salt water to promote healing 24 hours after surgery

Wisdom Teeth Removal FAQs

How long does Wisdom Teeth Removal take?

The procedure is expected to be completed in approximately 75 minutes.

When can I resume exercise after Wisdom Teeth Removal?

It is recommended that you wait 3 days after removal before you resume exercise.

When can I resume swimming after Wisdom Teeth Removal?

We recommend waiting at least 1 week; however, more clarification will be provided at your follow-up appointment.

When can I get back to playing on my sports team?

Sprots can be resumed 5 days after wisdom tooth removal.

What’s the waiting period for eating after wisdom teeth removal?

You may eat immediately following wisdom tooth removal; however, you should stick to cool/warm/soft foods for the first few days. You may then advance your diet as you see fit.