Wisdom Teeth

Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery

Northern Virginia Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Surgeons located in Burke, VA, Reston, VA & Alexandria, VA

Some people regard the appearance of their wisdom teeth as a right of passage into adulthood. For most, however, they’re just a source of unwanted and unnecessary pain. The team of dental experts at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery provides patients with easy, safe, and effective wisdom teeth extractions to keep their smiles beautiful and healthy. To learn more, schedule a visit by phone or online at one of the locations in Burke, Reston, or Alexandria, Virginia.

Wisdom Teeth Q & A

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars and typically the last teeth to erupt in your smile. They’re called wisdom teeth because they usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25 when you’re expected to have attained wisdom. 

For modern humans, wisdom teeth don’t serve much of a purpose. They were more necessary for early humans when diets and cooking technologies were different. Some people can keep their wisdom teeth, but most people don’t have enough room in their mouths, causing impaction, or stuck under the gumline. There are three different types of impaction:

Soft tissue impaction

Your wisdom tooth erupts through your jawbone but doesn’t fully penetrate your gum, leaving the crown of your wisdom tooth either fully covered or only partially exposed.

Partial bony impaction

Your wisdom tooth has partially erupted through your jawbone, but some or most of it is still stuck beneath the bone.

Complete bony impaction

Your wisdom tooth is entirely submerged beneath your jawbone.

Do I need my wisdom teeth extracted?

Some of the more common dental problems associated with wisdom teeth include:


Your smile might not have enough room for an extra set of molars, which can put pressure on your other teeth and lead to their misalignment.

Damage to nearby teeth

The teeth directly next to your wisdom teeth (your second molars) can frequently be affected by the emergence or impaction of your wisdom teeth, leading to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and possible bone loss.


If your wisdom teeth are partially impacted, they’re highly susceptible to trapping food and bacteria in your gum tissue, which can lead to a dangerous and painful infection.


Cysts and tumors can occasionally form in the areas of your smile around impacted wisdom teeth, though this is a less common concern.

What’s involved in wisdom teeth removal?

The team at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery, first conducts an examination of your smile to determine whether your wisdom teeth are posing enough of a threat to your smile to necessitate extraction. They visually examine your smile and take panoramic or digital X-rays to aid in their evaluation. 

If extraction is the best course of action, your oral surgeon removes your wisdom teeth in a relatively straightforward outpatient procedure. The procedure typically takes place under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia You can expect a full recovery within one week.

Begin your wisdom tooth assessment today by scheduling an appointment with the team of experts at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery. You can book your visit by phone or online.