If you’ve been told you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted —
Or are experiencing pain or discomfort in any of your wisdom teeth —
Call 314-576-3000 to schedule an appointment. If you’re in pain, we can usually see you the same day you call.
Dr. Peter Pagano has been extracting wisdom teeth for over 35 years. The procedure is far less painful that you’ve probably been told. Please read some of our patient stories below.
Do Wisdom Teeth Always Have to Be Extracted?
Not always. Dr. Pete believes that if wisdom teeth are well aligned, they can be useful for chewing and may be left in place. However, in the majority of people, they do not completely erupt and remain “impacted” in the jaw. In those cases, he’ll advise a wisdom tooth extraction when he sees any of the following:
- The width of the jaws does not allow wisdom teeth to erupt in an alignment that is beneficial for chewing.
- Wisdom teeth are partially erupted, which may allow bacteria to penetrate the gum, causing infection.
- Wisdom teeth are not properly aligned causing crowding or damage to the second molars. This condition makes good oral hygiene difficult and increases the likelihood of cavities and gum disease.
- Development of an operculum, Latin for “little lid,” which is essentially an extension of the gum. This can occur when wisdom teeth have not fully erupted. In many such cases, chewing on food can irritate this operculum causing infection. This condition, called pericoronitis, can result in redness, intense pain, a bad smell and a difficulty of opening the mouth.
Is There a Benefit to Wisdom Teeth Removal Earlier Rather Than Later?
Possibly during adolescence, the roots of wisdom teeth may not be completely formed, making extraction less complicated.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Before having a wisdom tooth extraction done, the Doc will administer appropriate pain prevention to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. Even needle-phobes no longer need worry because Dr Pete’s dental procedure includes first putting a topical numbing agent on the area to be anaesthetized so the needle is never felt.
How soon afterward can you resume your normal activity?
Dr. Pete recommends up to four to five days, but the time varies depending on how impacted the teeth are. One patient returned to work immediately after surgery. Another took the full four days for recovery.
If you or your teen or college-aged student need a wisdom tooth extraction done, call as soon as possible to lock in a summer appointment.
See What Others Say About Their Wisdom Tooth Procedure with Dr Pagano:
After having 2 wisdom teeth pulled in one sitting, I am a happy camper. Dr. Pete was fast and efficient removing the two perpetrators. Afterward there was minimal discomfort in the affected areas, little swelling and complications that could only be attributed to the work done by a skilled professional. Thank you Dr. Pete and Staff.
— Guy M.
Let me just first start off that I was freaking out about this dental procedure, especially because I was not going to be knocked out like everybody else I knew. I was shaking and crying before anything even happened but of course you heard all the horror stories and all I could think was the worst. Dr. Pete calmed me down and explained what he was going to do and why he wasn’t going to knock me out. His lovely assistant held my hand the whole time, poor girl, I thought for sure she would loose all circulation in it but she didn’t complain and smiled at me the whole time. After the 1st 4 shots, I really couldn’t feel much and the next million (I’m exaggerating, but I am very sensitive) nothing at all. Before I knew it, it was over. The very next day, I was walking over and running errands. My roommates couldn’t believe it. They said “you must have an awesome dentist”. I said, “I do, his name is Dr. Pete!”
— E.P. posted on yahoo.com
When I first came to Dr. Pagano’s St Louis office, I was very apprehensive because he was a new dentist (to me). After my consultation and check-up Dr. Pagano informed me that I needed to pull my wisdom teeth, not 1, not 2 but all 3!! I was terrified because I had so many horrible experiences with dentists in the past. He assured me that everything would be fine. During the procedure he talked to me the whole time and kept letting me know what he was doing. This made me feel calm. He would ask me if I felt any pain and I did not. After my wisdom teeth were pulled I didn’t feel any pain nor did I need any pain medication! I’ve heard horror stories from people and their bad experiences with their wisdom teeth being pulled, but I had a good experience and that was due to Dr. Pagano’s skilled and talented hands. He knows what he’s doing and he’s the best! I recommend him to everyone I know and meet. Thank you Dr. Pagano.
— Abby J.