Wisdom Teeth Santa Barbara CA

The Extraction Of Wisdom Teeth Is Necessary When They Are Prevented From Properly Erupting Within The Mouth

By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.

The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as wisdom teeth.

Call us today to setup an appointment to have you wisdom teeth removed!

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Oral Examination

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation


With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Hall, Dr. Bienstock or Dr. Jones can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Drs. Hall, Bienstock, and Jones have the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.

Removal of Wisdom Teeth

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit may include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the wisdom tooth removal process, please click the image below. It will launch our educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about wisdom teeth.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

Santa Barbara Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 66 Wisdom Teeth Extraction reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I am just now recovering from very extensive oral surgery including extractions and implants which were performed by Dr. Marc Bienstock and staff. Rave reviews are appropriate for the pleasantness of his staff and the comforting reception I received from the moment that I walked into the office. Dr. Bienstock has a warm and soothing manner and style that put me at ease immediately. He answered all of my questions and explained each of the procedures so completely that I had no doubt that he was absolutely the surgeon for me. On several occasions I needed to reach him by phone and he was always available. The day of surgery, his assistants who did the prepping put me at ease immediately and dissolved any of the tension that I felt when I came to the office. Because I was asleep during the entire procedure, the only memory is of Dr. Bienstock talking to me as he was putting the medication into my arm. The procedure itself was a complete success. I am recovering quickly and with surprisingly little pain or swelling. Of course I followed all of the written instructions that were given to me when I left the office. I cannot imagine any oral surgeon in town being more professional, more personable, more knowledgeable or more skilled than Dr. Bienstock. His reputation as “one of the best” is well founded. I would recommend him to anyone in town who needs any type of dental surgery that he is qualified to render. I was completely pleased with all phases of the procedure.

- Myrna F

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I am just now recovering from very extensive oral surgery including extractions and implants which were performed by Dr. Marc Bienstock and staff. Rave reviews are appropriate for the pleasantness of his staff and the comforting reception I received from the moment that I walked into the office. Dr. Bienstock has a warm and soothing manner and style that put me at ease immediately. He answered all of my questions and explained each of the procedures so completely that I had no doubt that he was absolutely the surgeon for me. On several occasions I needed to reach him by phone and he was always available. The day of surgery, his assistants who did the prepping put me at ease immediately and dissolved any of the tension that I felt when I came to the office. Because I was asleep during the entire procedure, the only memory is of Dr. Bienstock talking to me as he was putting the medication into my arm. The procedure itself was a complete success. I am recovering quickly and with surprisingly little pain or swelling. Of course I followed all of the written instructions that were given to me when I left the office. I cannot imagine any oral surgeon in town being more professional, more personable, more knowledgeable or more skilled than Dr. Bienstock. His reputation as “one of the best” is well founded. I would recommend him to anyone in town who needs any type of dental surgery that he is qualified to render. I was completely pleased with all phases of the procedure.

- Myrna F

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

My 5 children and I have been patients of Dr. Bienstock for many years. He removed my children’s wisdom teeth with virtually no pain, anxiety or complications. When we moved here 9 years ago, I especially needed Dr. Bienstock on several occasions for my neglected teeth. Dr. Bienstock and his office staff are totally devoted and experienced professionals. They love what they do! I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

- AMG

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

My 5 children and I have been patients of Dr. Bienstock for many years. He removed my children’s wisdom teeth with virtually no pain, anxiety or complications. When we moved here 9 years ago, I especially needed Dr. Bienstock on several occasions for my neglected teeth. Dr. Bienstock and his office staff are totally devoted and experienced professionals. They love what they do! I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

- AMG

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

As a local dentist whose patients include many individuals with oral surgery needs (especially in the setting of extractions and implants), I have had the occasion to discuss with my patients their experiences with a variety of oral surgeons and to observe the relevant surgical outcomes. When I found myself to be in need of the advice and care of such a specialist, in a challenging setting involving many of my teeth I sought the help of Dr. Bienstock based on the satisfaction expressed by our mutual patients, the success of their treatments, his surgical skills and judgment, the clarity of his communications and for his gentle and caring approach. I continue to treat with him and can endorse without reservation the quality of his care, his adherence to the highest standards of professionalism and his friendly and helpful staff. Santa Barbara is fortunate to have in Dr. Bienstock an oral surgeon of such talent and thorough dedication to his patients.

- Dr. Ingrid Lawaty

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

As a local dentist whose patients include many individuals with oral surgery needs (especially in the setting of extractions and implants), I have had the occasion to discuss with my patients their experiences with a variety of oral surgeons and to observe the relevant surgical outcomes. When I found myself to be in need of the advice and care of such a specialist, in a challenging setting involving many of my teeth I sought the help of Dr. Bienstock based on the satisfaction expressed by our mutual patients, the success of their treatments, his surgical skills and judgment, the clarity of his communications and for his gentle and caring approach. I continue to treat with him and can endorse without reservation the quality of his care, his adherence to the highest standards of professionalism and his friendly and helpful staff. Santa Barbara is fortunate to have in Dr. Bienstock an oral surgeon of such talent and thorough dedication to his patients.

- Dr. Ingrid Lawaty

5 out of 5 stars on