Young woman holding her jaw in dental pain

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth can cause pain and a variety of oral health problems.

Wisdom teeth removal can prevent decay, infection, and pain. Fortunately, the procedure can be fast and virtually painless.

Dr. Matt Dillard in Charleston, SC, can help you take preventive measures and remove your or your child's wisdom teeth.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are third molars that typically emerge in your late teens or early twenties, making them the last adult teeth to erupt. Most people have two wisdom teeth on the top and two on the bottom, but one or three wisdom teeth are also common.

Some wisdom teeth erupt without any problems, and if you have the space for them, you can keep them. However, it's more likely that your wisdom teeth will have to be removed.

There is rarely a functional need for wisdom teeth, so removing them won't lead to any problems, and they will not need to be replaced with dental implants.

X-ray of impacted wisdom teeth

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Your wisdom teeth can cause problems and will have to be extracted if:

  • You don't have enough space in your jaw to support them
  • They're erupting at an incorrect angle
  • You have cavities or gum disease because you can't reach your wisdom teeth to clean them
  • They're trapped in your jawbone or gums

In other extraction cases, we recommend dental implants, but no restorative work is necessary for wisdom teeth.

Let Us Help You With Your Wisdom Teeth!

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of pain and lead to infection, so it's best to have them removed as soon as your dentist or oral surgeon recommends it. Our office takes on all kinds of wisdom teeth removal cases, even if your teeth are impacted.

Dr. Dillard is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon who can comfortably remove your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can cause a lot of pain, so our friendly staff will do their best to schedule you an appointment as soon as possible.

We have dentistry offices located in Charleston and Walterboro, SC, so you can choose an office that's convenient for you. Fill out our online contact form or call us at:

(843) 410-5766

Hear From Our Wisdom Teeth Patients


Rudy Polito


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Had to get a tooth pulled. The staff and Dr Dillard were very professional. An excellent job.

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Jon Kaufman


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Great overall experience. Dr. Dillard and the team were friendly and did a great job with my wisdoms tooth extraction. Highly recommend

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How Do I Know If I Need Wisdom Teeth Removal?

If you schedule regular dental exams with a dentist, they will routinely take X-rays to determine if you'll need your wisdom teeth removed. Your dentist can then refer you to our Charleston or Walterboro, SC, offices, where Dr. Dillard can proceed with your wisdom teeth removal.

However, you should always be on the lookout for other signs that you may need wisdom teeth removal:

  • Bad breath or a persistent bad taste
  • Swollen and painful gums
  • Cavities
  • Sinus pain, headaches, or congestion
  • Crooked teeth

The Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Removal At Our Charleston and Walterboro, SC, Offices

Pain Relief

Impacted or otherwise problematic third molars can be very painful. Eating, sleeping, and performing daily activities can become challenging when a wisdom tooth needs to be removed. Tooth extraction at our Charleston, SC, office can alleviate this pain.

Save Money

A third molar that is impacted or is irregular can cause your neighboring molars and other teeth to shift. This can lead to the need for more extensive and costly dental treatments. Removing your wisdom tooth before it causes major issues can save you money while protecting your oral health.

Improve Oral Hygiene

Shifting teeth are harder to clean than properly aligned teeth. Meanwhile, wisdom teeth themselves are harder to clean than other teeth due to their location in the back of the jaw. Removing wisdom teeth makes it easier to maintain clean, healthy teeth.

Comfortable Treatment

Some patients may assume wisdom teeth removal is painful. However, Dr. Dillard uses local anesthesia to numb the treatment site and virtually eliminate pain. If you have trouble sitting still or have dental anxiety, ask about our sedation options. 

What Exactly Is an Impacted Tooth?

An impacted tooth is a tooth that has failed to break through the gums, leaving it stuck in limbo, unable to erupt and become fully functional. As it is stuck, an impacted tooth has no beneficial oral function. To make matters worse, such a tooth can develop harmful infections.

While wisdom teeth are most likely to be impacted, any tooth has the potential to become impacted. No matter the tooth, our surgical center can handle its removal. For example, we often remove impacted maxillary cuspids (upper eye teeth or canines). These are the second most commonly impacted teeth. They may become impacted when they are blocked by baby teeth that have not fallen out. In these cases, we can remove the tooth causing the blockage, allowing the impacted tooth to grow in correctly.

illustration of an impacted wisdom tooth

Early Treatment Is Ideal

When an impacted tooth begins to grow in, it does not yet have fully developed tooth roots. This makes it easier to remove without encountering complications and paves the way for a simpler recovery. 

The American Association of Orthodontists states that by age 7 a child should have their teeth evaluated with a a panorex radiograph and dental examination. Maxillary cuspids typically come in by age 13. Wisdom teeth commonly grow in between the ages of 17 and 21.

If newly impacted teeth are identified around any of these ages, we can intervene as soon as possible to reroute the mouth towards proper oral health. To receive early diagnoses and incisive intervention, reach out to our team to request your consultation. We perform removals at both our Charleston and Walterboro offices.

(843) 410-5766

Certified By  The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Dr. Dillard earned prestigious board certification by passing a 300 question qualifying examination followed by the completion of a 144-minute oral certifying examination.

It Pays to Be Proactive Discuss Your Wisdom Teeth with an Oral Surgeon

Dr. Dillard is an oral surgeon who has helped many patients overcome serious oral health issues requiring tooth extraction. In fact, many dentists in the Lowcountry region refer their patients to us when they require oral and maxillofacial surgery

If you are suffering pain due to a problematic wisdom tooth, or have a teenager and want to explore the possibility of preventive extraction, contact Oral & Implant Surgery of the Lowcountry. Our knowledgeable, caring, and qualified staff are dedicated to providing the right solution for your needs. Request a consultation at our Charleston or Walterboro, SC, offices through our website, or call:

dentist's office

Charleston Patients Appreciate
Our Gentle Approach

"I had my wisdom teeth out and had the best people there with me. They treat you so good and are like your own family! I Definitely recommend Dr. Dillard!" Caitlin McCallister

What's the Removal Procedure Like?

Dr. Dillard is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, so you can feel confident that you're receiving top-notch care from a professional. He'll do everything he can to make sure you or your child is comfortable throughout the procedure.
We are dedicated to your health and well-being and committed to providing the latest surgical techniques to help our patients reach their goals.
We are dedicated to your health and well-being and committed to providing the latest surgical techniques to help our patients reach their goals.


Your oral surgeon will first take X-rays to see how many wisdom teeth you have and determine the best way to extract them.


Anesthesia will be administered to keep you comfortable for the duration of the procedure. In addition to local anesthesia, we also offer sedation dentistry if you're anxious about dental procedures.


If the tooth hasn't come through the gum, your surgeon will first have to remove some soft and hard tissue to access it.


Using dental tools, your oral surgeon will remove the tooth from its socket, separating the tooth into segments, if necessary.


Your oral surgeon will then suture your gums closed and place gauze to minimize bleeding and encourage a blood clot to form.
You're free to go home after your extraction, but make arrangements to have someone drive you since you'll need to rest for the remainder of the day until the effects of the anesthesia wear off.

Our Sedation Makes Removal Painless

Our Charleston team offers two separate types of sedation dentistry that alleviate anxiety and numb pain throughout the wisdom tooth removal process.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, our less powerful form of sedation, is often referred to in layman's terms as laughing gas. Applied through a mask, nitrous oxide travels through the bloodstream into the lungs, reaching the central nervous system to produce a dream-like state that makes you feel sleepy and relaxed. 

Nitrous oxide allows you to remain awake throughout your procedure and its effects wear off shortly after wisdom tooth removal, allowing you to safely drive yourself home from our office.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is our strongest pain-relieving option. It is administered through an IV placed directly in your vein, making it fast-acting. Under its effects, you will likely fall asleep almost immediately and remain unconscious throughout removal, making it ideal for high dental anxiety and complex needs. 

IV sedation is highly adjustable throughout the procedure, allowing our experts to tailor its use based on your reaction and comfort levels. Due to its strength, you will be unable to drive yourself home so you will need to arrange transportation.

When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

You may think that wisdom teeth extraction can be put off, but the younger you are when you have the procedure, the better. The optimal time to have your wisdom teeth removed is between the ages of 18 and 24. When you're young, the bone around your teeth is softer and the tooth roots haven't completely formed yet. These factors minimize pain and the chance of damaging nerves.

Why You Should Consult an Oral Surgeon  About Your Wisdom Teeth

Oral surgeons specialize in complex dental treatments like impacted teeth, bone grafting, and dental implant placement. Thanks to their advanced training and proficiency in complicated procedures, oral surgeons can minimize the risks associated with wisdom tooth removal and are more likely to provide you with a successful outcome.

If you have an impacted wisdom tooth or have a teenager who is expecting their first wisdom tooth, contact Oral & Implant Surgery of the Lowcountry in Charleston or Walterboro, SC, through our website or call:

(843) 410-5766

Dr. Dillon

We're Here for Charleston

"My 89 year-old Dad had to have eight teeth extracted. Dr. Dillard and his staff did an excellent job and showed him great respect and were so kind and courteous!  I highly recommend this team to anyone needing any kind of dental surgery!" Elaine Helm, 5-Star Review, 2023

Wisdom Teeth Removal Is Common

85 Percent of People Need Their Wisdom Teeth Removed
*According to Crest

Hearing from your dentist or oral surgeon that you need your wisdom teeth removed may make you feel anxious, but you don't have to let your anxiety keep you from achieving optimal oral health! According to a study done by Crest, 85% of people need to have their wisdom teeth removed during their lifetime. It's a common procedure, so you can rest assured that your teeth can be removed with minimal discomfort.

Charleston Turns to Us

"EXCELLENT people and very professional! I recommend Dr. Dillard for your needs and he will definitely correct your problem.  Thank you to his staff and to Dr. Dillard!" Brian Kale, 2021 5-Star Review

How a Wisdom Tooth Causes Misalignment

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

You may be able to keep your wisdom teeth if they're healthy, grown in completely, positioned correctly, don't interfere with other teeth when you bite, and can be cleaned regularly.

However, if your wisdom teeth need to be removed and you put off the procedure, you may experience problems like:

  • Overcrowding
  • Misalignment (even after orthodontics)
  • Damage to surrounding teeth
  • Extensive tooth decay
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Cysts and benign tumors
  • Gum disease

Risks Associated With Wisdom Tooth Removal

While tooth extractions are very safe when performed by a qualified practitioner, it's important to understand that there are risks associated with removing wisdom teeth:

Dry Socket

After a wisdom tooth is removed, a blood clot forms where the tooth once was. A dry socket occurs when a blood clot becomes dislodged. Without the blood clot, the socket cannot heal correctly, and results in significant pain. Dry socket can be avoided by not smoking or using straws as you heal following your procedure. Contact our Charleston, SC, dentistry practice right away if you believe you have a dry socket. 


The wisdom tooth extraction site could become infected. If you are experiencing pronounced swelling, discharge from the treatment site, or bleeding that persists for longer than 24 hours, it's important to contact your oral surgeon right away.

Nerve Damage 

During a tooth extraction, nerves close to the tooth root can become bruised or damaged. This can cause numbness and a loss of sensation around the extraction site for several days. A trusted oral surgeon like Dr. Dillard has more experience in wisdom tooth removal and can take measures to minimize the risk of nerve damage resulting from wisdom tooth removal.

As a patient of Oral & Implant Surgery of the Lowcountry in Charleston, you can expect that we will take every measure to minimize the risk of complications resulting from wisdom tooth removal. We not only use advanced techniques and adhere to the strictest sterilization standards, but also provide ample patient education so you will know how to care for yourself during the healing period.

How Much Does It Cost?

Wisdom teeth removal is often a necessary procedure that can prevent the need for additional procedures in the future.

Since wisdom teeth removal is often necessary, your insurance should at least contribute to the cost. However, Dr. Dillard and the rest of our staff in Charleston, SC, understand that not everyone has insurance, so we offer in-house payment plans so you can afford this treatment. We also work with CareCredit®, a financing company that allows patients to pay for their dental care in affordable monthly installments.

dr. dillard

Oral & Implant Surgery of the Lowcountry

Dr. Matt Dillard is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon dedicated to your health and well being. He is highly trained in the diagnosing and treating oral health issues of the jaw, mouth, teeth, and face and performs procedures such as dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, and bone grafting at his state-of-the-art practices in Charleston and Walterboro, SC. He also offers emergency dentistry and affordable financing through CareCredit.

Affiliations include:

  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • American Dental Association

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Dillard use our simple online form or call us anytime at (843) 410-5766. We look forward to meeting your smile.

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