Wisdom Teeth

West Hill Family Dental Wisdom Treatment

Wisdom teeth are a type of molar. Molars are the large chewing teeth found in the back of your mouth. Most people have three molars in each quadrant of their mouth. The last molars, or third molars, are the wisdom teeth. They’re called “wisdom teeth” because they come in late, during early adulthood, when people are “wiser” than they were as children. For most people, wisdom teeth come in between age 18 and 24. If there is not enough room in the mouth, the teeth will never fully erupt and become impacted.  Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems and often times need to be removed surgically.

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Types of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

A wisdom tooth is considered impacted when it fails to fully erupt, or emerge into its expected position. Failure to erupt may occur because of multiple reasons. First, there is not enough room in your jaw to accommodate the tooth. Second, the tooth’s eruption path is obstructed by other teeth. Finally, the angulation of the tooth is improper. These types of impactions are described by the following terms:

  • Mesial Impaction – the tooth is angled forward, toward the front of the mouth. This is the most common type of impaction.
  • Vertical Impaction – has a normal vertical orientation.
  • Horizontal Impaction – has an alignment where the tooth is lying on its side.
  • Distal Impaction – has an angulation that is generally directed towards the rear of the mouth.

In combination with the four types of impactions, wisdom teeth are also categorized as soft tissue or bony impactions. 

  • Partially Impacted – the upper portion of a wisdom tooth (the crown) has penetrated through the bone, but has not fully erupted through the gum tissue.
  • Bony Impaction – or “fully” impacted, is when the tooth still lies mostly within the jawbone. A full-bony impaction is entirely encased by bone tissue.

What Causes Wisdom Teeth Impaction?

The answer to this question is not always so easy. The most common answer is there is not enough jawbone space behind a person’s second molar to accommodate a third molar. What causes this lack of space is not fully understood. People with larger teeth and smaller jaws are more likely to have impacted wisdom teeth.

Am I a Good Candidate for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

There are several scenarios the make people good candidates for wisdom teeth removal:

  • Pericoronitis Infection – refers to a bacterial infection in the soft tissue that surrounds the crown portion of a partially erupted tooth.
  • Tooth Decay – If a partially erupted wisdom tooth has excessive decay that cannot be easily treated.
  • Gum Disease Risk – When a partially erupted wisdom tooth has a portion of gum tissue that lies over the chewing surface it can be impossible to access and clean the tooth, resulting in an increase in caries risk.
  • Pain – pressure from wisdom teeth pressing against your other teeth and nerves in order to find room.
  • Poorly Positioned – The final position of the erupted tooth can cause problems with the cheeks when chewing.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure

Before surgery, you’ll meet with the surgeon and talk about the process, expectations as well as review medical and dental history. You’ll discuss any health problems and go over any medications you’re taking. You’ll have a chance to ask any questions you have about the surgery.

During the Surgery – The surgery will usually take one hour or less. You will receive one of three types of anesthesia: Local, IV, or General. Local anesthesia includes only numbing your tooth and the surrounding tissue. It may include the use of nitrous oxide to help you relax. With IV sedation your mouth will be numbed and you’ll also receive a drug through a vein in your arm to make you drowsy. If you receive general anesthesia you will be asleep the whole time and will usually be in a hospital setting.

After the Surgery – Everyone responds differently to anesthesia. If you received local anesthesia, you’ll feel alert and might be able to drive home on your own. If you had IV or general anesthesia, you’ll need someone to drive you home. Under most circumstances, you will experience some pain and swelling post-surgery. Dr. Hemphill may decide to prescribe some pain medication if indicated. Your mouth will need a few weeks to completely heal.

Care of Mouth After Extraction:
1. Do Not Rinse Mouth Day of Extraction – Rinsing your mouth should be done at least 24 hours after the extraction. Gently rinse your mouth with a glass of warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon salt per glass of water). Rinse gently after meals and multiple times per day.
2. Bleeding – Following extractions some bleeding is to be expected. If persistent bleeding occurs, place gauze pads over the bleeding area and bite down firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
3. Swelling – Some swelling is not uncommon. Ice bag or chopped ice wrapped in a towel should be applied to the operated area for 30 minutes every 4 hours as needed.
4. Pain – most of the time there will be some discomfort. non-aspirin types of medications will be best if there are no medical contraindications. Ask Dr. Hemphill what pain medication will be best for you.
5. Food – soft, cool, mushy foods will be best for the first couple of days. Avoid hot foods and liquids as these will encourage bleeding from the extraction site. Avoid foods with tiny seeds that might get up inside the socket. Avoid using a straw when drinking.
6. Smoking – No smoking allowed after the first 48 hours. Smoking may cause the clot to bleed as well as cause inefficient healing.
7. Bony edges – small bone fragments are common and my show up around the extraction site at any time. These are not roots of the tooth. If they bother you, please make an appointment to return to have Dr. Hemphill remove them from your tissue.

What Our Patients Say

  • patient-review
    West Hill Family Dental has been serving my entire family for 10 years. They have always been great and treat us like family. I will continue to use them because of the high level of care and comfortable atmosphere.
    Jim Barilla
  • patient-review
    Today was my first visit with West Hill Family dental. The staff was awesome! So warm and welcoming! I felt at home the moment I walked in the door. Melissa (hygienist) was awesome and very sweet. Dr. Hemphill was very personable. I am a nervous Nelly with the dentist but they really helped me feel comfortable.
    Nicole Sousa Ribeiro
  • Jorge Gallo
    "Going to the Dentist," isn't something most folks look forward to. Fortunately, the Team at West Hill Family Dental makes that experience an enjoyable event with a friendly, thoughtful and genuinely concerned approach to both routine care and one-off emergencies. The atmosphere is relaxed and positive; everything from scheduling to changes is accommodated with little fuss and a genuine enthusiasm to see you at the next opportunity. And the overall quality of care, execution and attention to customer needs are unmatched by most practices, and certainly by the cookie-cutter pop-ups that abound elsewhere. Highly recommended, family-oriented and very professional in every aspect of care and delivery - they're definitely on the list of recommendations to new residents and neighbors!
    Jorge Gallo
  • patient-review
    In the past I have had bad experiences with dentist and I have switch many times and I think I have finally found my forever home. Kim and Monica at the front desk are amazing they make sure that if you have any concerns, they will accommodate you in any way they can. They also socialize with you which makes visiting the dentist feel like visiting family. This is by far the best dentist I've ever been to and would recommend them to anyone.
    Ivy M.
  • patient-review
    Dr.Robert Hemphill and his staff are so friendly.I was very nervous to get my treatment done,doctor made me understand and kept me calm.I always walk out happy, feeling I have seen the BEST doctor who took care of my dental treatment.Kinga the dental assistant is so kind and helpful,Kim such a lovely person always smiling and happy,Monica is superb too, she calls and double confirms the appointment so that I don’t forget. Thank you once again.
    Savy Sri

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What West Hill Family Dental Patients Say


Based on 26 reviews

Loved the doctor & excellent staff! Extremely welcoming. When you walk in you are always greeted with a smile, and the office is very clean and up to date. One of the best dental experiences I have had and I will definitely come back!


Dr. Hemphill really cares about his patients and the staff make you feel so welcome and comfortable. Great choice for a dental practice.

Vicki P.

I do not dread going to the dentist any more, even if I need something more than a cleaning. They are great people, always upbeat, always honest, and very accommodating. I love my visits and appreciate their expertise and care!

Carolyn M.

Great office, very welcoming I was treated like a member of the family. My small problems were taken care of fast and comfortably

Sandy K.

Dr Hemphill and his team are amazing. As a dental provider myself I can't recommend them enough to anyone looking for a great general dentist with a wonderful staff!

Adam C.

Great service and great people. I used to hate going to the Dentist. Very nice and courteous dental staff. Helpful front desk staff who can figure out your dental plan and give you an actual price.

Brandon Z.

Today was my first visit with West Hill Family dental. The staff was awesome! So warm and welcoming! I felt at home the moment I walked in the door. Melissa (hygienist) was awesome and very sweet. Dr. Hemphill was very personable. I am a nervous Nelly with the dentist but they really helped me feel comfortable.

Nicole R.

Great experience getting my first crown. Dr.Hemphill and team are gentle and made everything painless! Definitely would recommend anyone who is looking for a dentist.

Tia L.

Our Clients Reviews

Dr.Robert Hemphill and his staff are so friendly.I was very nervous to get my treatment done,doctor made me understand and kept me calm.I always walk out happy, feeling I have seen the BEST doctor who took care of my dental treatment.Kinga the dental assistant is so kind and helpful,Kim such a lovely person always smiling and happy,Monica is superb too, she calls and double confirms the appointment so that I don’t forget. Thank you once again.

Savi S.

This is the best dentist office I have ever been too. They are extremely professional, knowledgeable and they truly care about you. Melissa, the hygienist is amazing and Dr. Hemphill always goes above and beyond. The staff at the front desk make you feel right at home and you always receive exceptional customer service. I highly recommend West Hill Family Dental.

Michele M.

The entire staff at West Hill Family Dental is extremely friendly and personable. The hygienists make you feel comfortable and the dentists are thorough yet efficient. I have been going there for 5 years and have never had a negative experience or felt as if they were trying to push dental work I did not need. I would highly recommend West Hill Family Dental to anyone looking for a dentist.

Marco A.

I am a very anxious person who was petrified to go to the dentist but had too because I had pain. The staff was amazing and Dr. Hemphill is obviously extremely skilled and his people skills are second to none. I had a root canal where I felt no pain and I am typing this just 4 hours after my procedure and I feel relief and no pain at all. WOW- if anyone is hesitant as a first time patient don't be. You are welcomed as a part of the family practice and I have no anxiety about my next visit. I have a lot of work to be done but know now there is no better place to go than West Hill. I am so glad I found them.

Steve B.

I am from out of town visiting family in Connecticut this weekend and I had a terrible toothache and didn't know where to turn. Obviously my family dentist is a few hundred miles away and It was a Saturday morning. I asked my uncle who I should call for help. They told me their dentist, Dr. Hemphill, has an emergency number I should try....so I did. Dr. Hemphill was kind enough to drive in and assess the situation. I am out of pain and enjoying the rest of my weekend with my family. Thank you Dr. Hemphill. I can't thank you enough for all your time and help with this tooth situation.

Parag D.

They made changing dentists after 32 years extremely easy, very friendly, and informative, they make you feel welcome as soon as you walk in the door!

Ashley B.

The best dentist ever! Love the water pick! The dental hygienists are wonderful and Dr. Hemphill is a pro at his job. Even makes getting novocaine easy! Even my children enjoy getting their teeth cleaned here.


Always a good experience! Everyone is extremely nice and professional!

Joann H.

Just switched my kids to them and they wonderful!! GREAT staff, from front desk to the hygienist to the dentist himself! I am very picky when it comes to this stuff but You know you have the right one when you're kids ASK when they can go back to the dentist! I'd recommend them to anyone!!

Briana B.

As someone who has never been a fan of the dentist, I can honestly say this experience was comforting and painless! I was greeted with a smile at the front desk and exceptional patient care from the hygienist, to the assistant, to Dr. Hemphill himself. Dr. Hemphill walked me through, step by step, explaining what he was doing as his assistant and hygienist comforted me along the way! The entire staff was extremely friendly and personable!

Autumn S.

Best dental practice in CT... I recommend all my family and friends here... Wonderful, friendly staff... Look at our pearly whites...

Melissa F.

Dr Hemphill is easily the best dentist I've ever had. All of the staff are very friendly and caring. If your looking for a dentist in this area pick these people! You wont regret it.

Ashley C.

Dr Hemphill is simply the best! He and his staff are the nicest, kindest, most sincere people I have come across in a long time. He really stepped up to the plate when I had an emergency situation. He came in and opened his doors to me on his day off and not only saved me from a lot of pain and misery but he also saved my tooth!

Scott K.

Dr. Hemphill, or as I like to call him "Dr. H", makes going to the dentist stress free and actually a FUN and comfortable experience. He's a fantastic doctor and a great guy who really cares about his patients. The office is clean and the staff is friendly. They take my insurance and make everything totally affordable. I'm so glad I found Dr. Hemphill!

Shannon R.

Dr.Hemphill and the staff at the West Hill Family Dental showed great caring and understanding during a year long multiple visits required by my difficult dental situation. Dr. Hemphill worked with me to find the best possible plan forward. Changing of the multiple old crowns involved restoring of the decay damaged teeth, performing root canals and building up of the teeth core. With the help of a friendly dental assistant Kinga teeth were repaired and old crowns replaced by the new ones. Vicky always tried to find the best financial plan for the dental services and accommodate my busy schedule when making future appointments. Melissa and Tina did a great job on teeth cleaning. The West Hill Family Dental is a dental office where patients will find professional service while being treated with understanding and as a part of a family.

Bojana N.

Great service, flexible appointments, friendly staff and we are happy so far.

Ram P.

Really great dentist. Been a patient of his since he went into private practice and liked him so much that when he moved his office from Glastonbury to Rocky Hill, my whole family followed him. Not only is he an excellent dentist, the staff is great and appointments are on time. I can't think of enough nice things to say about him.

Mike R.

Great dentist for me and my children!

Zachary M.

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