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D. Removing Wisdom Teeth: Fact & Fiction

Narrator: This is Science Today. The removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure, yet it's one which fills many with dread. Dr. Alan Felsenfeld, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at UCLA's School of Dentistry, says that's because there are lots of misconceptions about the amount of pain involved.

Felsenfeld: I would be not telling the truth if I didn't say it hurts once in a while. For the most part these fears are overplayed based on what your friends have told you. The pain involved with the procedure, certainly during the procedure is usually minimized by good local anesthetic sedation, general anesthetics, all the different tools we have in our hands to make the procedure comfortable for you.

Narrator: Other predicting factors of pain depend on the level of impaction.

Felsenfeld: Some people have very easy wisdom teeth to remove, some people have more difficult wisdom teeth to remove and of course, the more work that has to be done to remove them, the more pain you might expect afterwards.

Narrator: Still, Felsenfeld says even that pain can be greatly reduced by post-operative medications. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.