Oral Surgery Specialist

Jennifer Cha, DMD, MS -  - Periodontist

Jennifer Cha, DMD, MS

Periodontist & Cosmetic Dentist located in South Pasadena, CA

If you need oral surgery, including wisdom teeth extractions, trust your care to Jennifer Cha, DMD. At her practice in South Pasadena, California, Dr. Cha offers a full range of oral surgery options, including minimally invasive surgery options and sedation dentistry, to make you comfortable. To find out more about oral surgery with Dr. Cha, reach out to her practice by phone today.

Oral Surgery Q&A

What is oral surgery?

Oral surgery is any surgery that Dr. Cha performs in or around your mouth. Most oral surgeries fall under one of just a few categories:

Oral and maxillofacial surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgeries are complex and include surgeries such as maxillofacial dental implants and corrective jaw surgery.


Prosthodontics procedures focus on restoring or aesthetically enhancing your smile through actions like reshaping teeth to fit crowns, bridges, or veneers, and surgically inserting dental implants.

Tooth extraction

Tooth extraction is perhaps the most common type of oral surgery. Usually, Dr. Cha extracts teeth either after they’ve been compromised by trauma or disease or in order to make space in your mouth. Dr. Cha performs two main types of tooth extraction: simple extraction and surgical extraction.

Dr. Cha performs simple tooth extractions on visible teeth that have emerged from the gum line. During a simple extraction, she numbs the area and then removes your tooth with forceps.

Dr. Cha reserves surgical extractions for impacted teeth, teeth that have only partially emerged, or teeth that can’t come out unless she cuts into tissue or bone. Usually, Dr. Cha finishes surgical extractions by stitching the incision.

Do you have to extract your wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge from under your gum line. They usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. For some people, they pose no problem. 

However, for many others, wisdom teeth are a literal pain, and to feel better, those patients choose wisdom teeth extractions. Because wisdom teeth appear so late in life, they often don’t have enough room to erupt, and they become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth may emerge partially.

They may also grow:

  • At an angle toward your second molar
  • At an angle toward the back of your mouth
  • At a right angle, as though they’re lying down

Finally, some wisdom teeth can become trapped in your jawbone because there’s no room for them to emerge at all. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to:

  • Pain
  • Tooth infection
  • Decay of partially erupted teeth
  • Damage of surrounding bone or nearby teeth
  • Cyst development around the impacted teeth

Food and debris can also get trapped behind impacted wisdom teeth, leading to more discomfort and possible infection.

Do wisdom teeth extractions hurt?

Depending on the position of your wisdom teeth and any secondary conditions they’ve caused, oral surgery for your wisdom teeth can be more or less uncomfortable. To ease your pain, Dr. Cha always anesthetizes the areas she plans to work on.

To help you deal with any anxiety you may feel before or during the procedure, she also offers sedation. Sedation calms you and sends you into a state of semi-consciousness. If you choose sedation, you won’t feel anything during your oral surgery, and you’ll remember very little afterward. 

Though this option is open to you, you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.

Oral surgery doesn’t have to be scary. If you need oral surgery, put yourself in the capable and experienced hands of Jennifer Cha, DMD.