FAQ on Wisdom Teeth Removal
What are wisdom teeth?
The wisdom teeth, or third molars, are located furthest back in the mouth. They are the last to grow in to the mouth.
Do they have to be removed?
Yes, most people should have them removed. There is a chance that they will grow into proper position where they can be cleaned normally and kept for a lifetime. However, up to 90% of people will have impacted wisdom teeth, meaning there isn’t enough space for the wisdom tooth to grow into the proper position. Impacted wisdom teeth cause irritation or infection of the gums, pain, or crowding and decay of other teeth.
How will I know if my wisdom teeth need to be removed?
With regular check ups and x-rays, your dentist can advise you if and when you should have your wisdom teeth removed. Some people experience pressure pain, infection, or inflammation when their wisdom teeth are growing. Other people have no symptoms at all. The only way to know for sure if your wisdom teeth need to be removed is to have an expert evaluation by a dentist.
At what age should wisdom teeth be removed?
It is common for wisdom teeth to be removed in the late teens to early twenties. The most common age for wisdom teeth removal in my patients is age 17. The best time to have wisdom teeth removed is when the roots are ½ to ⅔ developed, and the only way to know this is with an x-ray examination.
Wisdom teeth can cause problems at any age after the teenage years, and I have removed wisdom teeth from patients in their seventies. However, the risk of complications with extraction goes up the older you get. It is recommended to have wisdom teeth evaluated in your early teens.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom tooth surgery is more comfortable than ever. Using IV sedation and local anesthetics make the experience memory-free and painless. An incision is made in the numb gums so they can be gently pushed aside. The wisdom tooth is exposed and extracted. Often the tooth is removed in one whole piece. Sometimes the tooth is removed in two pieces to limit risk to the underlying nerve or because smaller pieces are easier to remove. After the wisdom tooth is extracted, the gums are closed with stitches to aid in quick healing.
Is wisdom tooth extraction painful?
The surgery procedure itself is painless. With IV sedation you’ll be relaxed, comfortable, and unaware of the passage of time. In addition to sedation, local anesthetics numb the mouth to anything that would be painful. Most people experience some soreness during the healing period following surgery.
How long is the recovery time?
Soreness and swelling may last several days. Ice packs and prescription pain medication help limit any pain during the healing period. After the sore period, the gums will close and fully heal in three weeks.
What is the cost of wisdom tooth extraction?
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We are committed to offering flexible payment options to ensure that your care is affordable. We accept most insurance benefits. Our staff is happy to help file insurance claims. If you are uninsured, we offer financing through CareCredit, a no-interest monthly payment plan. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
Unfortunately we do not accept Medicaid at this time.
Your portion of payment is expected at the time of service.