So your dentist told you it’s time to get your wisdom teeth taken out, and referred you to an oral surgeon to perform the extraction surgery. What do you need to know about getting your wisdom teeth removed? Good question. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. We’re wisdom teeth removal doctors treating patients in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton. Here’s everything you need to know about wisdom teeth removal: what to expect, how much it might cost, and how to ensure a better recovery.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars — the last permanent teeth to erupt, for most people. These teeth are flatter and used for grinding. Most people grow 4 wisdom teeth — two on the top and two on the bottom, behind the first and second sets of molars. Some people have less, some have more (a condition known as supernumerary wisdom teeth), and some lucky folks don’t have any wisdom teeth at all.
For most people, wisdom teeth start to grow beneath the gum line as early as 12 years old. But they don’t tend to emerge until you are 17 to 25 years old. In the US, about 85% of people with wisdom teeth will need to have them removed, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
A wisdom teeth removal dentist will generally recommend wisdom teeth removal if your wisdom teeth:
- Grow in sideways or another undesirable position (often tilted forward)
- Only partially erupt
- Cause your jaw to hurt
- Consistently get tooth decay or infection
- Don’t have room to erupt.
- Are impacted
Wisdom tooth extractions are an extremely common, everyday procedure oral surgeons like us practice. Even if you’ve got an issue like impaction, or need a dental bone graft done along with the procedure – don’t worry. Getting through a wisdom tooth removal easily is all about knowing what to expect, properly caring for yourself after the procedure, and, of course, having a great oral surgeon who specializes in wisdom tooth removal.
Preparing for Your Wisdom Teeth Removal
If your dentist recommended a wisdom tooth extraction, they’ve likely already done the necessary x-rays. So we work with your dentist to get those x-rays and start to make a personalized plan for your wisdom tooth removal procedure. Before your surgery, we’ll have you come into our office so we can explain the procedure and answer any questions you might have. We’ll ask you about any medications you take and discuss your health history. We’ll also go over anesthesia options with you, so you’ll know exactly what to expect on the day of the surgery. Our oral surgeon, Dr. Puckett, will go over everything with you again, answer any more lingering questions you might have, and then we’ll schedule an appointment for your wisdom teeth removal.
What to Expect from a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
The actual procedure doesn’t take long — about 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how many wisdom teeth are being removed and if any are impacted. You’ll be able to choose between a number of different options for sedation dentistry, including:
- general anesthesia
- oral sedation
- IV sedation
Once you’re asleep, the surgeon performing your wisdom tooth removal will use dental surgical tools to cut your gums to remove the wisdom teeth. Next, we’ll stitch everything back together. Soft tissues in your mouth heal the fastest of most anything in your body, so once we’ve extracted your wisdom teeth and sewed the gums back together, you’re already on your way to healing. In a few days, you’ll be thinking, “What surgery?”
Recovering from Having Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out
The surgery for wisdom tooth removal itself isn’t painful – you’ll be numb or asleep during the entire process. The uncomfortable part comes later – after you’ve woken up and begin to recover.
The actual pain you feel depends on how extensive the surgery was, your own pain threshold, and how much you use the pain medication is prescribed by your wisdom teeth removal doctor. We recommend not waiting until you are in pain to take the medication. Since the medication is administered orally, there can be some time for it to take effect (about an hour). If you don’t take it until you are in considerable pain, it will be a little while until you are comfortable again. Plan ahead and take the medication before you are in serious discomfort.
Even though we prescribe each patient pain medications post-surgery, it’s important to remember not to take them “just because.” If your wisdom tooth extraction went really well and your recovery isn’t very painful, you might not need them at all. Pain medication is useful for sure, but should be used with caution, and should always be taken exactly how the surgeon who performed your wisdom tooth removal recommends on the prescription.
How Much Does Removing Wisdom Teeth Cost?
The cost for wisdom teeth removal can vary, but it generally around $75-$200 per tooth — or $225-$600 per tooth if they’re impacted. Your insurance company will likely cover a considerable portion of the cost because it’s such a common procedure, and leaving them in would only cause you problems with your oral health. So, wisdom teeth removal can be cheap, or at least affordable, if you have insurance. Regardless, we offer several payment options for all our oral surgery services; so don’t let the price seem daunting – our patients’ oral health is our highest priority.