What do you need to know about getting your wisdom teeth out? Good question. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. 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 set of molars. Some people have less; some even have more (a condition known as supernumerary wisdom teeth). Some lucky folks don’t have any wisdom teeth at all.
For most people, wisdom starts 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. About 85% of people with wisdom teeth will need to have them removed, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
We generally recommend wisdom teeth removal if they:
- 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.
Preparing for Wisdom Teeth Removal
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 go over anesthesia options and schedule an appointment for your wisdom teeth removal.
What to Expect from Wisdom Teeth Removal
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:
- oral sedation
- IV sedation
Once you are asleep, we’ll use dental surgical tools to cut your gums to remove the wisdom teeth. Next, we’ll stitch everything back together so you can heal faster.
Recovering from Having Your Wisdom Teeth Out
The surgery 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 we prescribe you.
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.
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 impacted. Your insurance company will likely cover a considerable portion of the cost.