Wisdom Teeth Removal: Facts You Need to Know about Extraction and Recovery

Wisdom teeth removal is a rather simple and common procedure in dentistry. Wisdom teeth are either the second or final pair of adult teeth an individual develops, usually during the late teenage years or early adulthood.

There are several factors that determine whether you might need your wisdom teeth removed, one of which is the frequent pain they can cause. If you need wisdom teeth extraction, the procedure can be conducted in your dentist’s office.

The procedure is a rather quick one, and recovery does not take too long. In most cases, you will be fully recovered in a period of about 2-5 days; however, before you consider any kind of procedure or surgery, let’s go over some of the most asked questions on this subject. By the end of this article, you will have a clear picture of what wisdom teeth removal is all about. Here are some things you will want to know:

  •  Wisdom teeth removal costs;
  • The complications involved with the procedure;
  • What to eat after wisdom teeth removal;
  • Facts about wisdom tooth removal surgery;
  • Wisdom tooth removal recovery; and,
  • The best place to get your wisdom teeth removed.

How Necessary is Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Wisdom teeth removal can be the answer to many problems that arise due to their eruption. Some of the problems associated with this process are outlined, below.

Wisdom teeth may be impacted in various ways

This is usually due to the fact that they are positioned in the back of your mouth. Because of this, for example, they can be trapped in your jaw, which leads to pain and discomfort.

Wisdom teeth can erupt at a bad angle

Teeth arising from the jaw at a bad angle will always press against other teeth, leading to a certain degree of discomfort. The only way to provide relief is by undergoing wisdom teeth removal.

The area of the mouth is too small

If the size of the mouth is too small, the teeth will not have enough space to grow properly, which also results in the wisdom teeth pressing against other teeth. The consequence of this process is the development of pain in the jaw.

You might have cavities or gum disease

Another main reason why people undergo wisdom teeth removal is due to poor dental hygiene. The most recurrent cases involve the development of cavities and gum disease.

It is important to ensure you have good dental hygiene, as this plays a very important role in the prevention of cavities and other gum diseases.

Although there are more reasons that those noted above, the points described are the major culprits behind the need for wisdom teeth removal.

When to See a Dentist

Your wisdom teeth are your last set of molars that usually appear in most individuals after the age of 12. There is a very easy way of finding out if you should make a dentist appointment for wisdom tooth removal. If you’re experiencing pain from wisdom teeth, visit your doctor! If you don’t know whether or not the tooth has to be removed, here are some other common situations that can further lead to surgery.

Unhealthy teeth

Poor dental hygiene can lead to the development of irreversible consequences. The most common among these is tooth decay and the development of cavities.

It is advised to remove wisdom teeth that are no longer healthy from the mouth. This point also highlights the fact that having impeccable dental health can possibly prevent any wisdom teeth extraction procedures, to begin with.

Incomplete eruption

Some individuals experience a partial eruption, when the wisdom teeth do not fully grow out of the jaw. Removal, in such cases, is recommended to eliminate any feelings of discomfort.

There is no room for growth in the jaw

Everyone generally has two molars by the age of 12. This makes it possible to determine whether or not wisdom teeth removal will be necessary, in the future.

With a mirror as a guide, insert your index finger into your mouth. Guide it towards the back of your mouth in the area behind your second molar. There are two possible outcomes here. If you feel a flat pad, your chances of undergoing the procedure are reduced. Increased probability arises in cases where little to no space is available, which is usually indicated by an immediate upward curve of soft tissue behind the second molar.

A series of infection behind the lower second molar

Another reason why wisdom teeth removal has to be done is the development of infections in the region behind the second molar.  

These infections can lead to several complications, including gum disease. A common problem associated with this condition is the experience of pain in the area of infection. Removing the wisdom teeth will provide relief, in this case.

What’s the Best Time to Get Wisdom Teeth Removed?

We have identified the main reasons why you may need to get your wisdom teeth removed. The next step in the process is looking for the best time to get the procedure done. The following may be helpful in making your decision:

Get the procedure when the tooth hasn’t fully developed

Teeth usually develop starting with the crown and then proceeding to the root. This simply means that the root will not be fully developed in the tooth, so it can be removed early. This usually makes the removal easier not only for the dentist performing the operation but for you, as well. It is a very good way to reduce recovery from wisdom teeth removal.

Get the procedure when you are physically and mentally healthy

The best time to get your wisdom teeth removed is when you are physically healthy. Not only this, you also have to be stress-free. This will give you ample time to prepare for your procedure.

It is also important to point out that the process of looking for a qualified dentist should be done during this time. Make sure you do your homework and look for the best dentist out there, like Dr. Lana Rozenberg.

It is not advisable to make quick or last-minute decisions when it comes to getting your wisdom teeth removed. Take your time and don’t rush, as your decision will be better when your mind is at its calmest.

The Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure: What to Expect

After deciding to proceed with the operation, you’ll need to get your mind and body prepared. Make sure you know every single detail about wisdom teeth removal, from how much you will be required to pay, to how your procedure will proceed. The following are the main things to focus on:

How Much Does it Cost?

The price of wisdom tooth extraction is not fixed. In fact, there are a range of prices. This is quite similar to the system of pricing for extraction of other teeth.

The cost of removing one wisdom tooth can range from $75 to about $900. This is quite a big difference.

For many individuals, removing all four at once is the best solution. Therefore, many dental professionals offer a package deal that usually costs between $300 and $3000.

This price range is created to show that there are different prices for different cases. Therefore, knowing which category you fall into will help give you an idea of how much you will pay for your procedure.

Simple tooth extraction

The first category is for simple tooth extraction. It is the removal of teeth which are well formed and positioned. The total cost of removing one tooth can range from $75 to $200. The total cost of removing all four teeth can start from $300 to $800.

Surgical extraction with soft tissue impaction

For surgical extraction, the removal of one tooth can cost $230 to $400; however, in some cases, it can go as high as $600.

Removing all four teeth will cost you between $800 and $1500. In this procedure, access to the tooth is made by cutting the gum in specific ways, which makes it easier to remove the teeth from their sockets. The incision is later sutured and the operation is completed.

Surgical extraction with bony impaction

There is no doubt that this procedure will likely have the highest cost. It will cost you $275 to $500 to remove one bony impacted tooth. In some case, this number can rise up to about $900.

Removing all four teeth will cost $1000 to $1800; however, total costs can be as high as $3000. There are other procedures associated with removing wisdom teeth, including:

An initial exam

Some dentists offer free initial exams; however, this is not always the case. For example, some exams can cost $25 to $200. An additional X-ray examination will cost about $25 to $250.

Anesthesia costs

You will also be required to pay for the anesthesia that will be used during your procedure. In general, local anesthetics can cost up to $300, and general anesthetics up to $500 for one hour.

Dental insurance could be one way to reduce the cost of having your wisdom teeth removed. The advantage of possible deductions on your final bill make the process much more affordable and desirable.

In the United States, the majority of dental insurance plans have annual maximums of $1000 to $1500. This system will enable you to save more if you divide your procedures across a two calendar year period; however, this may not be applied to complex procedures.

Which Anesthesia Should I Choose?

Wisdom teeth removal can be a very painful procedure. In order to address this issue and prevent complications from arising during the procedure, dentists use anesthesia.

The kind of anesthesia your dentist will administer to you before your procedure will depend on your case. The following are some of the different kinds of anesthesia.

Local anesthesia

Patients who are given local anesthesia stay awake during the whole procedure. They do not experience any pain. The only sensation they have is a certain amount of pressure applied to the operation site.

Sedation anesthesia

Individuals who are given sedation anesthesia are not completely conscious during the operation, and do not experience any pain at all.

Another characteristic of sedation anesthesia is the impact it has on short-term memory. Individuals under this form of anesthesia usually have no recollection of the procedure.

Individuals who are sedated intravenously require a longer period for recovery. This is because the anesthesia is made up of elements that have a long half-life. Because of this, excretion of the elements from the body takes time.

This form of anesthesia is the most expensive on the list, and is also not covered by dental insurance. A very serious problem involving IV sedation is the precision and skill involved in administering it. Therefore, only professional and skilled individuals can undergo this manipulation.

General anesthesia

For general anesthesia, patients are completely unconscious and have no awareness of their surroundings. They do not experience any pain during the procedure.

Like the previous type of anesthesia, general anesthesia also has an impact on short-term memory. In certain serious cases, a local anesthetic will be used in combination with general anesthesia.

Nitrous and local anesthesia

Nitrous and local anesthesia are the most potent anesthesia. This combination has a very strong impact on the central nervous system, usually leaving patients feeling euphoric.

It is a cheap form of anesthesia and wears off very quickly, in contrast to other forms of anesthesia which may take up to a few days.

There are some advantages of using this method. Some of which include being awake during the process. This is not a good experience because you will be able to hear the noises made by the tools used for the extraction.

You will also feel a substantial amount of pressure on the site of the extraction. Another disadvantage of using nitrous is the induction of nausea in some individuals, which is quite unpleasant, though only a temporary side effect.

What Are the Risks of Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

Wisdom teeth extraction is a medical procedure with its own share of risks. It is important to note, however, that the risks associated with tooth extraction are extremely rare.

The safety of this procedure is elevated when a professional and experienced dentist is performing the extraction. Some of the risks associated with wisdom teeth removal include:

  • The development of a painful dry socket. This arises due to exposure of part of the jawbone, as a result of the loss of a blood clot in the extraction site.
  • The possibility of infection. The post-surgical wound can be infected by dangerous microorganisms, like bacteria, which can be trapped in food. Most bacterial infections can be treated with the use of antibiotics.
  • There is also the possibility for damage to structures located near the site of the procedure. These include bone, soft tissue, nerves or sinuses.

It is very important to keep a few things in mind before going to your appointment. Make sure your teeth are clean. This includes brushing your teeth, flossing, and scraping your tongue regularly. This is important, given that you will not be allowed to take these steps in the post-surgery period. It is a necessary measure to promote recovery on the other end.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare

The period following a wisdom teeth removal procedure is a very important one. Several measures must be taken to ensure the beginning of a quick recovery.

Individuals who were given general anesthesia are usually taken to a recovery room where they will be monitored until they are capable of being discharged.

For those under local anesthesia during the procedure, a short stay in the dentist’s office is required in order to make the necessary observations.

After the hospital discharges an individual, they must go to a home that is already setup to facilitate recovery, This includes buying the right pillows for support, stocking up on food made especially for the recovery period, etc.

Here are some of the tips that can help ensure necessary care is provided after tooth extractions:

Make sure you head is always elevated

Keeping your head above heart level is a vital part of aftercare. This practice must be observed for at least three days. This point is also important when determining how to sleep after wisdom teeth removal.

Try to refrain from spitting

It is normal for the wound to bleed after the procedure. Spitting out the blood is not recommended, as it increases the risk of developing a dry socket.

Do not smoke

Smoking after the procedure can put your recovery on a dangerous path. It is also a potential cause of dry sockets. There is a general rule of no sucking, as well, and it is evident that smoking violates this rule.

Do not use straws

Using straws to consume beverages is not safe, as it also violates the “don’t suck” rule. It is also important to stay away from kissing and any activity that involves blowing.

Use ice packs

Applying ice on the cheek can be a very helpful way to prevent swelling. Make sure you purchase ice packs that are specially designed for the face. This will enable you to make the most out of this form of treatment.

Take a break from brushing your teeth

This may sound a bit strange; however, brushing after teeth extraction can do more harm than good. Health-wise, this will not have any impact because you are not eating much, anyway.

Stay hydrated

Drink a lot of warm water. Water makes the recovery process generally quicker.

Stay away from solid food

Solid food needs to be chewed, which can add mechanical pressure on the site of extraction. For about 24 hours after the procedure, try to consume more liquid or semisolid foods that do not require chewing.

The best foods during this period include smoothies, broths, and juice. Remember that all of the above should be lukewarm.

Rinsing your mouth is not recommended during recovery

Rinsing should be done on the fourth day following the procedure. It is advisable to use warm salt water for this process.

Avoid physical activity

Engaging in any physical activity, strenuous or not, can be dangerous. This is because it increases the chances of displacing the blood clot that has to stay in the wound for it to heal properly. Physical activity can lead to dry sockets.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Time

The amount of time it will take for complete recovery from a wisdom teeth removal procedure depends on how the individual respects the tips listed above. Therefore, every individual must take recovery from wisdom teeth removal surgery very seriously.

The overall time it takes to fully recover also depends on the reason you had to take out wisdom teeth. In most cases, it can take a period of about a few days to a week for the wound to heal. This is, of course, characterized by following every direction of your dentist or oral surgeon precisely.

In some cases, complications like a discharge of pus, a development of fever or excruciating pain can develop. Making immediate contact with your medical professional is the best way to deal with such symptoms.

They will be able to understand and come up with a possible explanation for the cause of these problems and further provide solutions to them.

Where to Get Wisdom Teeth Removed

Finding a good place to have your wisdom teeth removed is an important step in the process of having a successful procedure done. Dr. Lana Rozenberg’s NYC based dental clinic is the finest professional place to visit. Dr. Lana Rozenberg is one of the greatest New York City dentists and, together with her team, she provides nothing but the best service to all her patients.