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Getting your wisdom teeth out: What to know

Aug 3

Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed: What to know

Oral Examination

An oral exam and x-rays of your mouth are used by a dentist to evaluate the position of the wisdom tooth and determine if any potential problems may be present. Studies show that patients who receive treatment early in life have a better chance of a successful outcome. Most patients are first seen by their dentist, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontist in their twenties.

To maximize patient comfort, all outpatient surgery must be performed under the appropriate anesthesia. You should ensure that you find a dentist who is licensed and trained in administering various types of anesthesia to patients.

Image showing an impacted tooth in the jaw that needs to be extractedShould I Get My Wisdom Teeth Out?

There are many problems that can occur if there is not enough space in your mouth to allow your third molars full eruption. Wisdom teeth that have been impacted should be extracted before the root structure has fully developed. Some patients experience it as young as 12 years old, while others may wait until their root structure is fully developed. After the age of 30, problems tend to be more frequent. You may have the following problems if you don't remove your wisdom teeth:


Pericoronitis (a localized gum infection) is the most common clinical problem that we see. The gum tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth can become infected if there is not enough space for full eruption. This causes recurrent pain, swelling and difficulty chewing or swallowing.



An impacted wisdom tooth may also be associated with non-infectious disease. Cysts, which are fluid-filled balloons in the jaw bone, develop from impacted wisdom teeth. They slowly grow and destroy adjacent jaw bones and sometimes teeth. If wisdom teeth aren't removed by the teen years, they can be difficult to treat. Even though they are rare, wisdom teeth can become tumors if they are not removed in time.


Possible Crowding:

Crowding can be caused by wisdom teeth that are not in their proper place. This is most evident with the front teeth, especially the lower ones. It is more common after braces have been removed. Teeth can crowd in adulthood or after braces. A contributing factor could be retained, impacted wisdom tooth. If you do not have an active problem, your oral surgeon will recommend that you have the wisdom teeth removed. This is to protect your jaw bone, gums, and teeth from future damage.


Damage to Adjacent Tooth:

Insufficient space around the wisdom teeth can lead to decay, gum disease, bone loss, and/or tooth disease.

Chart showing different types of impacted teethWhat if I don't have my wisdom teeth removed as a teenager or young adult?

Wisdom teeth grow longer roots and make the jaw bone denser. The post-operative process can be longer and more complicated if impacted wisdom teeth are needed in your thirties, forties, or beyond. These complications are often more complicated and less predictable than those that affect younger patients. The healing process may take longer and there is a greater chance of infection. If you have impacted wisdom teeth that aren't removed by your teens or in your twenties, and they are fully impacted in bone and cyst formation has occurred, it is best to wait for a more serious problem such as bone loss or localized gum disease. If you treat your impacted wisdom teeth in your teens or early 20s, you will generally heal quicker, more quickly, and with fewer complications.

What happens when wisdom teeth are removed?

Many people prefer to not be aware of what happens when their wisdom teeth are removed. They opt to be sedated instead. At your consultation, you will be given the appropriate anesthesia options. To maximize your comfort, all outpatient surgeries are performed using the appropriate anesthesia. Our staff is licensed and trained to administer various types of anesthesia. This is done in a safe environment using modern monitoring equipment and an experienced staff.

You will be given medications on the day of your procedure to reduce swelling and pain. It is important that you have a responsible adult or parent accompany you to the clinic and plan to stay with you for the remainder of the day. You will be there for approximately 90 minutes. The procedure takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Modern technology and medicine have made it possible for patients to undergo wisdom teeth removal in an efficient manner that promotes quick healing and minimizes post-operative discomfort. All times are performed using the most up-to-date sterilization techniques and infection control methods.

It is important that you do not eat or drink anything the morning of your procedure (except blood pressure medication and a small amount of water within 3 hours of the planned procedure). This should be for at least 8 hours, preferably longer. You don't have to eat a "last meal" within eight hours of your surgery. You can increase your risk of serious anesthetic complications such as nausea and vomiting by having anything in your stomach. If you don't follow these guidelines, your procedure may be rescheduled. At your consultation, the dentist might give you a prescription for pain medication. This can be filled ahead of time for your convenience. You will be made as comfortable as possible while you wait in the operating room. Some dentists will usually place an IV into your left arm if you need to be sedated. This procedure is quick and almost painless, and ensures the best delivery of your medication. To ensure your comfort and to allow you to return home to rest, local anesthesia will be administered.

The Wisdom Teeth Extraction Surgery: What To Expect

The Day of Treatment

Teenager smiling after getting her wisdom teeth removedAt the time of your removal, make sure you have a responsible adult present. After wisdom tooth removal, make arrangements to have a responsible adult or parent stay with you the remainder of the day.

Stitches that are required for surgery will usually dissolve in three to five days and not need to be removed. Your gums may feel swollen or pull away from your teeth. It is normal and part of the normal healing process. This will resolve in a few days.

After the local anesthesia wears down, prescription pain medication may be required. To test if your pain is adequately controlled, you can try non-narcotic antiinflammatory medications like ibuprofen (Advil(r).) Start your prescription pain medication if that fails. Local anesthesia can last up to the next day and should not be confused for an injury to your nerve.

After surgery, we recommend that you have a milkshake or some other cold, soft food before taking any pain medication. You should be aware that antibiotics can make your birth control pills ineffective.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost & Wisdom Teeth Insurance

There are many factors that will determine the cost of your treatment. There are many factors that can affect the cost of your treatment, such as how difficult it is to remove your teeth or which type of anesthesia you prefer. Before a dentist can give you an estimate, he will review your xrays and perform an examination. Each insurance company will have a different policy about the coverage of a particular surgical procedure.

What if I have questions before surgery?

Your specific situation will be discussed at the consultation. Ask any questions. Piedmont Dental, Dr. Areheart is the best choice if you need wisdom teeth removed in Rock Hill, SC.


Check out this link for a great guide on what to expect when having your wisdom teeth removed,