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Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that may begin to erupt between the ages of 16 and 26. These “third molars” are often considered an evolutionary byproduct from when early humans needed more teeth because for many, wisdom teeth are relatively unnecessary at the point in which they begin to erupt–into a fully developed facial structure–and tend to cause more harm than good.

Some people may never have any problems with their wisdom teeth, and others may never have any erupt at all. But for millions more, erupting wisdom teeth can cause headaches, pain, and misalignment issues. 

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure offered at Bright Now! Dental, and just one of the comprehensive dental care services we provide to help make sure your smile stays healthy for a lifetime. 

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Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Everyone’s oral health situation is different, as is their care, and wisdom teeth are no different. To determine if you need your wisdom teeth removed–if you’ve developed them at all–a dentist will take x-rays and examine your mouth. Wisdom teeth may be removed before eruption as a preventative measure, before any problems can occur, or the dentist may decide on watchful waiting first to get a better idea of the best course of treatment.

Some questions your dentist may ask you or consider before deciding when and if to extract your wisdom teeth are:

  • Are you between the ages of 16 and 28?
  • Are wisdom teeth present in the x-ray? Are they beginning to erupt or are they impacted, that is, not breaking the surface of the gum?
  • Are you experiencing symptoms of tooth crowding? Those symptoms include:
    • Severe tooth pain, located near the molars in the back of the mouth
    • Pain along your jaw bone
    • Chronic earaches
    • Chronic headaches
  • Are you experiencing chronic bad breath?
  • Do you have a sour or copper taste that remains after brushings and cleanings?
  • Are you noticing a sudden change in your tooth alignment when biting?

Your dentist will discuss their findings with you as well as their recommendations for next steps. 

What is the wisdom tooth extraction process?

If your dentist determines it would benefit your overall health to have your wisdom teeth extracted, you’ll be scheduled for the procedure, which is considered oral surgery. You will receive some kind of sedation, so you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure, but the extraction itself can be performed right in your dentist’s office.

  • Anesthesia – You’ll be administered anesthesia, both a local anesthetic to numb the area and a more general anesthetic such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to relax you or even make you sleepy. Your dentist or doctor should discuss with you ahead of time the type of sedation you’ll be receiving and check for any allergies.
  • Extraction – If the wisdom teeth haven’t broken the gumline yet, then a small incision will be made to expose the tooth. The tooth may need to be broken into smaller pieces before the tooth can be removed to minimize the size of the incision. You may feel some pressure as the dentist or dental surgeon begins to rock the tooth back and forth, detaching any ligaments or connective tissue around the tooth, but you should not feel any pain. The empty socket will be sutured closed with dissolvable stitches and a large piece of gauze placed over the area. You’ll be instructed to bite down on it to form a blood clot, which will be very important to the healing process.
  • Recovery – You will remain at the office for a little while after the procedure as the anesthesia begins to wear off, but you will not be able to drive yourself home. Once you do get home, you’ll need to make sure you protect the blood clot that was formed at the end of your procedure. You’ll need to avoid eating hard foods, drinking from straw–anything that might disturb the blood clots while you heal. It may take up to 10 days for your mouth to heal completely.

When should you contact a dentist?

You will have a follow up appointment with your dentist 5-7 days after your procedure, but if you experience any of the following problems before then, be sure to contact your dentist as soon as possible:

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing, which are signs that you could be reacting to a medication or something administered during the procedure
  • Inability to reduce swelling
  • Continued bleeding after 3-4 days despite the replacement of gauze on the extraction site
  • High fever that does not respond to medication
  • Severe pain in the extraction site, which may be a sign of a dry socket or infection

How much does wisdom teeth removal cost?

There are many factors that contribute to the cost of your wisdom teeth removal procedure such as the type of anesthesia used, the number of teeth, if they are impacted (a more difficult extraction), any pre-existing oral health issues that need treatment, or additional dental procedures that might be required following extraction. Be sure to check with your nearest Bright Now! Dental location for exact pricing.

Because it is considered preventative care, wisdom teeth removal is typically covered by most dental insurance plans. If you don’t have insurance, Bright Now! Dental offers a variety of methods to help you afford wisdom teeth extraction.

Trust Bright Now! Dental With Your Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth that are causing you discomfort may not be an emergency, but they certainly aren’t something to ignore. Schedule a consultation or exam with the Bright Now! Dental location nearest you to find out if you may need to have your wisdom teeth extracted.

Bright Now! Dental is committed to making quality dental care accessible and affordable, and that includes wisdom teeth extraction. You should not have to live in pain because of inability to pay, so in addition to accepting CareCredit and most major dental insurance plans, Bright Now! Dental also offers the OneSmile dental plan, for discounts on all dental services, and flexible financing and payment plans to help you get the treatment you need.