Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last of the adult molars to erupt. Typically they’ll come in between the ages of 17 and 21. However, not everyone has wisdom teeth and for those who do, not all wisdom teeth will erupt. In many cases, there simply isn’t enough room in the mouth for that last set of molars to come in. This can often be the reason your dentist recommends you have your wisdom teeth extracted. If left in place, they often cause trouble with neighboring teeth and/or make it difficult to prevent gum disease.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted, but here are a few reasons that it’s commonly recommended to have them removed:
- They’re not in the correct position. Wisdom teeth that are tilted in a way that pushes against adjacent teeth can cause unwanted shifting. This is particularly unwanted if teeth have already been orthodontically straightened.
- They’re impacted or only partially erupted. When wisdom teeth are partially erupted, they can be very difficult to keep clean and the risk for gum disease in that area increases greatly.
- Impacted wisdom teeth increase the risk of decay on adjacent teeth.
- Erupted wisdom teeth that are difficult to clean are at increased risk of decay and gum disease.
Wisdom Teeth Removal: What To Expect
You might have your wisdom teeth extracted at your regular dental office. Or you might be referred to an oral surgeon. Extractions that are relatively straightforward are usually performed by your dentist using local anesthesia. If the wisdom teeth are impacted or you prefer to be sedated for the procedure, you’ll be referred to an oral surgeon.
You’ll need a special x-ray and an exam to determine the position of your wisdom teeth and all the surrounding structures. Once this is complete, the doctor will be able to give you an idea of what to expect during your procedure or, if needed, will give you a referral to the oral surgeon.
If you’re having your teeth extracted at our office then first, the doctor will make sure you’re completely numb. You’ll just be aware of pressure while the tooth is removed as gently as possible.
If you’re having your teeth removed at the oral surgeon, then likely you’ll be under sedation or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will give you detailed pre-op and post-op instructions.
Wisdom teeth either come out in one piece or they’re sectioned and removed in two or more pieces. You might have sutures placed where the teeth were removed, or you might not. In any case, closely following instructions for your home care afterward is very important to heal quickly and comfortably!
After your wisdom teeth are removed, you’ll want to eat soft foods for a day or two. Absolutely no drinking from a straw or creating any suction in your mouth for at least one week. This helps prevent a painful condition called dry socket in which the clot comes out of the healing site. If you have persistent pain or are worried something might be wrong after your wisdom tooth extraction, don’t hesitate to call the office. We’re here for you!
Cost of Wisdom Tooth Extraction in St. Paul
As with all dental work, each person is unique and will have their own treatment plan that determines the total cost of wisdom teeth removal. A general idea of cost is around $200+ per tooth after insurance benefits have paid their portion. Without dental insurance, the cost is approximately $600+ per tooth. The only way to have an accurate quote for your treatment is to have an exam with the doctor and have your specific needs addressed.
A few things that will impact the cost of your treatment:
- The cost of imaging and exam.
- Whether the teeth have already erupted or not.
- Whether or not the teeth are impacted.
- Whether or not there is an infection.
- Whether you require local anesthetic, or sedation, or general anesthesia.
- Whether you need augmentation to the surrounding area such as bone grafting.
Contact us today
to schedule an initial consultation & exam.
Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many people believe wisdom teeth removal is a rite of passage. In reality, wisdom teeth only need to be removed if they become impacted or otherwise interfere with your jaw and teeth.
Dentistry is more compassionate than ever before and your comfort is important to us. We use instruments and techniques to keep you comfortable, help us work efficiently, precisely, and with as little trauma as possible to promote fast healing. We will provide you with aftercare instructions to make your healing smooth.
You’ll be able to eat soft foods and drink liquids the day of your extractions. You’ll want to closely follow your written directions for specifics on what you can and can’t eat. Absolutely no drinking from a straw for at least one week after your extractions.
Rest and take it easy for the day! Follow your written instructions exactly. Most people resume normal activities the next day. But it’s best to avoid heavy exercise for a few days to prevent excess bleeding at the extraction site.
Ideally, you should schedule three or four days of rest or light duty after your wisdom teeth come out. Resting will minimize your risk of complications and help you heal. Full recovery takes around 2 weeks but you should feel minimal discomfort during this time.
Pericoronitis is a common localized infection that can occur around a wisdom tooth. If your gums feel tender or swollen and hurt when you chew on your back teeth, you might be experiencing pericoronitis. It’s easily treatable, but do make an appointment to come in so it doesn’t worsen.