It’s interesting to know that most people have 4 wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth, although not everyone develops wisdom teeth.
However, your wisdom teeth usually don’t need to be removed unless they’re impacted and are causing problems.
The wisdom teeth grow at the back of your gums and are the last teeth to come through. Most people have four wisdom teeth – one in each corner.
Wisdom teeth usually grow through the gums during the late teens or early twenties. By this time, the other 28 adult teeth are usually in place, so there isn’t always enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow properly.
Because of the lack of space, wisdom teeth can sometimes emerge at an angle or get stuck and only partially emerge. Wisdom teeth that grow through like this are known as impacted.
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that come in when a person is between their late teenage years and their early twenties. When they are properly aligned, they pose no threat to the jaw and can even be helpful.
However, it is common for them to be misaligned. If this is the case, they need to be extracted.
Wisdom teeth can cause several problems if they are not aligned properly. The teeth can become crowded and can even damage other teeth, nerves, or jawbones.
Additionally, if the teeth are angled in a certain way, they are able to trap debris and plaque which can lead to tooth decay.
It is also possible for the teeth to only partially erupt and become entrapped within the tissue of the gums. This can lead to infections that can cause swelling, pain, stiffness in the jaw, gum disease, and tooth decay.
When to See a Dentist
You should make an appointment to see your dentist if your wisdom teeth are causing severe pain. They’ll check your teeth and advise you whether they need to be removed.
If your dentist thinks you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed, they’ll usually carry out an X-ray of your mouth. This gives them a clearer view of the position of your teeth.
As with any teeth problems, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible, rather than waiting for your regular dental check-up.
How Wisdom Teeth are Removed
Your dentist may remove your wisdom teeth, or they may refer you to a specialist surgeon for hospital treatment.
Before the operation, the procedure will usually be explained to you and you may be asked to sign a consent form.
You’ll usually be given a local anesthetic injection to numb the area around the tooth. You’ll feel some pressure just before the tooth is removed, as your dentist or oral surgeon needs to widen the tooth socket by rocking the tooth back and forth.
A minor cut in the gum is sometimes necessary, and the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces before it’s removed.
It takes anything from a few minutes to 20 minutes, or sometimes even longer, to remove a wisdom tooth.
After your wisdom teeth have been removed, you may have swelling and discomfort, both inside and outside your mouth. Occasionally, some mild bruising is also visible. This is usually worse for the first 3 days, but it can last for up to 2 weeks.
Recovery Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction
The average recovery period lasts between 5 and 7 days, with the gums completely healing between 3 and 4 weeks after the procedure. The recovery period maybe even longer if the jaw becomes damaged during the extraction of the wisdom teeth.
After extraction of the teeth, bleeding typically occurs for around 24 hours. In order to control any bleeding, the patient should place a moist piece of clean gauze on the site of extraction.
This can be done in increments of 45 minutes.
Another effective means of preventing bleeding is with a teabag which contains a tannic acid that has been proven to promote clotting. However, if the bleeding continues for longer than it should, they should consult a dentist or oral surgeon.
Swelling of the face is common after the extraction of wisdom teeth. In order to relieve facial swelling, ice can be applied to the area.
The ice can be applied for a period of 10 minutes and then removed for a period of 20 minutes. This can be repeated as often as necessary.
The dental surgeon may also prescribe pain medications and antibiotics if necessary in order to relieve pain and prevent infection in the surrounding tissue.
Your wisdom teeth don’t usually need to be removed if they’re impacted but aren’t causing any problems. This is because there’s no proven benefit of doing this and it carries the risk of complications.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth that have become impacted or haven’t fully broken through the surface of the gum can cause dental problems.
Food and bacteria can get trapped around the edge of the wisdom teeth, causing a build-up of plaque, which can lead to:
tooth decay (dental caries)
gum disease (also called gingivitis or periodontal disease)
pericoronitis – when plaque causes an infection of the soft tissue that surrounds the tooth
cellulitis – a bacterial infection in the cheek, tongue, or throat
abscess – a collection of pus in your wisdom teeth or the surrounding tissue as a result of a bacterial infection
cysts and benign growths–rarely, a wisdom tooth that hasn’t cut through the gum develops a cyst (a fluid-filled swelling)
Many of these problems can be treated with antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwash.
We usually recommend wisdom teeth removal when other treatments haven’t worked.
Dentists and surgeons follow nationally approved guidelines for the removal of wisdom teeth.
Cost of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
A simple wisdom tooth extraction may cost no more than $99 for each tooth. However, if the teeth are impacted, it can easily cost as much as $340 per tooth if not more. The costs can vary also depending upon the location.
Therefore, an oral surgeon or dentist should be contacted in order to receive a quote. One should also check with their healthcare provider in order to determine how much of the procedure will be covered.
Wisdom teeth are actually the third molars in the top and bottom jaw. These are the very last teeth to erupt and are a part of the permanent teeth. Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the late teen and early 20s.
Wisdom teeth removal cost of insurance can increase if your wisdom teeth erupt later in life or do not erupt at all.
2. Do My Wisdom Teeth Have to Be Removed?
Wisdom teeth do not always have to be removed. If the wisdom teeth have erupted and are not in a critical position in the mouth, these teeth can be kept in the mouth.
When your wisdom teeth show signs of disease or decay, or if the teeth cause damage to surrounding teeth, they should be removed as soon as possible.
3. Is Wisdom Teeth Removal a Painful Procedure?
No, the removal of your wisdom teeth is not a painful procedure. There are plenty of options for local and general anesthesia that ease your pain during the actual extraction.
Your dentist might also prescribe steroids or painkillers following the extraction to ensure that your healing time is not painful.
Wisdom teeth removal cost does not include the cost of medications or painkillers following the extraction.
4. How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost?
In most cases, the wisdom teeth removal expense varies between $75 for a single tooth to upwards of $3000 for surgical removal of all four wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth removal cost is determined by the location of the teeth, the type of extraction required, and the type of dentist who is performing the procedure.
5. At What Age Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Your dentist will provide a thorough examination and x-rays of your wisdom teeth to determine whether they require an extraction.
You should have your wisdom teeth removed as early as possible to avoid complications, tooth decay, and damage to other teeth in your jaw.
The longer you wait to have the teeth pulled, the more likely you are to have complications with the extraction.
Wisdom teeth require removal to ensure that your other teeth remain healthy and stable.
Wisdom teeth can grow into your jaw with no removal, but since dental care and hygiene have improved so much in the last century, these teeth often crowd your permanent teeth and make brushing and flossing a problem.
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