The thought of having any tooth pulled is enough to make most people cringe, but this is often due to a lack of understanding of how much less pain they experience will cause them and how comfortable it can be made for them at the same time. Talk about having your wisdom teeth removed, and it’s no different.
Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common types of procedures seen in dentist offices today, and it has only been improved upon over the years.
Some of the most common questions that people have when facing this procedure include:
Why do I need to get my wisdom teeth removed?
What is the cost of wisdom tooth extraction?
Will my insurance cover this type of dental procedure?
What can I expect from wisdom teeth removal?
What is the recovery process going to be like?
What you have before you is the most comprehensive guide on wisdom teeth removal to exist to date, which will not only answer the questions above but much more as well. It is our goal to help you understand the procedure and what it entails so that there’s no longer any need to be anxious.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth and the third and last set of molars that are in the back of the mouth. While they’re the strongest molars that one can have, they’re often not properly aligned which has been known to cause discomfort as well as other issues.
Since your wisdom teeth aren’t like all of your other teeth, extreme care must be embraced when removing them which means that there’s truly not a do-it-yourself solution. It’s an advanced procedure that should only be performed by your dentist or an oral surgeon.
Why would wisdom teeth need to be removed?
It’s thought that our ancestors had larger mouths than we do today, which provided room for the wisdom teeth to comfortably grown in. During these times, our ancestors would often use these teeth in order to chew plant foliage so that they could digest it.
However, as time went on, humans evolved and so did our mouth structure. A lot of the time, wisdom teeth can be more of a pain than they are worth. No longer does our diet consist of raw meat, nuts, and plant foliage to survive. Eliminating the need for wisdom teeth.
Most of the time, impacted wisdom teeth are the main cause for them to be removed. If you have impacted wisdom teeth you could find yourself in situations such as:
· Bad breath that can’t be explained.
· Bleeding that comes from your gums.
· Having an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
· Pain that can be felt in your jaw area.
· Your gums being swollen or extremely tender.
In order to safely identify whether you need your wisdom teeth or not, you will need to have your dentist take a look and see whether or not they will grow in properly (or have grown in properly). If you experience a lot of pain with your molars or if they have grown in sideways (formally know as being impacted), wisdom teeth removal is the only option.
The Cost of Wisdom Teeth Removal
Since this isn’t your normal tooth extraction, there are a lot of different factors that come into play when determining how much you’ll have to pay. Below, you’ll see each type of extraction broken down so you can see how much it costs as well as what it entails.
Simple Wisdom Tooth Extractions
This is a lot more basic than some of the procedures that follow in this list, which also makes them more affordable ($100-$200 per tooth). The procedures are the least complex and this is the most common way for one to get their wisdom teeth removed. This is only an option when the teeth have erupted from the gums, providing for a normal position.
Basic Surgical Extractions for Wisdom Teeth
When your wisdom teeth are still in the gum tissue itself, you won’t be able to embrace a simple extraction that was described above. Instead, you will still have to undergo a more advanced procedure. There will have to be an incision made into your gums to help free your wisdom teeth. This also makes the overall process a little bit more complicated than a simple extraction.
You can expect this to come with a price tag that ranges anywhere from $200-$400 per tooth, or $750-$1,500 for all four of your wisdom teeth to be removed.
Extensive Surgical Extractions for Wisdom Teeth
This is the level that requires the most work and is formally known as surgery for a bony impaction which is where the wisdom teeth have not broken free of the jawbone. Due to this, not only will the wisdom teeth need surgery for extraction, but pieces of the jawbone will need to be removed as well.
Since this is the most extensive type of wisdom tooth surgery, it’s pricier than the other procedures. You can expect to pay anywhere from $250-$500 per tooth or $1,000-$1,500+ for all four to be removed. Certain cases could require you to pay double that price if it requires additional care for successful removal.
Does insurance cover the removal of wisdom teeth?
The general rule of thumb is that the procedure must be deemed as medically necessary, and most of the time this is the case as impacted wisdom teeth could lead to further issues down the road. Even if they’re not impacted, if it poses a risk of health issues it would still be medically necessary.
Keep in mind that how much your insurance company will pay on extracting wisdom teeth is up to them and the policies that they have in place. Your best bet is to consult with your dentist to see what the coverage will be like as they can provide you with the most reliable outlook on things of this nature.
Other Financing Options for Wisdom Tooth Removal
Sometimes a person might not have insurance coverage when they need to get their wisdom teeth removed, but this doesn’t mean that they’re completely out of hope. Thankfully, there are dental savings plans available that you can embrace as well as third-party financing specifically built for when patients find themselves in situations like these.
Your dentist will be able to advise you on what kind of financing might be available through them, as they have usually developed relationships with lenders to get their patients the level of dental care that they deserve and eliminate the risk of having to turn them away.
Preparing for Wisdom Teeth Removal
When you’re required to undergo this type of procedure, the odds are that it’s based upon an in-office visit that revealed the need to do so. Take this time to speak with your dentist about what’s going to happen, as well as if you will have to stop taking any prescription medications prior to the procedure.
From there, you should be prepared to take someone with you on the day of surgery. If an anesthetic or laughing gas is used (which it normally is in this case), there is no way that you will be able to drive yourself home. If nobody can come with you, consider taking a taxi (or Uber/Lyft).
Your dentist will also advise you whether you should avoid eating or drinking anything the night before you get your wisdom teeth removed. A lot of the time, you will but there are certain cases where this isn’t required but it is very rare.
As far as taking off work, expect to take a minimum of 2-3 days off to ensure that you have time to recover without exposing yourself to any unnecessary risks. With that said, you should be very well prepared for that big day.
Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery
While the sound of undergoing any type of surgery isn’t what everyone looks forward to. However, knowing how to ensure a full recovery after the fact is sure to make life easier. That’s why we present to you the most comprehensive guide on recovering from wisdom teeth removal.
· Day 1 of Recovering from Wisdom Tooth Extraction
This is one of the most important days of recovery as it provides a solid foundation for the days ahead of you. The effects that you will feel depend upon what kind of anesthetic and/or sedative was used during the procedure.
It’s common to be delirious, experience memory loss, or want to sleep when you get home after having your wisdom teeth removed. Within the first day you’ll notice the blood trying to clot around the area where your wisdom teeth used to be. It’s important not to disturb this area in any way as it is essential to the healing process and to take any medications that may have been prescribed in order to minimize discomfort.
Your dentist might have recommended that you leave the gauze pad on the area for the first few hours after returning home. This is so that the bleeding is stopped until the blood has a chance to clot within the area.
If you have swelling around your mouth or jawline, you can use an ice pack to reduce the swelling (a common rule of thumb is to keep an icepack around your mouth/jaw for 15 minutes, then take a break for 15 minutes, and repeat the process as needed).
Other measures that should be taken during your first day of surgery include:
- Avoid drinking alcohol and using tobacco.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- Don’t use a straw, even if it seems like a good idea.
- Don’t consume anything that’s extremely cold or extremely hot.
- Limit your diet to liquids and extremely soft foods.
- Make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- No brushing, flossing, rinsing or spitting unless directed to do otherwise.
- This is a day for you to rest and relax, so make sure to take advantage of it.
Watch Out for Excessive Bleeding During Your First Day of Wisdom Teeth Recovery
While it is common to have some bleeding after the procedure, excessive bleeding isn’t good, and you need to make sure to contact your dentist or seek medical attention if this occurs.
As for why bleeding naturally occurs on the first day of recovering, this is because you did undergo a type of oral surgery. Your blood needs a chance to clot in the area where it was performed so that it can naturally stop the bleeding.
You can help slow the bleeding by keeping your head elevated and avoiding the usage of tobacco or alcohol (since this not only directly affects the area but your bloodstream as well). One more thing to make sure of is during this time you don’t brush or otherwise disturb the area where the procedure was performed.
· Day 2 of Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery
If a local anesthetic was used during the procedure, the second day is where you may start having a much clearer train of thought. It could be possible for you to continue to experience tiredness or confusion.
On this day, your body is still working overtime to recover from your wisdom tooth extraction. So, you will still want to embrace everything that was covered for the first day as well as avoid any activities that may be too strenuous.
If your dentist has directed you to rinse your mouth out, this is the day that you’ll want to start doing so as well as start brushing your teeth (unless you were told to do otherwise of course). As far as your diet is concerned, you can gradually reintroduce soft foods such as bread, ground beef, noodles, and soups. Just make sure you don’t disturb the area where your teeth were removed so you don’t risk further complications.
It is likely that you might continue to face pain or discomfort on the second day after your wisdom teeth surgery, but this isn’t as uncommon as one might think. Also expect bruising and swelling at this time but rest assured that it’s only temporary.
If you experience any symptoms such as a bloody nose, bleeding that’s excessive, pus that comes from around the area where your wisdom teeth were removed, or pain that’s intolerable, it’s best to contact your dentist immediately.
Keep Your Eye Out for Dry Socket During the Second Day of Recovery
While you might be able to help “dry socket” with warm salt water, it’s important that you notify your dentist or doctor if it’s a condition that you experience. It’s caused by the blood clot not staying where it needs to stay to ensure proper healing. Usually this is due to disturbing the area where the procedure was performed.
· Day 3 of Recovering from a Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
By now things should be returning to normal for you, with the exception of a little bit of bruising, pain, and swelling that’s considered to be normal after one undergoes wisdom tooth extraction. You could return to work on this day if your work consists of light-duty that’s not too physically demanding. However, it’s recommended that you wait until after this day to return.
When it comes to what you can and can’t eat, you should be able to resume a normal diet without having to worry about only eating soft foods. One thing that you do want to be aware of is that you want to avoid foods that are extremely hard (like nuts) and anything that’s sticky.
Your mouth will still be healing, and the blood clot does still have a chance of dislodging. Make sure any brushing or rinsing is done in a way that avoids the area. You’re not completely off of the hook just yet, so make sure you keep a close eye on how things are healing at this point.
Make Sure No Infection Sets in at This Point: It’s Critical
Infection usually sets in during the first few days if it’s going to. While it’s not uncommon for bacteria to infiltrate the area where your wisdom teeth were removed, it can pose a delay when it comes to how fast things are able to heal properly. Not to mention, it could pose a serious hazard to your health.
Signs of infection can include excessive bleeding, increased pain, or pus from the nose or the area where the procedure was performed. If you notice any of these signs, don’t take the risk by second-guessing it. Contact your dentist, doctor, or oral surgeon immediately.
· Days 4-7 of Recovering from Removing Your Wisdom Teeth
In most cases, the fourth day is when patients can resume their regular routines without the risk of making things worse for themselves during recovery. This is something that will vary on a case-by-case basis as it could take some up to an entire week for things to be back to normal.
By the fifth day, the swelling should have gone down or subsided entirely, and the majority of the pain should be minimal at this point. However, if you feel the pain going to your ear or increasing in any way, you might want to double-check with your dentist just in case this is a sign that there is an infection present.
Your stitches have got to go, it’s really not that big of a deal!
During the last part of the first week, your stitched may start to loosen up (and even fall out) which is entirely normal. They aren’t meant to stay in there forever and won’t cause you any harm if they’re swallowed. This isn’t an area of concern as it’s part of the healing process.
· Days 8-14 of Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Extraction
You have really come a long way since removing your wisdom teeth, so now it’s time to give yourself a pat on the back. Good job!
During the second week of recovery, you can lift all of the restrictions and embrace life just as you were prior to the surgery. Your pain should be minimal if not gone completely and the same goes for the swelling. You should be getting back to your normal self by now.
This doesn’t mean that you need to take unnecessary risks. Keep an eye on the extraction site for anything abnormal so that you can act on it if necessary. During this week, you should have a follow-up appointment with your dentist or oral surgeon to see how things are healing. If any stitches remain, they’ll be removed at this appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wisdom Teeth Removal
Are you awake during wisdom tooth removal?
This depends upon the type of anesthetic that your dentist or oral surgeon uses. In most cases, a local anesthetic is used so you would be awake while your wisdom teeth are removed. However, there are circumstances that may require a higher dosage of anesthetic (or warrant the usage of laughing gas) which could put you to sleep.
Can I sleep after wisdom teeth removal?
While you will have to adapt for the first few days after surgery, you can sleep after the removal. Just make sure for 3-5 days that you keep your head elevated when you sleep so that the bleeding can stop more easily while ensuring that swelling is stopped.
Can wisdom teeth cause anxiety?
The primary source of anxiety is when one faces undergoing the procedure to remove their wisdom teeth. Just like other kinds of medical procedures, it can be a rather stressful experience for anyone. It is more apt to produce anxiety when discomfort and/or pain is present.
Can you remove your own wisdom teeth?
No. Removing your own wisdom teeth is not like pulling any other kind of tooth, mainly because of their position as well as other factors that must be considered. This is why you should always seek the help of a dentist if your wisdom teeth seem to be giving you problems.
Does removing wisdom teeth change face shape?
While it’s often thought that losing your teeth will cause the structure of your face to change, this is extremely rare when it comes to having your wisdom teeth removed. In fact, it’s almost non-existent as it doesn’t affect the muscle in your face as much as it would with someone with multiple tooth loss.
Do wisdom teeth cause mood swings?
It has been known that your wisdom teeth as well as other periodontal diseases have shown a strong link to one having mood swings. It’s important to keep in mind that if you’re experiencing any kind of dental discomfort that it could have a direct effect on your emotions as well as mood.
Do you tell secrets after you get your wisdom teeth out?
The usage of an anesthetic or laughing gas isn’t known to make you do things that are way out of the ordinary for you. This means that you don’t have to worry about letting your deepest secrets be told when you don’t want them to be. Keep in mind, that your dentist is required to uphold client confidentiality, either way, so even if it was the case it will still be protected.
How many days off do you need for wisdom teeth?
Three days is a good number that you can count on. This will provide you with plenty of time to recover and let the effects of sedation wear off entirely. However, if you work with heavy equipment and are on pain medications, you will want to consider limited duty as well as speak with your dentist about the best route for you to take.
Is it rare to have all 4 wisdom teeth?
Absolutely not, as four wisdom teeth are common for anyone to have. You could even have less than four which isn’t uncommon either. The rare existence of wisdom teeth is one has more than four, which is referred to as supernumerary teeth within the dental world.
Is wisdom tooth removal painful?
Usually not, because the area that your wisdom teeth are located will be number by the use of an anesthetic. In some cases, laughing gas is used to make the experience even more comfortable for the patient. If you do feel pain during the procedure, speak up, and let your dentist know so that they can administer more anesthetic to ensure the experience is painless.
Should I get all 4 wisdom teeth removed at once?
If your dentist feels that it’s necessary for all four to be removed during a single procedure, this is the best route to take. It will usually take less than an hour to have all four of them removed and sometimes is used as a way to prevent any further dental issues associated with your wisdom teeth.
What happens if I drink water before wisdom teeth surgery?
A general rule of thumb is to not eat or drink anything for 4-8 hours prior to having the procedure done because there is a chance of regurgitation during the procedure which could be fatal. However, less than 1 liter of water shouldn’t be an issue but this doesn’t mean that it’s recommended.
What is the minimum age that one can remove their wisdom teeth?
Those who are as young as 12 years old can have their wisdom teeth removed. However, the most common age for removal is when one is 16 years and older as this is when they usually have a chance to grow in.
What is a “dry socket”?
When your wisdom teeth are removed, your blood will try to clot on the surface to prevent further bleeding from occurring. If you eat, drink, or otherwise disturb the area where your wisdom tooth was, it could create what is known as a dry “socket.” This also exposes the nerves in the area which can be a painful experience.
What will I need to do if I get “dry socket”?
Use a � teaspoon of salt and mix it with 8 ounces of warm water. Use this mix to swish around your mouth so that it can remove any food particles around the dry socket. Afterward, try to avoid using that part of your mouth for eating.
What symptoms can wisdom teeth cause?
There is a wide array of symptoms which include, but isn’t limited to bad breath, having difficulty opening your jaw, pain, and swelling. It’s important to see a dentist if any of these problems persist as it could lead into other complications.
When can I eat normal food after wisdom tooth extraction?
You should wait at least a week before chewing any hard foods or consuming anything that’s spicy, but keep in mind that you’ll want to introduce these foods slowly into your diet. During the first week, expect to maintain a diet that consists of soft foods.
When can I exercise after wisdom teeth removal?
After 48 hours, you can reintroduce light exercises into your life. This is because you don’t want to take a chance of the blood clot becoming loose and possibly causing a “dry socket.” Slowly build your exercise routines back up to normal while being aware of the effect that it’s having on you.
Where do I get wisdom teeth removed?
You can visit your dentist or an oral surgeon to have your wisdom teeth removed. Since these procedures can take up to an hour, you might be required to make a special appointment for wisdom teeth removal dependent on the availability of your dentist.
Will wisdom teeth removal straighten teeth?
No, but many patients report having a better bite without their wisdom teeth than they did when they had them. Also, removing your wisdom teeth doesn’t pose a risk of misalignment either.
Why would it smell after I get my wisdom teeth removed?
This is often the sign of an infection and/or “dry socket.” Consuming more water can help eliminate this smell, and warm salt water can help if you’re experiencing a “dry socket.”
We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive guide on wisdom teeth removal. If you are in need to have your wisdom teeth removed, or are curious about any other related inquiries contact our expert team today.