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The Average Cost of Wisdom Tooth Removal

January 18, 202419 min read

Wisdom tooth removal is a common dental procedure that may be necessary due to various reasons such as impaction or complications. Understanding the average cost of wisdom tooth removal is important for individuals considering this procedure. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the cost, insurance coverage, payment options, and key takeaways to keep in mind.

Key Takeaways

  • The average cost of wisdom tooth removal varies depending on factors such as the number of teeth, complexity of the extraction, and the location and reputation of the oral surgeon.

  • Insurance coverage for wisdom tooth removal typically ranges from 50% to 80%, but it is important to review the specifics of your insurance plan.

  • Without insurance, the average cost of a fully erupted wisdom tooth extraction is approximately $325.38, but this may vary based on the cost of living in your area.

  • The recovery period after wisdom tooth removal typically lasts for 7-10 days, during which pain management and proper oral hygiene are crucial.

  • Potential complications of wisdom tooth removal include dry socket, infection, and nerve damage, although these risks are relatively low.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Anatomy of Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the mouth. They typically appear between the ages of 17 to 27 years. Unlike the other teeth in the mouth, wisdom teeth often do not have enough space to properly align and can become impacted. There are three types of wisdom teeth impactions: soft tissue, partial bony, and complete bony. The impaction can also be categorized based on the direction of the tooth, such as distally impacted, mesially impacted, or vertically impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause various dental problems and may require removal.

Function of Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to erupt in the mouth. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25. The function of wisdom teeth is not entirely clear, as they are not necessary for chewing or biting food. Some theories suggest that wisdom teeth were useful for our ancestors who had a tougher diet and larger jaws. However, in modern times, wisdom teeth often cause problems due to their late eruption and lack of space in the mouth. As a result, they are commonly removed to prevent complications.

Common Problems with Wisdom Teeth

Some of the possible problems related to not removing your wisdom teeth include:

  • Infection: The most frequent clinical problem we see is pericoronitis, (a localized gum infection). Without enough room for a total eruption, the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth can become irritated and infected, resulting in recurrent pain, swelling, and problems with chewing and/or swallowing.

  • Cyst Formation: Non-infectious diseases may also arise in association with an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts are fluid-filled 'balloons' inside the jaw bone that develop as a result of impacted teeth and can cause damage to the surrounding bone and teeth.

  • Orthodontic Problems: Wisdom teeth can exert pressure on the surrounding teeth, causing crowding, misalignment, and potential damage to the orthodontic treatment.

Tip: It is important to consult with an oral surgeon to determine if wisdom tooth removal is necessary to prevent these potential problems.

When is Wisdom Tooth Removal Necessary?

Signs and Symptoms

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to seek dental attention:

  • Bleeding that is not improving

  • Worsening pain after 3 days

  • Sharp bone sticking out of the gums

These signs may indicate complications after wisdom tooth removal and should be addressed by your dentist.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the tooth is unable to fully emerge from the gums. There are two types of impaction: bony impaction and soft tissue impaction. In bony impaction, the wisdom tooth is still covered by both the bone and gum, while in soft tissue impaction, the wisdom tooth is covered only with the gum. Partially erupted teeth break through the gum but are unable to emerge fully, which can lead to infection, gum disease, or decay. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include pain, swelling, and difficulty opening the mouth. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with an oral surgeon for evaluation and treatment.

Complications of Untreated Wisdom Teeth

Untreated wisdom teeth can lead to various complications and problems. One common issue is infection, which occurs when the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth becomes irritated and infected. This can result in recurrent pain, swelling, and difficulties with chewing and swallowing. Another potential problem is the formation of cysts, which are fluid-filled 'balloons' that develop as a result of impacted teeth. These cysts can cause further discomfort and may require additional treatment. Additionally, untreated wisdom teeth can exert pressure on adjacent teeth, leading to gum disease, bone loss, and decay. It is important to address these complications by removing wisdom teeth in a timely manner to avoid further complications and maintain oral health.

Preparing for Wisdom Tooth Removal

Consultation with Oral Surgeon

During the consultation with the oral surgeon, your specific situation will be discussed in greater detail. The surgeon will review your x-rays, complete an examination, and determine the best option for anesthesia. They will also provide you with an accurate estimate of the cost of the procedure. It's important to note that every insurance company has a different policy regarding coverage for surgical procedures, but the oral surgeon's office staff will assist you in obtaining maximum insurance coverage for your treatment. If you have any questions or concerns before the surgery, feel free to contact us.

Pre-operative Instructions

On the day of your surgery, it is essential that you have nothing to eat or drink (excluding prescription medications with a sip of water) for at least 6 hours (preferably longer). This does not mean you should try to fit in one “last meal” exactly six hours before your surgery. Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk for serious anesthetic complications, including nausea and vomiting. Your procedure will be rescheduled if you have not heeded these guidelines. We may provide you with a prescription for pain medication at your consultation appointment, which for your convenience, can be filled in advance. When you are seated in the surgical room, we will make every effort to make you as comfortable as possible. If you are going to be sedated, we usually will place an IV in your left arm. This is a quick and nearly painless procedure that ensures optimal delivery of your medication. Local anesthesia will be administered to numb the surgical area and minimize discomfort during the procedure.

Medications and Anesthesia Options

If you're nervous or anxious, you may want to be sedated in addition to the local anesthesia for numbing. Nitrous oxide, also known as 'laughing gas', is another option. It does not require a chaperone. Oral conscious sedation is a prescription medication that you take by mouth an hour prior to the procedure. It is usually one of the anxiolytics: diazepam, midazolam, triazolam, and lorazepam. You'll need a chaperone. All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize your comfort. Our office staff has the training, licensing, and experience to provide the various types of anesthesia. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and a well-trained experienced staff. The Surgical Care Team, the office facilities, and the doctors are inspected on behalf of the Board of Dental Examiners on a regular basis. On the day of your procedure, you will take medications to help minimize post-operative pain and swelling. We ask that a parent or guardian accompany minors to the office and plan to remain in the office during the procedure. If you are taking any blood thinners, you may need additional preparation or the procedure may need to be done at a hospital.

The Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure

Surgical Techniques

The surgical techniques used for wisdom tooth removal may vary depending on the position and condition of the teeth. The most common technique is extraction, where the tooth is carefully removed from the socket. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth may require a more complex procedure called surgical extraction, which involves making an incision in the gum to access the tooth. Another technique is sectioning, where the tooth is divided into smaller pieces for easier removal. The choice of technique will be determined by the oral surgeon based on the individual case.

Duration of the Procedure

The duration of the wisdom tooth removal procedure typically ranges from 30 to 60 minutes. However, it is important to note that the actual time may vary depending on various factors such as the complexity of the extraction and the number of wisdom teeth being removed. During the procedure, state-of-the-art sterilization and infection control techniques are used to ensure patient safety. After the procedure, patients can expect to spend approximately 90 minutes in the office. It is recommended to have a parent or responsible adult accompany you to the office and stay with you for the rest of the day.

Post-operative Care

After the wisdom tooth removal procedure, it is important to follow proper post-operative care instructions to ensure a smooth recovery. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Take the prescribed medications to minimize post-operative pain and swelling.

  • Avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 6 hours before the surgery to reduce the risk of complications.

  • Start your post-operative diet with clear liquids and gradually increase in substance.

  • Avoid dairy products on the day of surgery to prevent nausea and vomiting.

Remember to follow all the post-operative instructions provided by your oral surgeon for a speedy recovery.

Tip: Applying ice packs and taking prescribed pain medications can help alleviate swelling and discomfort during the recovery period.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Wisdom Tooth Removal

Number of Wisdom Teeth

Most people have four wisdom teeth - one on the left and right of both the upper and lower jaw. However, it's possible for some people to have fewer than this or none at all. In some rare cases, a person can have five, six or more - a condition known as hypodontia. This often results in a double set of extractions.

Here is a table summarizing the number of wisdom teeth:

Number of Wisdom Teeth

Four

Fewer than four

None

If you have any concerns about the number of wisdom teeth you have, it is best to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Tip: Regular dental check-ups can help identify any issues with wisdom teeth and prevent potential complications.

Complexity of the Extraction

Extraction is a common dental procedure and dentists will do what they can to explain the surgery, reassure you, and make it pain-free. Although you may feel uncomfortable for a few days after the procedure, following your dentist's advice will help speed up your recovery. You'll need to take care around the extraction site to reduce the chances of infection or injury. If you're experiencing painful wisdom toothache it's best to speak to your dentist. The pain may just be from the eruption of new teeth but if it's something more serious you will be glad to have the problem dealt with.

Location and Reputation of the Oral Surgeon

The location and reputation of the oral surgeon can affect the cost of wisdom tooth removal. Location plays a role in determining the overall cost, as oral surgeons in different areas may have different fee structures. Additionally, reputation can also impact the cost, as highly reputable oral surgeons may charge higher fees for their services. It is important to consider both the location and reputation of the oral surgeon when estimating the cost of wisdom tooth removal.

Average Cost of Wisdom Tooth Removal

Cost Breakdown

The average cost of wisdom tooth removal can vary depending on several factors. Here is a breakdown of the costs involved:

  • Extraction Procedure: The cost of the actual extraction procedure can range from $75 to $200 per tooth.

  • Anesthesia: Anesthesia is often used during wisdom tooth removal to ensure a painless experience. The cost of anesthesia can range from $200 to $500.

  • Consultation and X-rays: Before the procedure, a consultation with an oral surgeon and X-rays may be necessary. The cost for these services can range from $100 to $300.

  • Medications: After the procedure, pain medications and antibiotics may be prescribed. The cost of these medications can vary.

It's important to note that these costs are just estimates and can vary depending on the location and complexity of the extraction. It's recommended to consult with an oral surgeon to get an accurate cost estimate for your specific case.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage for wisdom tooth removal varies depending on the individual's insurance plan. Some insurance plans may cover a portion or all of the cost of the procedure, while others may have limitations or exclusions. It is important to contact your insurance provider to understand the specifics of your coverage. Additionally, it is recommended to consult with your oral surgeon's office to verify if they accept your insurance and if they can assist with the insurance claims process. Remember to bring your insurance information to your consultation appointment.

Payment Options

When it comes to paying for wisdom tooth removal, there are several payment options available to patients. These options include:

  1. Insurance Coverage: Many dental insurance plans cover a portion of the cost of wisdom tooth removal. It is important to check with your insurance provider to understand what is covered and what your out-of-pocket expenses may be.

  2. Payment Plans: Some oral surgeons offer payment plans to help make the cost of wisdom tooth removal more manageable. These plans allow patients to spread out the cost of the procedure over time.

  3. Dental Loans: Another option for financing wisdom tooth removal is to take out a dental loan. Dental loans are specifically designed to cover the cost of dental procedures and can be a convenient way to pay for wisdom tooth removal.

It is important to discuss payment options with your oral surgeon before scheduling the procedure to ensure you understand the financial aspects of the treatment.

Recovery and Aftercare

Immediate Aftercare

After the wisdom tooth removal procedure, it is important to take proper care of yourself to ensure a smooth recovery. Here are some tips for immediate aftercare:

  • Rest: Spend the first day resting and recovering. Avoid any strenuous activities such as exercise or physical labor.

  • Soft Foods: Eat soft foods that are easy to chew and won't cause discomfort. This will help with the healing process.

  • Avoid Strenuous Activity: For the next 48 hours, avoid any activities that can increase your heart rate and induce bleeding.

  • Take Prescribed Medications: Take the antibiotics as prescribed and finish the entire course. Also, take your pain medication to minimize discomfort.

  • Facial Swelling: To reduce facial swelling, gently press a cold damp cloth on the affected area during the first 24 hours. Afterward, use warm compresses daily.

  • Rest and Recovery: Take a day or two off work to rest. Avoid strenuous activity for several days, use an extra pillow for support while sleeping, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.

Remember, if you experience excessive bleeding or have any concerns, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

Managing Pain and Swelling

After wisdom tooth removal, it is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling. Here are some tips to manage pain and swelling during the recovery period:

  • Gently press a cold damp cloth on any facial swelling during the first 24 hours, followed by daily warm compresses.

  • Take a day or two off work to rest and avoid strenuous activity for several days.

  • Use an extra pillow for support while sleeping.

  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.

  • Eat only soft foods or liquids for a few days and avoid chewing with the affected part of the mouth.

  • Rinse with warm salt water or antiseptic mouthwash (but not in the first 24 hours and only once a day thereafter until healed).

Remember, if you experience excessive bleeding or have any concerns, speak to your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

Diet and Oral Hygiene

Maintaining a healthy diet and practicing good oral hygiene are essential for maintaining optimal oral health. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth healthy:

  1. Eat a balanced diet: Consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can provide the necessary nutrients for strong teeth and gums.

  2. Limit sugary and acidic foods: Sugary and acidic foods can contribute to tooth decay and erosion. It's important to limit your intake of these foods and practice proper oral hygiene after consuming them.

  3. Brush and floss regularly: Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily can help remove plaque and prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

  4. Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride toothpaste can help strengthen tooth enamel and protect against cavities.

  5. Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption: Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of oral health problems, including gum disease and oral cancer.

Remember, maintaining a healthy diet and practicing good oral hygiene are key to achieving and maintaining a healthy smile.

Potential Complications and Risks

Dry Socket

After tooth extraction, a blood clot should form in the tooth socket to protect the area and promote healing. If this blood clot is dislodged or breaks down, the nerves and bone become exposed – a condition known as a dry socket. It is, as you can imagine, very painful. If you're worried you may have developed a dry socket, contact your dentist immediately. You'll be able to see the bone inside the socket where the blood clot used to be.

Dry socket treatment involves cleaning and dressing the socket – this dressing will need to be replaced regularly until the area has healed. Your dentist may also prescribe painkillers and antibiotics, depending on your symptoms.

Here are some tips to prevent a dry socket:

  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products, as they can increase the risk of developing a dry socket.

  • Be gentle when brushing and flossing near the extraction site to avoid dislodging the blood clot.

  • Follow your dentist's post-operative instructions carefully, including any dietary restrictions and oral hygiene practices.

Remember, if you experience severe pain or any concerning symptoms after tooth extraction, it's important to seek immediate dental care.

Infection

Infection is a common complication that can occur after wisdom tooth removal. It is important to follow proper oral hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection. This includes gently rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater several times a day and avoiding smoking or using a straw, as these activities can increase the risk of infection. If you notice any signs of infection, such as increased pain, swelling, or discharge, it is important to contact your oral surgeon immediately.

To prevent infection, your oral surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to take before and after the procedure. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed to ensure that any potential infection is fully treated. Additionally, following the post-operative care instructions provided by your oral surgeon can help minimize the risk of infection and promote proper healing.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage during wisdom tooth removal is a potential complication that can occur. This can result in numbness or tingling in the tongue, lips, or chin. In rare cases, it may lead to permanent nerve damage. It is important to discuss the risk of nerve damage with your oral surgeon before the procedure.

If you experience any numbness or tingling after the surgery, it is important to notify your oral surgeon immediately. They will be able to assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment.

Table: Potential Complications and Risks

Complication

Description

Dry Socket

Painful condition where the blood clot that normally forms after extraction is dislodged or dissolves prematurely

Infection

Risk of infection at the surgical site

Nerve Damage

Potential for numbness or tingling in the tongue, lips, or chin

Note: This table is for illustrative purposes only and does not include all possible complications.

Tip: It is important to follow all post-operative care instructions provided by your oral surgeon to minimize the risk of complications and promote proper healing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the average cost of wisdom tooth removal can vary depending on several factors such as insurance coverage, location, and the type of impaction. Without insurance, the cost of a fully erupted wisdom tooth extraction is around $325.38. However, the cost can be higher or lower depending on the cost of living in your area. It is important to note that these numbers do not differentiate between general dentists and oral surgeons. Additionally, the cost of wisdom tooth extraction abroad is approximately $1370, with prices ranging from $26 to $2715. Overall, it is recommended to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to get an accurate estimate of the cost based on your specific situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does wisdom tooth removal cost?

The average cost of wisdom tooth removal varies depending on factors such as the number of teeth being removed, the complexity of the extraction, and the location and reputation of the oral surgeon. On average, the cost can range from $1,300 to $1,700 USD for the removal of all wisdom teeth in one procedure.

Does insurance cover wisdom tooth removal?

Most dental insurances will cover wisdom tooth removal at about 80%, meaning your copay will be 20% of the cost. However, coverage may vary depending on your insurance plan, so it's important to read the fine print of your contract.

What is the average cost of wisdom tooth removal without insurance?

The average cost of a fully erupted wisdom tooth removal without insurance is $325.38 USD, according to a national survey by the ADA. However, the cost may be higher or lower depending on the cost of living in your area.

What are the potential complications and risks of wisdom tooth removal?

Some potential complications and risks of wisdom tooth removal include dry socket, infection, and nerve damage. It's important to follow post-operative care instructions and seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe pain, swelling, or other concerning symptoms.

How long does it take to recover from wisdom tooth removal?

The recovery time from wisdom tooth removal can vary, but most people can expect to recover within 7-10 days. It's important to follow post-operative care instructions, manage pain and swelling, and maintain good oral hygiene during the recovery period.

What are the factors that affect the cost of wisdom tooth removal?

The cost of wisdom tooth removal can be affected by factors such as the number of wisdom teeth being removed, the complexity of the extraction, and the location and reputation of the oral surgeon. These factors can influence the overall cost of the procedure.

average cost of wisdom tooth removal

Dr. Heath Hendrickson

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are wisdom teeth, and why do they need to be removed?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to erupt in the mouth, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. They often cause problems because there is insufficient space for them to fully emerge or they may grow in an improper position. This can lead to various issues like pain, infection, tooth decay, gum disease, and damage to adjacent teeth. Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure to address these concerns.

How do I know if my wisdom teeth need to be removed?

If you are experiencing pain, swelling, infection, damage to neighboring teeth, or overcrowding, it is advisable to consult with a dental professional who can examine your mouth and take X-rays to determine the position and condition of your wisdom teeth. Based on their assessment, they can recommend the need for wisdom teeth removal. If you do not have a dentist, please call us and set up a FREE consultation and x-ray to determine a plan that is right for you.

Why are the third molars referred to as wisdom teeth?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, third molars are referred to as wisdom teeth because their common age of eruption is between 17 and 25. Aristotle explained it this way 2500 years ago!

"The last teeth to come in man are molars called ‘wisdom-teeth’, which come at the age of twenty years, in the case of both sexes. Cases have been known in women upwards of eighty years old where at the very close of life the wisdom-teeth have come up, causing great pain in their coming; and cases have been known of the like phenomenon in men too. This happens, when it does happen, in the case of people where the wisdom-teeth have not come up in early years."

— Aristotle, The History of Animals.

Why do we have third molars if we just remove them?

Third molars helped our human ancestors to grind plant tissue during a time when leafy greens were a more important part of our diet. It is thought that the skulls of our ancestors had larger jaws with more room to accommodate more teeth which helped them to chew foliage more efficiently. This was important because humans lack the ability to efficiently digest cellulose, an important part of plant cell walls. Since the advent of agriculture, almost 10,000 years ago, our diets have become softer and include a larger amount of sugar and high energy foods. These diets have resulted in smaller jaws and not enough room for the wisdom teeth. So when they begin to erupt, they are often painful or crooked and do not fit properly in the mouth. Their removal becomes mandatory for a healthy mouth.

What is the process for removing wisdom teeth?

The process for wisdom teeth removal involves a surgical procedure performed by a dentist or oral surgeon. It typically includes making an incision in the gum tissue, removing any bone that blocks access to the tooth, cutting the tooth into smaller pieces and then removing the pieces and suturing the incision. This procedure ensures the complete removal of the impacted or problematic wisdom tooth.

Does everyone have 4 wisdom teeth?

No, although 4 is the most common number (one in each corner of the mouth); some people have 1, 2 or 3 wisdom teeth and some people don’t have any at all! In rare cases people develop additional teeth in the area of the wisdom teeth call ‘para-molars’ and may have 5 or more!

Does wisdom teeth removal require anesthesia or sedation?

Wisdom teeth removal usually requires some form of anesthesia or sedation to ensure patient comfort during the procedure. Your dentist will discuss the options with you, which may include local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth or general anesthesia to render you unconscious during the surgery. We provide an IV sedation for each patient we see. This guarantees you maximum comfort, no memory of the procedure and a faster recovery.

How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth removal?

The recovery period after wisdom teeth removal varies from person to person, but it generally takes about a week to fully recover. During this time, you may experience some swelling and discomfort. Following the post-operative instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon, such as taking prescribed pain medications and applying ice packs, can aid in a smoother recovery process.

What are the potential risks and complications of wisdom teeth removal?

Like any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with wisdom teeth removal. These include infection, dry socket, nerve damage, sinus problems, and temporary or permanent jaw stiffness. However, these complications are relatively rare, and your dental professional will take necessary precautions to minimize the risks.

Can I eat normally after wisdom teeth removal?

Initially, you’ll need to stick to a soft or liquid diet for the first few days after the surgery to facilitate healing. As you progress in your recovery, you can gradually reintroduce solid foods into your diet. It’s important to avoid straws and hard, crunchy, or spicy foods that could irritate the extraction sites. Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide specific dietary guidelines to follow.

Are there any specific instructions or precautions I should follow before and after the procedure?

Prior to wisdom teeth removal, your dental professional will provide you with detailed instructions tailored to your specific situation. These instructions include: fasting 5-6 hours before the surgery, avoid smoking or using a straw post-surgery, take regularly prescribed medications, apply ice packs, maintain proper oral hygiene, and call us if you encounter any problems on our 24/7 after care nurse line. Adhering to these instructions is crucial for a successful recovery.

Will I experience pain during or after the removal?

The procedure itself is usually painless due to anesthesia or sedation. However, it is common to experience some discomfort and swelling after the surgery. Your dentist may prescribe pain medications to manage any post-operative pain. Additionally, using home remedies such as applying ice packs and rinsing with warm saltwater can help alleviate discomfort during the recovery period.

What are the alternatives to wisdom teeth removal?

In certain cases where the wisdom teeth are fully erupted, positioned correctly, and not causing any problems, they may not need to be removed. Regular monitoring and good oral hygiene practices are essential to ensure they do not cause complications in the future. However, if extraction is recommended, it is typically the most effective solution to prevent potential issues associated with impacted or problematic wisdom teeth.

What does it mean that a wisdom tooth is ‘impacted’?

Your dentist will classify a tooth by the degree to which it has been able to grow out of your jaw bone. If a tooth remains trapped in the bone, usually by a lack of space or close proximity to other teeth, the tooth is considered to be ‘impacted’. If your wisdom teeth are impacted and need to be removed, you will experience some degree of swelling around the lower wisdom teeth. Sometimes patient’s refer to this as the “chipmunk effect” because after surgery you look like you are packing nuts in your cheeks like a chipmunk!

When is the best time to remove the wisdom teeth?

This is always a hard question to answer, simply because we can’t see into the future. However, if an X-ray indicates that there is inadequate room for the wisdom teeth to develop then a few criteria may indicate the ideal time to remove the wisdom teeth. Your doctor will help you decide when the time is right - They are best removed before the roots have fully developed. Ideally, when root development is between 25% and 50%. Undeveloped roots increase the chances that your surgery will be successful and you will not suffer any long term negative effects.- If possible, allowing the tooth to erupt as much as possible before it gets ‘stuck’ is also favorable. The closer the tooth gets to erupting, the simpler the surgery to remove it will be.- Age is a consideration and patients in their late teens are ideal candidates for removal. However, in some instances patients as young as 10 years old or as old as 90 may require wisdom tooth removal.- Oftentimes patients will remove the wisdom teeth to prepare for braces at the request of their Orthodontist.- …And, if your wisdom teeth are hurting…this is a great time to remove them!

What could happen if I don’t remove my wisdom teeth when my doctor recommends that I do?

If you wait until your adult years to remove your wisdom teeth several things become more complicated about your surgery.- First, at some point in your late-late teens or early twenties, your lower wisdom teeth will grow root tips and finish developing. Once this happens, the risk of the root tips interfering with the nerve in your mandible raises the risk of temporary or permanent numbness in your lower lip and chin.- The older you become, generally the more dense your bone becomes. Increased bone density will increase the difficulty of removing the wisdom teeth and could cause additional swelling and healing time.- Younger patients heal faster and with less complications overall than older patients. Younger patients generally experience less dry socket, pain and swelling than older patients.

What is a dry socket?

A dry socket (local alveolar osteitis) occurs when the blood clot is lost from the hole left in the jaw after a wisdom tooth is extracted. It generally results in a dull, uncomfortable ache. It is easily treated in the office where you had your wisdom teeth removed.

What can be done to prevent a dry socket?

We see very few dry sockets in our practice! We are excited to provide you with a state of the art procedure called Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) to reduce your chances of dry socket from 1 in 10 to 1 in 100! We offer this procedure at no charge to you! After placing your IV, we will draw a small amount of blood. That blood will be put into a centrifuge and spun very fast until it separates into distinct layers. One of the layers, the Platelet Rich layer contains numerous white blood cells, neutrophils and other key components of healing. This portion of your blood will be put back into the socket to stimulate bone growth and healing, reduce pain and inflammation and dramatically reduce your chance of dry socket. Dr. Hendrickson believes PRF is so beneficial that he provides this service to all of his patients at no cost. Thanks to PRF treatment we see a very small number of dry socket.

Where are you located?

We have 2 locations. Our Provo & Murray offices are located...

Provo Location:

2230 N University Pkwy #8A

Provo, Utah

84604

(801) 370-0050

Murray Location:

5888 S 900 E #101

Murray, UT

84121

(801) 370-0050

What are your hours?

We are open Monday - Friday 8:00 am -5:00 pm MST.

Surgeries are scheduled on Thursdays (Provo) and Fridays (Murray).

Provo Location:

2230 N University Pkwy #8A

Provo, Utah

84604

(801) 370-0050

Murray Location:

5888 S 900 E #101

Murray, UT

84121

(801) 370-0050

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