Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
You may need your wisdom teeth removed if you have one or more impacted wisdom teeth or if you are having difficulty adequately cleaning those that have emerged. It is recommended that all young adults be evaluated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. A consultation and x-ray can reveal impaction, damage to neighboring teeth, signs of decay, gum disease, or perceived complications with future wisdom tooth eruption.
What’s the best age to remove wisdom teeth?
If you do not have enough room in your mouth for your third molars to erupt, it is advisable to have them removed as soon as it is recognized. For some individuals it may be as early as 11 or 12 whereas in others it may not be until 17 or 18 years of age. You will heal faster, with more predictable final healing and have fewer complications than an older patient.
Can I wait to have my wisdom teeth removed?
In the past it was not uncommon to use a “wait and see” approach to wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, if you wait til problems arise, you not only have to deal with the problems such as pain, infection, and crowding of other non-wisdom teeth, but undergoing the procedure itself is more difficult when you’re older than 25.
Recovery is often longer and it becomes more inconvenient when you have a job and possibly your own family to manage while you recuperate. Healing time is less and more predictable when you are younger and the risk of infection increases as you get older.
What should I expect during a wisdom teeth removal?
Most wisdom teeth removals take less than an hour to perform, but you’ll be under anesthesia or sedation to prevent discomfort. Once the teeth are removed, the gums are sutured shut. Keep in mind that you will need a responsible driver to take you home following the extraction, as it will not be safe for you to drive after being heavily sedated.
What do I need to do after wisdom teeth are removed?
You’ll need to keep the area clean and free of debris, like food particles, for a week or so after the wisdom teeth removal. Take all medications exactly as prescribed by Dr. Hinckley and only when necessary. Avoid sucking through a straw for the first several days after surgery, and notify our office if you experience fever or discomfort that worsens after a few days.
What is a Dry Socket?
After your wisdom teeth are removed, there will be a cavity (a.k.a. socket) where the tooth once was. Soon after the procedure a blood clot will form in the socket and help with healing. The cavity will then gradually fill in over the next month with new tissue. In the meantime, the area should be kept clean, especially after meals with salt water rinses or a toothbrush. You will be given a syringe at your follow-up visit to assist in cleaning your socket(s).
A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged too early from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain in the ear may occur a week following surgery. Call the office if your discomfort cannot be managed with the prescribed pain medications.
Does Insurance Cover Wisdom Tooth Removal – How much will it cost?
Insurance coverage can vary depending on your specific plan. Your situation is also unique to you and may require more or less care than someone else but after your initial consultation with Dr. Hinckley, he and his staff can give you a good estimate of what your insurance will cover and how much, if any, you may be responsible for.
What Risks Are Associated With Wisdom Tooth Removal?
Although rare, complications can occur with the procedure to remove wisdom teeth. Occasionally, the removal of gum tissue or a small amount of bone tissue is required for various reasons. Dry sockets are another complication that can be quite painful. Infection may also develop in the socket if the area is not properly cleaned on a regular basis.