Are you ignoring pain in your back molars because you don’t have a dental plan? Are you wondering why your wisdom teeth never grew in? Is the back of your mouth getting crowded? If you have experienced any of these, you may want to ask your dentist to take a second look at your wisdom teeth.
Wisdom Teeth Removal – Is It Necessary?
Wisdom teeth are your final set of molars, usually not appearing until your late teens or early 20s. When they grow in properly, they can improve the efficiency of your chewing and are an asset to your mouth. More often than not, however, these teeth are misaligned and must be removed, which could be an expensive procedure if you do not have dental insurance. Sometimes the wisdom teeth can even be stuck deep in the jaw bone, or even simply remain below the gum, and will never grow in. Wisdom teeth that will not grow in are “impacted.”
Your dentist will visually examine the area as well as take X-rays to assess the situation under the gum line. This helps determine if and how the wisdom molars need to be extracted. A discount dental plan may be available to reduce the cost of the exam. Dentists recommend extracting them by age 18 if they look like they could be problematic. Patients aged 35 and up have a greater risk of complications from the procedure, because the impacted teeth fuse to the jaw bone as people age. An extraction may be necessary if it looks like the wisdom teeth might interrupt normal sinus functionality or cause the other teeth to shift. Third molars that never emerge from the gum can be painful as well.
Does Wisdom Teeth Extraction Require Surgery?
If one or more of your wisdom teeth must be taken out, the procedure can vary from a simple extraction to full surgery under anesthesia. The type of procedure typically depends on the position of each wisdom tooth.
- If the tooth is fully visible and completely erupted through your gum, a general dentist can quickly and easily remove it without surgery.
- If the tooth is impacted under your gum or embedded in your jaw bone, it will require more complicated intervention. An oral surgeon or dentist will make an incision in the gum, and any bone covering your tooth will be removed. The impacted tooth is then taken out, often in small sections to minimize the amount of overlying bone that must be sacrificed. This complex procedure often requires an oral surgeon.
Will dental insurance cover the procedure?
Most dental insurance will help lower the cost of your wisdom teeth extraction if you have met your deductible. You you have reached your maximum, or if you have no dental insurance, a discount dental plan could lower the cost even more. See the Careington Care 500 fee schedule for more details.
One other cost-saving tip: Follow your dentist’s instructions! Recovery from a wisdom tooth extraction usually takes no more than a few days to a week, but if you ignore the dentist’s directions for how to take care of the area, you could face additional problems. Dry socket, for example, is a painful situation where the blood clot comes out instead of closing the wound where the tooth originally was. This occasionally happens completely on accident, but more often than not, it occurs when the patient fails to clean the area or doesn’t eat soft food. If you want to avoid expensive complications, listen to your dentist or oral surgeon.
Did you have your wisdom teeth extracted?