Updated: 2/20/2020 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…

Full-mouth X-ray with impacted wisdom tooth

Wisdom Teeth Removal – What is Involved?

Updated: 2/20/2020

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 don’t 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?

  1. You have posted a very informative article. Thanks for it. Also, I have to say that wisdom teeth removal is so painful without anesthesia.

    • It isn’t too late to have your wisdom teeth removed; however, the older you are the more at risk you might be to complications and having a slower recovery time. You don’t necessarily need to have them removed though unless you are experiencing pain or crowding in your lower or upper set of teeth. Speak with your dentist and ask him/her if having your wisdom teeth removed is something you need to consider. If you aren’t experiencing any pain or problems with them then you should be fine to leave them in.

  2. Great post to go through.

    You have very clearly mentioned what are steps involved in wisdom teeth extraction. The third and final set of molars that erupt in the back corners of the upper and lower normal adult’s mouth are called the wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, most people experience problems from wisdom teeth. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth like pain, inflammation, and some kinds of infections are extremely harmful to one’s oral health. Such kind of impacted wisdom teeth needs to be extracted in order to avoid future problems.

  3. Interesting article. That gap at both sides of my mouth remind me of where I had wisdom teeth and to brush regularly. Funny how we loose some teeth which compels us to look after the remaining ones.

  4. When a wisdom tooth is removed, dentists put a local anesthesia to numb the area. However, if several or all of your wisdom teeth are removed, a general anesthesia will be given to prevent pain in the whole body and so you can sleep throughout the procedure. Most of the time, it’s more painful to keep your misaligned wisdom teeth than to have a dentist remove it.
    -Houston Dentist

  5. My wisdom teeth are just starting to emerge from the gum. It doesn’t really hurt, only a little when I’m chewing hard foods. The gum area feels a little tender but that’s about it. They look pretty straight in my x rays. Should I just let them grow in fully before getting them extracted? Since the dentist can just pull the tooth out without having to do the surgery. I’ve had a tooth pulled before and it’s really not that bad. I keep hearing all these horrible stories of the surgery so I will avoid that at all costs! Only if my teeth are giving me problems.

  6. 19 years ago the Navy wanted to pull them and I said no. Now they do not recommend it unless they are causing you to be in pain or some other dental issues related to the wisdom teeth.

    • Hi Darryl,
      I’m not sure about the loan, but I do know that if you have dental issues, it’s much better to take care of them right away. They can get worse (and more expensive) if you wait too long, and we certainly don’t want that!

      You can also check out an option like a dental discount plan. Some of them start the same day you sign up for a really affordable rate, and you get immediate discounts on your treatment rather than having to meet minimum requirements or waiting a certain amount of time. This one is only $9.95/month to join, and you can call 800-372-7615 for more info: https://www.1dental.com/careington-dental-plan/

      I hope that helps!

  7. My dentist recommended me to remove two of my wisdom teeth. I’m scared to death, think It’s gonna be painful :( :(

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