The third molars, also known as the wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth. They are located at the very back of your mouth. They generally come in when you are between the ages of 16 and 25.
If your wisdom teeth are correctly positioned in your mouth and do not cause any pain or dental problems, there is no need for you to get your wisdom teeth removed
On the other hand, if your wisdom teeth are causing you some problems or if an X-Ray shows that they might, the extraction will be recommended.
The extraction of wisdom teeth is a very common procedure because of the many problems that can occur when they erupt. Through lack of space, they fail to fully emerge in the mouth or come out crooked. The tooth is simply stuck in the jaw and it can’t erupt fully. This is called an impacted tooth. A partially erupted wisdom tooth is hard to clean and it can lead to decay and gum infection that can cause you some pain.
In worse case scenarios, impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to the formation of cysts or tumors that can destroy the bone, the nerves and surroundings teeth. Although most patients will not develop such major problems, the extraction is recommended in order to prevent them.
It is best to have your wisdom teeth removed before the age of 25 because they can be removed more easily with very little complications since the roots are not fully developed and the bone heals better.
An examination and a panoramic X-ray will help your dentist determine if you need to remove the wisdom teeth or not. If so, an appointment will be given for an ulterior date
The extraction of all four wisdom teeth takes about 1 hour. The best strategy is to remove all 4 at once. Unless instructed otherwise, no special precautions need to be taken prior to the surgery. We suggest you to have a healthy meal a couple of hours before your appointment.
On the day of the extraction, the area surrounding the extraction will be anesthetized and then allowed to “freeze”. Once the area is numb, the doctor will proceed with incisions (if required), extraction, and possibly removal of some bone to release the tooth/teeth.
Once all extractions have been completed, Dr. Berbari will inspect for excess bleeding. Before you leave, we will give you the instructions to follow for the post-operative recovery period.
You should expect some discomfort and some swelling. The swelling should disappear within 48 to 72 hours. If prescribed medicine was given take it according to the instructions. Otherwise, you may take over the counter pain medicine such as Advil or Motrin (Ibuprophen) or Aleve (Naproxen). Please call the clinic if the pain worsens. If antibiotics were prescribed, you must take them for the entire period that they were prescribed, even if you are feeling better.
You might have some trouble opening your mouth wide. Don’t force it. Apply warm humid compresses on your cheek. You should feel better after a few days.
Sometimes, due to the closeness of dental roots or the closeness of the surgery to the nerves. a feeling of numbness may occur in the area of the tongue, lip, chin, cheek or gum. This sensation, if it occurs, is temporary and may rarely be permanent. If it occurs, please contact us or if pain or swelling persists or if you have any question or concerns.
If you are anxious about the extractions and wish to be sedated, we can offer an injected (intra-muscular) sedative or an intravenous anti-inflammatory.
For the sedative (which will relax you), you should be in good health and be fasting for 5 hours prior to your surgery. Following the surgery, you should avoid driving for 24 hours, and you should be accompanied when you leave the clinic. You may experience a period of amnesia following the sedative and the surgery.
One choice of medication for removal of impacted wisdom teeth is the intravenous anti-inflammatory, which reduces the probability of swelling and also reduces the symptoms and complications during recovery and is used for more complex cases.
The cost for the removal of wisdom teeth can range from $189 up to $404 per tooth depending on their complexity. We can give you a proper estimate by taking a panoramic X-Ray. Most dental insurance will cover partially the cost of the extractions. The medication and the X-ray is not included.