Wisdom teeth, or “third molars”, commonly appear between the ages of 17 and 25. And while debuting at this more mature age earned them the association of ‘wisdom’, they can also be particularly troublesome for the millions of people each year who need to have them removed. For a variety of reasons, around 85% of adults will need this procedure during their lifetime.
If that’s you, Today Dental is happy to help! Wherever you live in the Fort Worth area, our staff is proud to provide wisdom tooth extraction services that offer the very best in both patient comfort and affordability. As an affordable provider for both general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, Today Dental has plenty of payment options to give you the dental care you need, at a price you can afford.
Wisdom Teeth: What Do I Need to Know?
The explanation behind wisdom teeth is fairly simple: our ancestors needed them to chew a tough diet of roots, nuts, and leaves. But as humans’ diets changed and we began eating with utensils, we needed fewer teeth. This is perhaps why wisdom teeth are slowly disappearing — as many as 35% of adults are now simply born without them.
As for the millions more who do have them, wisdom teeth can be a problem. Due to our more crowded mouths, around 80% of wisdom teeth grow in ‘impacted’ (crooked), or perhaps may not even break the gum line. Either way, that’s a recipe for dental trouble. Wisdom teeth can develop cysts or abscesses, cause gum pain, or cause cosmetic issues like crooked teeth.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, removing your wisdom teeth is often the safest solution. Of course, this should only happen after consulting your dentist or oral surgeon, who can recommend the right course of action.
Wisdom Teeth Removal: When is Best?
Most patients have their wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 18-24, during a time when each tooth’s root formation is significant enough to remove easily while also minimizing the patient’s pain. Choosing to remove wisdom teeth preventatively during this stage offers several significant benefits, such as increased effectiveness of healing, and reduced complications during the procedure itself (such as root fracture).
In general, it’s much more advisable to remove wisdom teeth preventatively, instead of waiting until the operation is an emergency. Studies have indicated that the risk of complications from a wisdom tooth extraction procedure for patients over 25 is 1.5x greater than for those under 25. For this reason, many dentists favor preventative removal, during a time when a patient’s recovery has a greater chance of effectiveness, and when scheduling the procedure itself is much less inconvenient.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure
Wisdom teeth extraction can certainly be a scary or uncomfortable thought. However, rest assured that it’s a very common procedure that is safely and simply performed millions of times per year. And when we perform it at Today Dental, we make every effort to ensure that you, the patient, are as safe and comfortable as possible.
When it comes to procedures that require anesthesia or sedation, Today Dental will always walk you through your options. We provide multiple levels of sedation you can choose from, and we explain each in detail to choose which option is right for you during our free sedation consult.
As for the procedure itself, your dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision in the gum to access the tooth, remove any bone blocking the root, and then remove the tooth. Once the tooth is removed, they’ll clean the site, then suture the access point if needed. Finally, gauze is placed over the wound to control bleeding and keep the site clean.
Dry Sockets: What Are They, and How Can I Avoid Them?
Normally, after an adult tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms at the extraction site, protecting the patient’s bone and nerves and starting the healing process. When a clot fails to develop or dislodges, this results in a painful condition called a “dry socket” where the extraction site remains exposed and can become filled with food debris. While dry socket occurs rarely for most tooth extractions, it’s much more common during the removal of wisdom teeth, affecting up to 30% of patients.
Thankfully, however, it’s relatively easy to prevent. The majority of dry sockets are caused by bacterial contamination or disturbance of the extraction side, which can be easy to avoid by following these guidelines:
- Avoid suction: do not smoke or use a straw for the first 48-72 hours
- Avoid brushing the extraction site directly for 3-4 days
- Do not eat foods that can become stuck in or around the extraction site, such as peanuts, popcorn, or pasta
- Avoid carbonated drinks
- Avoid spitting or swishing vigorously for 48-72 hours
Wisdom Teeth Extraction: Scheduling, Convenience & Recovery Time
Recovery time for wisdom teeth extraction is usually around 2 weeks, with most of the swelling and pain gone within the first 7 days. Although most surgeries take only an hour, most dentists don’t recommend going to school or work for 2-3 days after. For many patients, scheduling the procedure on a Saturday morning allows them to recover safely at home.
At Today Dental, we do our best to make this process as easy as possible for our patients. Not only are we available after hours for emergencies, but we offer flexible scheduling throughout the week, and many of our locations are open on Saturdays to accommodate patients with busy work schedules.
Wisdom Teeth Removal: Should I Get 2 Or 4 Teeth Removed?
Given the advanced nature of the removal procedure, an important question many patients face is whether to remove all four wisdom teeth at once or to split up the operation into separate appointments. While it can be appealing to space the removal out, most dentists recommend removing all four wisdom teeth at once.
Not only does this option reduce the risk of multiple recovery complications, but it’s easier on your wallet and schedule as well. Since recovery from wisdom tooth removal is significant, it’s often preferable to limit it to a single instance instead of experiencing multiple recovery periods. And removing all four wisdom teeth at once is also much more cost-effective: paying for multiple visits when one operation can do the job, simply isn’t as financially practical for patients.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost
The cost for extracting your wisdom teeth may vary depending on how many teeth need to be removed, and the extent of the procedure. At Today Dental, we’re committed to offering top-of-the-line dentistry that doesn’t break the bank, which is why we work with most insurance companies and will file with almost all PPO plans. To learn more about our fully-transparent dental care pricing, just click here.
Find a branch near you today
We operate 10 different clinics across the Dallas / Fort Worth area. This means that, wherever you are in the Metroplex, great care is never too far away. And because we’re family-owned and operated, you can count on us to provide the compassionate care you require at prices you can afford.