Wisdom Teeth FAQs

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Wisdom Teeth

The best time for removal of wisdom teeth is about 16 years old although the age range varies significantly. The three factors used in determining timing for extractions are:

  1. Age of Patient: Younger patients typically have less chances of wisdom teeth complications. It is recommended to have your wisdom teeth removed sooner than later if your dentist or our doctors have indicated that conditions are not optimal for keeping your wisdom teeth. 
  2. Root Formation: If your wisdom teeth’s roots have about 1/3rd of formation, this is a good time to consider getting your teeth removed. If you have over 2/3rds root formation on your wisdom teeth, there is an increased chance of complications with wisdom teeth removal.
  3. Position of the Tooth: Another important factor in determining when to remove your wisdom teeth is where the wisdom teeth are positioned relative to other anatomical structures such as the sinuses and adjacent teeth. If the wisdom tooth cannot attain a healthy position then problems can occur such as cavities, infections, or complications with roots. 

What can I expect to pay for the removal of wisdom teeth?

The average cost is approximately $1,400.00. This can vary due to the individual surgical needs of each patient and the difficulty of removal of each tooth. The cost could be as low as $500 for four erupted wisdom teeth with only local anesthesia.

How long is recovery?

For the first two days, it is recommended to limit your activity to allow your mouth to recover; no strenuous activity is allowed. Most people don’t feel like going back to their regular daily activities until approximately four days or 96 hours after surgery. The patient will still experience swelling and tenderness until around day 7 to day 10. Rinses are continued until day 30; however, from day 10 to day 30 there is typically no pain.

Why did my dentist send me to an oral surgeon just to pull a tooth? Can’t he do that?

Yes, but your dentist feels it is in your best interest to be treated by someone trained in advanced surgical and anesthetic procedures in a fully equipped surgical and anesthesia setting.

I don’t like dentists, is there anything you can do to make this easier on me?

We do our best to help you through this sometimes scary process by providing friendly staff in a comfortable setting. Our doctors can also use multiple anesthesia techniques including preoperative anti-anxiety medicines (similar to valium).

My friend had a dry socket. What is that?

Think of a blood clot as your body’s way of putting a bandage over healing area. A dry socket occurs (usually from a lower third molar) when the blood clot that needs to fill in the space of the newly removed tooth and roots doesn’t fill in the socket correctly. This can mean that the blood clot doesn’t fill the socket all the way, or that the blood clot that forms is not of sufficient quality. In either case, the bone of the socket is not covered appropriately (i.e. the body’s natural “bandage” isn’t working as it should). The poorly covered bone is very sensitive and causes post-operative pain. Fortunately, this will resolve in time. The time it takes to resolve varies from person to person. If you do experience a dry socket, you may need to have a dry socket dressing placed at your one week follow-up appointment to help decrease the dry socket pain.  The best way to prevent a dry socket is to follow the post-operative instructions carefully.

 I know someone who is older and hasn’t had their wisdom teeth removed. Why should I have mine taken out?

(“Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?” Page)

Every mouth is different–There are a few lucky individuals who live their entire lives without having problems from their wisdom teeth. As far as we know, they are in the minority. Even though you may know someone (even in your own family) who has done fine with their wisdom teeth, don’t assume that you’ll be fine too! We encourage each patient to be evaluated on an individual basis. We’re happy to discuss the prognosis of each patient’s individual situation with regard to their wisdom teeth.