Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you have (at least once) come across the term “wisdom teeth removal” or “wisdom tooth extraction”, at some point. Many people are faced with the need to undergo this dental procedure near Allen, TX, for one or several reasons. It is an extremely common procedure. Whether it be because of impacted wisdom teeth, or because there is a significant amount of pain associated with them, wisdom teeth can often become problematic, leaving one with no other choice than to remove one or more of them.
First, let’s define the terms we are dealing with: what is a wisdom tooth? Well, “wisdom teeth” is the term dental professionals and oral hygienists use to refer to the four permanent teeth that all adults have located at the bottom and upper back corners of the mouth. Having said that, there are several things that may go wrong with the development of these teeth, that can lead to the need to operate on them. One of the most common is what we call “impacted wisdom teeth”, which means that the incipient tooth does not have enough room to grow properly in its spot (mainly because of other teeth being in its way), and because it cannot develop in a normal way, which can lead to significant and prolonged pain, infection and a variety of other dental and oral issues. The most common recommended treatment for this scenario would be to remove the affected wisdom tooth (or teeth), in what is referred to as wisdom teeth removal or wisdom tooth extraction. This procedure is performed either by a dentist or by an oral surgeon.
Wisdom Teeth Complications
One fact to bear in mind when it comes to complications surrounding wisdom teeth is that, since impacted teeth tend to lead to significant problems later on in life, there are many dental professionals who may even recommend getting the impacted teeth removed regardless of whether any notable issues have yet been detected or not. This would be considered a preventative measure, since dental complications that go unattended do tend to rapidly escalate into potentially more serious complications, given enough time; and since wisdom teeth are not typically regarded as necessary to have (when it comes to everyday life), it is not uncommon to have this procedure done simply to avoid any possible issues that may arise in the future, if the wisdom teeth are impacted already.
Wisdom teeth are the last of all human teeth to develop, and are thus associated with adulthood. Most commonly they appear between the ages of 17 and 25, although there are people who never develop wisdom teeth at all. For some, the eruption of the wisdom teeth happens completely normally, just like their molars, and therefore causes them no issues whatsoever. However, it is very common for people to end up developing impacted wisdom teeth, due to lack of room in their mouth, and their impacted teeth can appear completely or only partially erupted.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
There are several ways in which a wisdom tooth can be impacted: it could grow at an angle facing the next tooth or the back of the mouth; it could develop “backwards”, at a right angle to the other teeth; or it could also end up growing perfectly straight up, but incompletely… with a section of the tooth remaining within the jawbone.
The issues and complications resulting from having an impacted wisdom tooth are many and varied. Here are some of the most common ones:
– Persistent pain.
– Food getting trapped around the tooth.
– Infection or disease in the gums.
– Evidence of tooth decay.
– The surrounding teeth and/or bone can be affected.
– A cyst developing around the wisdom teeth.
– Straightening of other teeth being complicated by the impacted tooth.
It should be noted at this point, however, that there is some disagreement among dental professionals and oral hygienists near Allen, Texas regarding the benefits or risks of having your impacted wisdom teeth removed when there are no observable symptoms or problems currently. The main points argued by those in favor of preventive extraction include the fact that a non-symptomatic wisdom tooth could still easily become infected or harbor disease in the future, as well as pointing out that a tooth which does not have its normal amount of space to develop is likely not easily reached when cleaning takes place, and thus potentially problematic. Also, serious complications related to wisdom teeth are far less likely to occur in young adults, while older adults could end up experiencing a higher degree of complication during dental procedures and operations performed on them. The debate persists around this issue; however, as we have noted, there are some significant arguments in favor of taking the preventive measures to avoid more serious complications taking place later on.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery
Now, let´s take a look at the procedure itself. As with all medical procedures, there are some inherent risks that should be noted. But it´s also true that this is one of the most common and less risky operations people will face in their life. Most wisdom tooth extractions don’t end up causing any notable long term effects. The exception would be some of those cases of impacted wisdom teeth removal that require a more surgical approach to be successfully performed, namely the making of an incision in the surrounding gum in order to remove some bone; in very rare cases, this could result in a painful dry socket with exposed bone (once the blood clot is lost), which in turn can get infected by bacteria accumulating inside it. Also, there have been some cases where damage to the surrounding teeth, jawbone, sinuses or nerves has occurred. But, as mentioned before, these are extremely rare scenarios of possible yet improbable complications that rarely arise in practice.
When it comes to the necessary preparations for the procedure to take place, depending on the situation of the impacted teeth in question, a dentist near Allen, TX could perform the operation in his or her office; however, in cases where the impacted teeth are highly problematic and/or there is a need for a more surgical approach to be taken, then they might recommend an oral surgeon for the job. Before the procedure, the oral surgeon will not only completely numb the entire area for the duration of the surgery, but most likely even suggest total sedation, as a way to make the patient more comfortable during the entire procedure.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Some issues that should be properly addressed and clarified between the patient and the dentist (or oral surgeon) before undertaking a wisdom tooth removal operation, include: the number of impacted teeth to be removed; the type of anesthesia to be used; any expectations of complications regarding the procedure; the estimated length of the operation; whether there has been damage caused by the impacted teeth to other surrounding teeth; any potential risk of nerve damage; the necessity (or not) for any further procedures in the future, in relation to this issue, as well as how long is it estimated that it will take for the mouth to completely heal.
The operation will almost always take place in one session. Further instructions on how to prepare for the operation (and what to do before the surgery) will be given by the specialist or the staff of the dental facility. Things you may need to take into consideration at this point are: whether you need to make preparations for a ride to and from the dentist’s office; what time should you be at the facility for the operation; if you should avoid food or fluids for a given period of time beforehand; and if there are any non-prescription medications that you should avoid before or after the surgery.
Once the operation begins, you will invariably be given local anesthesia to the gums surrounding the impacted tooth. In addition, general anesthesia or sedative anesthesia may also be applied, on a case-by-case basis, as discussed previously. The surgeon or dentist will make a small incision in the gum in order to expose the tooth and the bone, then remove all the bone that is blocking access to the root of the tooth. Then they will proceed to the actual extraction (or “pulling”) of the tooth; this may be done by cutting the tooth in sections, if it makes it simpler to do. Once the tooth is removed, the area will be cleaned of any debris from the tooth and removed from the bone. At this point, they may or may not stitch the incision closed. Finally, they will place gauze over the entire area of the extraction, which will help control the bleeding and will make the blood clot faster.
Once you’re back home, some things to keep in mind are: to keep an eye on the bleeding, being careful not to remove the blood clot from its socket; pain management, with the appropriate pain medication (also, holding a cold pack against the jaw helps relieve the pain), including possible medication prescribed by the oral specialist, particularly in cases where bone has been removed; being mindful of any swelling or bruising in the cheeks (an ice pack is helpful here, too); rest for the remainder of the day, and resume normal activity on the following day (bearing in mind that you should not undertake especially strenuous activity for about a week afterwards); drink plenty of water, and avoid caffeinated, carbonated, hot or alcoholic beverages during the first 24 hours or so (also, you should not drink with a straw for about a week, since the suction could cause the clot to come loose); with regards to food, stick to soft foods (like yogurt) for the first day, and then you can incorporate semi-soft and eventually harder foods as you can handle them… while avoiding foods that are notably hard, chewy or spicy, that might irritate the existing wound as it is healing; for the first 24 hours use only mouthwash or rinse, after that you can go back to normal brushing as long as you’re gentle with the area, and it is recommended to gently rinse the mouth with warm salted water after meals for the first week; smokers should refrain from smoking for at least 24 hours, and you should not chew tobacco for at least a week; finally, the stitches may dissolve in a few weeks (if they are that type), so if need be you should schedule an appointment further down the line to remove the existing stitches.
Some possible symptoms to watch out for, and possibly call your dentist about, include any difficulty swallowing or breathing, excess bleeding, fever, significant pain not reduced by the existing pain medication, swelling that gets worse after several days, having persistent bad taste in the mouth (despite rinsing with salted water), the existence of pus in or around the socket, numbness for a long period of time and having blood or pus coming from your nose.
Provided that no stitches need to be removed, no complications arose during or after the procedure, and if you don’t experience any prolonged symptoms of infection or nerve damage… then you most likely won’t need any follow-up appointments once the process is complete.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost
When it comes to wisdom teeth removal cost, which is obviously on most people’s minds, here’s what you should know:
The costs derived from having one or all of your wisdom teeth extracted varies greatly, and a single tooth removal can range widely near Allen, TX. Removing all four at once could set you back as little as 300 dollars or as much as 3,000 dollars. The reason why it varies so widely is related to the condition of the teeth in question. If the teeth are fully erupted (grown), then it is known as a simple extraction… and could cost from 75 dollars up to several hundred for a single tooth, and might exceed a thousand dollars for all four at once. In the case of a surgical extraction (where the tooth is still partially lodged inside the gum), a single removal will usually go for a couple hundred dollars (but could cost up to 600 dollars), whereas for all four you could have to pay between 800 and 1,500 dollars. If the surgeon needs to cut away pieces of your jaw to retrieve the impacted tooth (what is referred to as “bony impaction”), a single extraction would cost you around 500 (though total costs could amount to as much as 900 dollars), and if all four wisdom teeth require this operation, you could be looking at over 3,000 dollars in total, all costs included.