6 Things You Must Do Before Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth removal comes with several options

While wisdom teeth removal is a fairly common procedure, there are some important issues to consider before you proceed – some of which may come as a surprise. Address these six key areas, and you’ll make an informed, financially prudent decision.

A “wisdom tooth” is the name for any of the four permanent third molars. These teeth are the last and most posterior to form in your dental arch.

Many people assume that wisdom teeth always need to be pulled and that the procedure can only be performed in one way. Both of these assumptions are wrong.

In fact, you have several options depending on your personal and financial needs. Here are six important factors to consider for wisdom teeth removal.

6 Key Tips for Wisdom Teeth Removal

1. See if they really need to be pulled – Not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed. They only need to be pulled if they are developing sideways, partially, or if you don’t have room for them in your jaw.

However, if you do have room in your mouth and the teeth develop straight and completely, having them removed is completely unnecessary.

2. Decide if you need to be sedated – You don’t necessarily have to be put to sleep to remain comfortable during wisdom teeth removal. In most cases, numbing up your mouth and administering laughing gas is equally effective at masking the pain.

In fact, remaining awake comes with a major advantage: You can drive yourself home after the procedure. This is a great bonus for our patients who don’t want to rely on someone else for a ride.

The only reason you might prefer to be put to sleep is if you don’t want to hear the sound of the procedure, as hearing some clicking sounds is normal. If this is the case, you may want to be referred to an oral surgeon for the proper anesthesia.

3. Decide if you want all wisdom teeth pulled at once – You don’t have to have all of your wisdom teeth pulled at the same time. Some wisdom teeth can remain in the mouth longer than others.

There may be a financial advantage to spacing out wisdom teeth extractions. Rather than paying for every tooth to be removed at once, it may fit better into your budget to pay a smaller portion over a longer period of time.

One note: This will cost more if you decide to be put to sleep for the procedure, because being sedated four times adds up. In that case, you’d want to have them all removed at the same time.

4. Get your child evaluated at an early age – We can determine if a person will need their wisdom teeth removed when they are relatively young, so don’t wait. Once the wisdom teeth roots are fully formed, the procedure becomes much more difficult.

We recommend scheduling an evaluation for your child when they’re around the age of 15 or 16 in order to examine the teeth while they are in their early stages of growth.

5. Plan early – Once you know you or your child needs wisdom teeth pulled, be sure to schedule an appointment during a time that will allow for ample recovery. If you’re scheduling the procedure for your child, do it over spring, winter or summer break.

Have the procedure done sooner than later. The longer you wait, chances increase of developing infections of adjacent teeth or other general health problems that come with ingrown wisdom teeth.

6. Consider paying at the time of treatment – Some dentists offer special discounts for patients who pay at the time of treatment. These discounts vary depending on how much a procedure costs.

For example, at Family Dental Care, we offer a 10 percent discount for a patient who pays the day of treatment. For treatments costing over $5,000, we’ll give you a 15 percent discount. From there, the discounts increase by 1 percent for every $5,000 up to $30,000 ($10,000 = 16 percent, $15,000 = 17 percent, etc.).

Work closely with your dentist as you consider these six topics.  You’ll be on your way to a smarter, healthier wisdom teeth removal experience for yourself or your child.

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Dr. Russell Christian

Dr. Russell Christian, DDS, is the owner of Family Dental Care, based in Mount Horeb, WI.