Wisdom Teeth: A Guide for Parents and Patients
Why they need to be pulled:
Your mouth was designed to hold 28 teeth, not 32. By the time your wisdom teeth start to grow, those 28 slots are already filled, making it difficult for them to grow in properly. That’s why 9 out of 10 people find themselves with at least one impacted wisdom tooth that requires extraction. Even when properly positioned, wisdom teeth can easily become infected, and are at risk for cysts and tumors (see “The Trouble with Wisdom Teeth”, below).
With wisdom teeth, everything is timing.
You may have noticed that many of your friends are having their wisdom teeth pulled out too. Why? That’s because there is an optimal (yet fleeting) opportunity between the ages of 17-25 when the tooth roots haven’t fully formed yet. Thus, the risk of damaging nearby nerves, bones and teeth during this time is significantly less.
Your Dentist Says you Need Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted. What Now
The removal of wisdom teeth is a routine procedure in our office, but it probably doesn’t feel that way to you. For many of our patients, just hearing the words “surgery” and “extraction” tends to bring up some fears. We at Memorial Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery want you to know that wisdom teeth extraction is safe, quick, and comfortable.
As oral surgery specialists with extensive training and experience, we are able to offer a different kind of “wisdom teeth experience” to our patients and their families. We are with you every step of the way and pay extra attention to the most critical parts of your child’s care, including:
- Anesthesia with a variety of options available.
- Compassion and comfort to make the experience as pleasant as possible.
- Home care and after-hours contact information.
- A thoughtful surgical strategy to minimize the need for invasive techniques.
- Careful consideration of timing to ensure the easiest recovery possible.
The Cost of Wisdom Teeth Removal
The cost of wisdom teeth removal varies depending on several circumstances (positioning, level of impaction, number of teeth) that are unique to your teen’s case. We will discuss all costs with you upfront and can help you determine whether your insurance offers any benefits for the procedure.
The Cost of Waiting
Because it is so common for wisdom teeth to cause problems such as infection, pain, damage to neighboring teeth and, in rare circumstances, cysts and tumors, it is generally recognized as standard practice to remove them in most people during the late teens and early twenties, before the roots have fully developed. Waiting to remove them increases the likelihood of problems and complications should they need to be removed down the road.
Complications of Wisdom Tooth Removal
As with any surgical procedure, there are some possible complications associated with the removal of the third molars. However, since the procedure has been very well tested, these complications (nerve injuries, fractures and injury to the joint) are very rare, and, if the surgery is performed at an early age, the risk is even less. Click here for more information.
To receive the most comprehensive treatment plan, it’s best to contact our office and schedule an appointment for a consultation. Our highly rated oral surgeons and friendly office staff can assist you with the best treatment plan that fits you. One of our convenient locations is ready to assist you in Houston, Cypress, or Katy.