Wisdom Teeth Removal

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Drs. Thomas and Wood can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or future potential problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients should be first evaluated in the early to mid-teenage years (12-15) by their dentist, orthodontist, or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If you do not have enough room in your mouth for your third molars to fully erupt, a number of problems can happen. Impacted wisdom teeth should be removed before their root structure is fully developed. In some patients it is as early as 12 or 13. Problems tend to occur with increasing frequency after the age of 30. Some of the possible problems related to not removing your wisdom teeth include:

A representation of a pericoronitis infection on a wisdom tooth

Infection:

The most frequent clinical problem we see is pericoronitis, (a localized gum infection). Without enough room for total eruption, the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth can become irritated and infected, resulting in recurrent pain, swelling, and problems with chewing and/or swallowing.

An example of a cyst formation on a wisdom tooth

Cyst Formation:

Non-infectious diseases may also arise in association with an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts are fluid-filled “balloons” inside the jaw bone that develop as a result of impacted teeth and slowly expand destroying adjacent jaw bone and occasionally teeth. They can be very difficult to treat if your wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years. Although rare, tumors can be associated with the delayed removal of wisdom teeth.

An illustration of teeth crowding causes by a wisdom tooth

Crowding:

Impacted wisdom teeth may contribute to crowding of your teeth. This is most noticeable with the front teeth, primarily the lower front teeth and is most commonly seen after a patient has had braces. There are a number of factors that cause teeth to crowd after braces or in early adulthood. Retained, impacted wisdom teeth may be a contributing factor. Unless you have an active problem when you see the oral surgeon, the reason for removal is primarily to prevent long-term damage to your teeth, gums and jaw bone.

A visual of a wisdom tooth damaging an adjacent tooth

Damage to Adjacent Teeth:

If there is inadequate room to clean around the wisdom tooth, the tooth directly in front, the second molar, can be adversely affected resulting in gum disease, bone loss around the tooth, and/or decay.

What If I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed As A Teenager Or Young Adult?

As wisdom teeth develop, the roots become longer and the jaw bone more dense. When it is necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth in your thirties, forties or beyond, the post-operative course can be prolonged and there is a higher complication rate. Treating these complications is often more difficult and less predictable than with a younger patient. Healing may be slower and the chance of infection can be increased. If your impacted wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years or early in your twenties and they are completely impacted in bone, it may be advisable to wait until a localized problem (such as cyst formation or localized gum disease and bone loss) develops. In general, you will heal faster, more predictably and have fewer complications if treated in your teens or early twenties.

What Happens On The Day Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?

Most people prefer to be unaware of the experience when they have their wisdom teeth removed and usually decide to be sedated. You will be provided with appropriate anesthesia options at your consultation to maximize your comfort. Our office staff has the training, licensing, and experience to provide the various types of anesthesia. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and a well trained experienced staff. The surgical care team, the office facilities, and the doctors are inspected on behalf of the Board of Dental Examiners on a regular basis.

We ask that a parent or responsible adult accompanies you to the office and stays with you the rest of the day following surgery. The procedure will take about 30 to 60 minutes and you will probably be in the office for 90 minutes.

On the morning of your surgery, it is essential that you have nothing to eat or drink 6 hours prior to the procedure. Prescriptions that you have been instructed to take should be taken with a sip of water 2 hours before surgery.  Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk for serious anesthetic complications, including nausea, vomiting, or aspiration. Your procedure will be rescheduled if these instructions are not followed. Please review the postoperative instructions provided at your consultation prior to your surgery. There is also a copy of the instructions on this website.

smiling teenage son with his mother

The Day of Treatment

Be sure to have an adult with you at the time of removal. Make plans to have a parent or responsible adult stay with you for the rest of the day, following wisdom tooth removal.

What Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Cost And Is It Covered By Insurance?

The fee for your treatment is determined by a number of factors. These include the difficulty involved in removing your teeth and which type of anesthesia is best for you. During your consultation appointment, the surgeon will need to review your x-rays, complete an examination and determine the best option for anesthesia. Every insurance company has a different policy regarding the extent of coverage for a given surgical procedure. The oral surgeon’s office staff will help you obtain maximum insurance coverage for your treatment.

What If I Have Questions Before Surgery?

At the time of your consultation, your specific situation will be discussed in greater detail. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have. If new questions arise after your consultation, please call our office at Overland Park Office Phone Number 913-451-7680 to speak to one of our patient care coordinators.

smiling woman

The Day of Treatment

Please do not eat or drink anything prior to your surgery. Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk for serious anesthetic complications.