Wisdom Teeth

wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are molars found in the very back of your mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. The most common type of impacted wisdom tooth is “mesial,” which means the tooth is angled forward toward the front of your mouth.

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it will need to be removed by an oral surgeon. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.

Each patient’s situation is unique. Your oral surgeon will usually take a panoramic X-ray to determine whether your wisdom teeth will need to be removed. If he or she recommends the removal of your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them removed sooner rather than later.

Wisdom teeth are typically removed during the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier, as well as the recovery time much shorter.

To remove a wisdom tooth, an oral surgeon first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. He or she can use additional medication, such as nitrous oxide, IV sedation, or general anesthesia, to sedate you safely during the extraction if you are feeling nervous about the procedure.

Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your jaw bone, your oral surgeon will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To minimize the amount of bone removed with the tooth, your wisdom tooth may be “sectioned” (cut into pieces) so each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.

Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Healing time varies, depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction. The oral surgeon will let you know what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.

Before scheduling wisdom teeth removal, there are a few things you should know.

Is the person performing your wisdom tooth extraction an oral surgeon? Ask them...

  • Are they an oral surgeon?
  • Did they complete an ADA approved surgical residency?
  • Is their office outfitted with modern equipment for oral surgery?
  • Has their office been inspected by the state in order to administer anesthesia?
  • Do they have the support of a certified surgical assistant team?

You may wonder how oral surgeons differ from general dentists or other oral health care providers. We’ve created a convenient YouTube video to explain these differences.

Did you Know? The state of TX does not require a dentist to be a certified oral surgeon in order to perform an oral surgical procedure. If a dentist feels “comfortable” in performing that procedure, they may do so according to state law. Therefore, you must use discretion when choosing the best person to perform your surgery.

We encourage patients to always seek surgical treatment from an experienced and qualified oral surgeon, like Dr. Phan or Dr. Chan. Oral surgeries require a level of knowledge and experience that often cannot be found within a general dentist's office. Often, oral surgery cases are referred to Contemporary Implant & Oral Surgery from general dentist offices.

You will benefit from our doctor’s expertise in many other areas as well, including a carefully thought-out office, designed with the needs of oral surgery in mind. Our space is comfortable, modern, and will allow you to experience stellar treatment in peace. Drs. Chan and Phan utilize advanced techniques, materials, and technology and invest significant resources in the most current instruments and team training to elevate the care we provide.

Surgeries such as removing impacted wisdom teeth, bone grafting, and dental implant placement, should be performed by a highly experienced professional. Oral Surgeons complete a rigorous surgical residency as well as several years of continuing education beyond dental school. You deserve the very best care available for you and your family. At Contemporary Implant and Oral Surgery, we provide exceptional results, one patient at a time.

What can I expect to pay for wisdom teeth removal?

Typically, the out- of - pocket cost for wisdom tooth removal, with insurance, is between $250 - $400.

Pricing depends on insurance plan, procedure performed and sedation type. Some insurance companies may cover only the extraction, but not cover sedation costs. Our team will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits and lower your costs wherever possible.

*Non- insurance patients may be able to take advantage of our frequent cash discounts. Follow us on social media to stay informed about current offers!

Common insurance misconceptions:

  • Number of teeth extractions changes the amount of sedation covered (true). The more teeth extracted, the greater the chance that your insurance plan will cover the cost of sedation.
  • Dental insurance will always cover my surgery (false). Sometimes coverage must go through your medical insurance.

Our dedicated treatment coordinators will guide you through the specifics of your insurance coverage and answer all your questions.

What else you can expect from your visit to Contemporary Implant & Oral Surgery?

Same-day surgical appointments are not available at our office, although some surgical providers advertise this as a convenience. Your consultation appointment and surgery will be scheduled at least one day apart. We do not believe in rushing our patients into a complicated surgical procedure. Oral surgery is still surgery. Like any surgical procedure on any other part of the body, there are important precautions that we make adequate time for. Many patients require a medical clearance from their primary physician in order to undergo oral surgery, and patient health and safety is always our top priority.  At your consultation, your dental and medical history is reviewed to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for oral surgery.

To learn more about what to expect at your consultation appointment, please watch our video on YouTube.