Wisdom Teeth Removal

Oral Examination for Extraction of Wisdom Teeth

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Lee can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if the time is right for you to have the wisdom teeth removed and where and how it would be best to accomplish the procedure. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist, or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

All office and outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Lee is trained, licensed, and experienced in providing various levels of anesthesia for his patients.

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. This is a very important point – root formation is the guide Dr. Lee uses many times to determine when wisdom teeth should be removed. In some patients, it is as early as 12 or 13, and in others, it may not be until the early twenties. 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 involving the gum tissue over or behind the wisdom tooth). Without enough room for total eruption, the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth can become irritated and infected, resulting in recurrent pain, swelling, and ultimately a bone infection.

An example of a cyst formation on a wisdom tooth

Cyst Formation:

Cysts can form around impacted widsom teeth. Cysts are fluid-filled sacks inside the jaw bone that develop as a result of expansion of the tissue surrounding the impacted tooth, destroying adjacent jaw bone and occasionally other teeth. They can be very difficult to treat if not removed in your teenage years. 

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 denser. When it is necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth in your thirties, forties or beyond, your recovery can be prolonged with 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. 

What happens on the day wisdom teeth are removed?

Most people prefer to be deeply sedated or asleep when they have their wisdom teeth removed.  Dr. Lee and his staff have the training, licensing, and experience to provide this service. Anesthesia is provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment. The Surgical Care Team, the office facilities, and Dr. Lee are evaluated on behalf of the Ohio State Dental Board on a regular basis.

On the day of your procedure, we ask that a parent or responsible adult accompany you to the office and plan to stay with you the rest of the day. The procedure will take about 90 minutes and you will probably be in the office just under two hours. Recent advances in medicine and technology allow patients to undergo wisdom tooth removal in a manner, which promotes rapid healing and minimal post-operative discomfort. State-of-the-art sterilization and infection control techniques are used at all times.

It is essential that you have nothing to eat or drink (excluding prescription medications with a sip of water) for at least 6 hours (preferably longer before your procedure). This does not mean you should try to fit in one “last meal” exactly six hours before your surgery. Having anything in your stomach when you are sedated can increase the risk for serious anesthetic complications. Your procedure will be rescheduled if you have not heeded these guidelines. We may provide you with a prescription for pain medication at your consultation appointment, which, for your convenience, can be filled in advance. 

smiling teenage son with his mother

The Day of Treatment

Be sure to have an adult with you at the time of surgery. Following wisdom teeth removal, plan to have a parent or responsible adult stay with you for the rest of the day.

If your surgery requires stitches, they are usually the type that dissolve in 3 to 5 days. They do not require removal. 

Your local anesthesia will last several hours. When it wears off, you may require prescription pain medication. You may try non-narcotic anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil®) first, to see if that adequately treats your pain. Most likely though, you will need some prescription pain medicine on the first day. The Cool Comfort Wrap will significantly decrease the amount of narcotic (opiate) pain medication you will need postoperatively. The local anesthesia may last until the following day and should not be confused with an injury to your nerve. We recommend starting your post-operative diet with clear liquids such as jello and broths, gradually increasing in substance as your body permits.

If you are given antibiotics and you take birth control pills, please be aware that the birth control pills may become ineffective during the time you are on the antibiotics. 

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 may include the difficulty involved in removing your teeth and what type of anesthesia is best for you. During your consultation appointment, our financial coordinator will provide you with an accurate estimate. Every insurance company has a different policy regarding the extent of coverage for this surgical procedure. We will help you obtain maximum insurance coverage for your treatment.

What if I have questions before surgery?

At your consultation, we encourage you to ask any questions you may have. If new questions arise after your consultation, please call our office at Cincinnati Center for Corrective Jaw Surgery Phone Number 513-232-8989 to speak to one of our patient care coordinators.

A 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.