Wisdom teeth removal is a common practice in North America. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to get them removed when they are growing in. The primary reason for removal is because of an infection. If you cannot clean those teeth, you should also get them removed. It is best to consult with your dental provider for your specific circumstances. In general, about 15-35% of the population will never have to remove wisdom teeth.
Complications of leaving wisdom teeth in
- Infection: due to improper formation, it can be difficult to clean around the tooth. In addition, gum tissue can become irritated.
- Cyst Formation: fluid filled “balloons” which occur in the bone because of impacted teeth
- Crowding and/or damage to other teeth
How much is wisdom teeth removal?
Note: dental fees range from province to province
For just the removal, it can cost $160 and up (to $500 per tooth) depending on position, angle, and size. For example, a $500 removal would involve manipulation of the gum, bone, and sectioning of the tooth.
You can expect approximately $1800 to remove all four wisdom teeth including sedation.
Keep in mind, the upper jaw is also easier to extract from compared to the bottom. This is because of differences in bone hardness.
There are also factors on top of the removal such as sedation method. Light sedation such as laughing gas can cost $150 and it goes all the way to $800 for general anesthesia.
Factors to consider when going for a Wisdom Teeth Removal
Hygiene should be a dentist’s top priority. Does the office look clean? A tell-tale sign of bad etiquette is a dirty working space.
In most cases, you get what you pay for. However, you can reference your province’s dental fee guide to get a sense of how much you should be paying. There are minimums and maximums recommended by these guides. Your dentist should be following them closely.
Many people don’t consider their location as a factor. The proximity to your house can be important. You don’t want to be driving across the city in case of an accident.
There’s not much separating one dentist from another besides quality of work. But even then, it can be hard for a typical client to notice the differences. That’s why service is a big factor. Are your needs being met? Do you feel welcome at the clinic?
When should you have wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth do not necessarily need to be removed. They only require intervention if the teeth impact your mouth by crowding or misaligning other teeth. In addition, infections or other complications mentioned above are a cause for concern. Most wisdom teeth will develop between the late teens to twenties.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
Anesthesia is applied either locally to the teeth and surrounding areas or in general.
If the tooth has not yet surfaced, a small incision will be made. The teeth may also be cut to fit through the socket. If the wisdom tooth has already passed the gum, then an incision is less likely. You should feel some pressure but no pain.
The process to remove wisdom teeth should take no more than 30 minutes.
If an incision was required, stitches may be used. Those will dissolve after a week. In some instance, the doctor may put a gauze over the area and ask for you to apply pressure by biting down.
Does wisdom teeth removal hurt?
There should be no serious pain aside from light pressure in the area of operation
During and after the operation, there should be no serious side effects
How to reduce swelling after wisdom teeth removal
In the first 24 hours after the operation, you should avoid drinking hot liquids, rinsing your mouth with liquid, and drinking alcohol, beverages, or smoking. Also avoid strenuous physical activity.
How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth removal?
Most dentists will recommend you to take a few days off work or school. Swelling, bruising, and some discomfort are also to be expected.
Contact your dentist if more severe complications arise such as prolonged numbness, damage to jaw, infection, or extreme discomfort.
Removing wisdom teeth without insurance
In Canada, you have the option to claim your medical expenses in the Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC). This benefit primarily serves lower income families with high medical expenses.
Incorporated businesses in Canada can utilize a Health Spending Account to pay for their wisdom teeth operation and other medical expenses.