Whether they're keeping you awake literally or figuratively, wisdom teeth are a pain. Your jaw is sore and it hurts to eat––and then you have to worry about choosing an oral surgeon, how much of the extraction your insurance will cover, and get over your anxiety about the procedure. Is it any wonder you can't get a good night's rest?
Let's go over everything you need to know about wisdom teeth removal.
First, What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Sometimes known as third molars, they're the last set of molars that emerge in our mouths. They form during our childhoods, but don't begin erupting until we're young adults. Although scientists aren't entirely sure why we get wisdom teeth when we do, it's believed that their original purpose was to replace molars worn down from primitive human diets. In modern times, we rarely lose molars in our teen years and this third set of molars isn't needed.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
It all goes back to the replacement molar theory––now that wisdom teeth are extra teeth rather than replacement teeth, there's often no room for them in the mouth. When they can fully emerge, they are crowded and located so far in the back of the mouth that they're hard to care for. If wisdom teeth are impacted, or only emerge partially, they can cause a great deal of pain––certainly enough to keep you awake at night.
In addition to being painful, wisdom teeth are prone to cavities and gum disease. This is because they're both difficult to brush and floss and they're in a location of the mouth where germs and food particles can easily build up. Wisdom teeth can cause misalignment of other teeth, bite problems, and headaches. For this reason, we almost always recommend extraction.
Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Painful?
Wisdom tooth extraction is no more painful than leaving the tooth in! This is another question our patients might be losing sleep over, so we hope we can put your mind at ease: during the procedure, we will make sure you are comfortable and calm. In every case, we will use local anesthetic to completely numb the area of the tooth. If needed, we can also offer additional sedation options.
When it comes to recovery, you will likely have some discomfort and swelling after the procedure, particularly if your wisdom teeth were impacted. We recommend warm saltwater rinses to soothe the area and over-the-counter pain relievers for inflammation and soreness.
What Does It Cost to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Don't let the cost of wisdom tooth removal keep you up at night. We can’t tell you what the procedure will cost until we examine you in person, but in many cases, dental insurance covers all or most of the cost. There are circumstances when your health insurance plan may cover some of the cost as well. We also offer our patients financing through CareCredit.
Where Can I Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed in Oklahoma?
Oral and Maxillofacial Associates has offices in Oklahoma City, Norman, Midwest City, Edmond, and Lakeside. We've been in business for over 30 years and all of our doctors are board-certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. We perform wisdom teeth extractions daily in our comfortable, state-of-the-art offices.
To schedule an appointment at one of our five convenient locations, contact us today.