Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the final molars to erupt through the gums at the back of your mouth, just in front of your second molars. It’s normal for wisdom teeth to begin forming during childhood and teenage years, but not everyone develops them. It’s unlikely that removing wisdom teeth will change your facial appearance, but here’s what you need to know about wisdom tooth removal.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. They’re called wisdom teeth because they come in at a time when you’re supposed to be wiser than you were as a child. While some people have no problems with their wisdom teeth and they come in just fine, others have wisdom teeth that are impacted, meaning they don’t have enough room to come in properly. These wisdom teeth can cause infections and other health issues. If your dentist recommends removing your wisdom teeth, it is best to remove them before any serious issues arise.
Does Removing Wisdom Teeth Change Your Facial Appearance?
In most cases, no. However, wisdom teeth can cause problems for other teeth, like pushing them out of alignment and even breaking them. That could affect your smile and make it look different. You may experience temporary swelling after wisdom tooth removal, but it’s not likely you’ll notice any long-term changes to your face.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Start To Grow In?
Wisdom teeth typically start to grow in during the late teenage years or early twenties. They are the last teeth to come in and usually erupt behind the molars. While some people never have any problems with their wisdom teeth and they come in without incident, others may experience pain, crowding, or other issues that require removal.
How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are usually removed by an oral surgeon. The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia, which numbs the area around your mouth. You may also be given sedation to help you relax. Once you're numb, the doctor will make a small incision in your gum and remove the tooth through that opening. There's no need for stitches afterward.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Time
Most people recover from wisdom teeth removal within a few days. However, some people may experience complications, such as dry sockets or infection. Dry sockets occur when the blood clot that forms at the site of the extraction is dislodged. Infection can occur if bacteria enter the wound. To help avoid these complications, it is important to follow your dentist's instructions for post-operative care.
What's the cost of removing wisdom teeth?
While the cost of wisdom teeth removal can vary depending on your individual situation, it's generally not cheap. The average cost of wisdom teeth removal is between $200 and $700 per tooth but if you have insurance, you can expect to pay less out of pocket.
If you are considering wisdom tooth removal, the Oral & Facial Surgery Centers of Massachusetts can give you more information about the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Contact our Burlington office at 781-272-0800 or our Cambridge office at 617-468-3100.