Wisdom Teeth Removal in Columbia, SC

Wisdom teeth are your third molars and your very last set of teeth to come in (if they come in at all). Many don’t realize that some people never develop wisdom teeth, but if you do have them, they generally come in between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom tooth removal is a common procedure because they often don’t erupt properly or because there’s often not enough room in the mouth for them.

Dr. Bethea can take a look to see how your wisdom teeth are developing, or if they are coming in already, and whether removal might be the best course of action. Even if you’re not experiencing any pain with them coming in, it’s possible they still could lead to dental problems, including disease and bone damage.

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Reasons to Remove Wisdom Teeth

First things first: not all wisdom teeth have to be removed! If your wisdom teeth are coming in correctly, not affecting the surrounding teeth, and not resulting in an infection, then you are fine. The trouble is when one of these situations occurs, or will likely occur. It’s always better to prevent a dental problem from arising in the first place to save you the stress, not to mention financial involvement, that comes with fixing it down the line. These are the common situations where we might recommend wisdom teeth extraction:

  • Your wisdom teeth are impacted (meaning they’re trapped underneath the gums).
  • Your wisdom teeth are coming in at an angle.
  • There isn’t enough room in your jaw for your wisdom teeth to fit properly.
  • You have or are at a higher risk for cavities and/or gum disease.

What You Can Expect with Wisdom Teeth Removal

Before your wisdom teeth removal, we’ll apply the necessary anesthesia to the treatment area and also go over your sedation options with you. We work hard to ensure that you don’t feel discomfort during the procedure! Our team will also send you home with some guidelines to follow after your treatment so that you can enjoy a speedy, easy healing process.

During your recovery, you can take prescription or over-the-counter medication to manage any pain you may feel post-extraction. You can also use an ice pack to manage discomfort and to reduce any swelling. This discomfort is completely normal and should go away within a few days.

What can I eat after the removal?

You will want to stick with soft foods and liquids for at least one week after your wisdom teeth removal procedure. Things like applesauce, yogurt, mashed potatoes, pudding, blended soups, and smoothies are all good choices for post-wisdom teeth removal meals. Anything that is not too hot or cold and doesn’t require a lot of chewing is typically a good choice. It’s also very important that you refrain from drinking anything through a straw during this time period, as the suction created in the mouth when using a straw can cause a painful complication called a dry socket.

How long does the process take?

The length of the procedure depends on a number of different factors, including how many teeth are being removed, if the teeth are impacted, and the type of anesthesia that is being used, but you can expect it to take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. From the patients’ perspective, the appointment shouldn’t seem very long at all because of the anesthesia. When nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation is used, it induces a relaxing, dream-like state that can make the treatment feel shorter than it is.

Does insurance cover wisdom teeth removal?

Most insurance plans will cover at least part of a wisdom teeth removal procedure. If you have any questions about financing the cost of your wisdom teeth removal, our team will be more than happy to work with you and your budget. We are proud to offer in-house wisdom teeth removal procedures, and we want to be able to offer our services to any patient who needs them. For more information, you can contact our friendly front office team or visit our financial page.

If you have any additional questions about whether you need wisdom teeth extraction or how the treatment works, you are welcome to contact the Bethea Family Dentistry team.

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