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Teeth. They are the mark of a healthy lifestyle, strong self-confidence, and intense self-image care. Many of us invest time and resources from a young age to obtain and keep a perfect, natural smile that could dazzle everyone with its radiance. As our modern society puts not a small price on superior dental health, learning as much as possible about dental anatomy and health will always constitute an ace up one’s sleeve. 

In general, caring for one’s teeth through thorough and constant brushing and flossing sounds more than enough for proper dental health. However, these measures might not always be enough. Some secrets are always lurking within your mouth, ready to upset your dental health. Today, our Loudoun Orthodontics team will guide you towards discovering one of these secrets in the shape of wisdom teeth!

Also known as “the third set of molars,” wisdom teeth are “latecomers” to the dental table. On average, wisdom teeth emerge between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five (with a margin of error, obviously), causing a stir right from the start. Consequently, it has become common knowledge that wisdom teeth should be removed from the picture, an idea shared by as many as 5 million patients who “lose” upward to 10 million wisdom teeth every year.

However, such common knowledge cannot stand without concrete reasons, which is why our Loudoun Orthodontics team is ready to answer the most common questions surrounding this topic, from wisdom teeth surgery to wisdom teeth healing and so forth. Join us and read more about this topic below! 

#1: Why Do My Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Extracted?

Wisdom teeth removal tends towards the “necessary” batch of dental procedures mainly because of space-related issues. Due to anatomical changes in the evolution process, our jaws have shifted towards a more retruded position, “cramping” our teeth to the point where wisdom teeth growth became problematic. If wisdom teeth do not enjoy the necessary space for natural eruption, what we get is an impacted or partially erupted wisdom tooth.

Since they remain fully submerged in the bone or partially erupt, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to potential issues for both the surrounding teeth and oral hygiene as a whole. Cavities, infections, and cysts threaten to develop in and around impacted wisdom teeth. Poor hygiene exacerbates such issues since cleaning wisdom teeth, even the healthy ones, can be quite tricky.

#2: Why Do All Wisdom Teeth Have to Be Extracted?

Dealing with wisdom teeth can frequently be a hit-and-miss task since there is no telling how these teeth will develop in the future. However, we can say with a substantial degree of certainty that wisdom teeth are likely to cause dental issues in the future (e.g., by putting orthodontic treatment into jeopardy).

For instance, wisdom teeth do not always erupt symmetrically; the upper right wisdom tooth might erupt while the lower right wisdom tooth might not. In such cases, the erupted tooth loses its significance because it brings no contribution to the chewing process. On the contrary, this tooth might actually go through the overeruption process (erupting too far out of the jawbone), calling for future removal. To avoid these complications, we recommend that you remove the source of the problem in one take.

#3: At What Age Should I Undergo the Extraction?

This question can have but one answer: the sooner, the better! Wisdom teeth removal during the teenage years calls for less hassle since the wisdom teeth roots will not have fully formed by this time. Moreover, the healing process grows longer with age, another compelling reason to undergo wisdom teeth removal as soon as possible.

#4: Will Wisdom Teeth Mess up My Orthodontic Work?

A resounding “yes” for this question; wisdom teeth are orthodontic work’s sworn enemies, which is why you will most likely be referred to an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth removal after the completion of your orthodontic treatment. 

We have already discussed the fact that teeth have a natural regressive tendency; their long-term memory causes them to recede towards their original spots. Wisdom teeth do nothing but aggravate this tendency by applying forward pressure to the other teeth. While wearing your prescribed retainer inhibits such movement, you will increase your chances of preserving your orthodontic treatment results intact by having your wisdom teeth removed.  

#5: Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Hurt?

Although a surgical procedure, wisdom teeth removal does not have to be a painful experience. During the initial consultation, your oral surgeon will put every aspect of the procedure on the table, including pain levels and recovery time. The oral surgeon will likely employ IV sedation, ensuring you with a comfortable, relaxing feeling throughout the procedure.

Once the wisdom teeth surgery is over, you must follow each post-operative instruction from your oral surgeon to avoid infection or dry sockets. Post-operative pain is to be expected, though easily manageable with over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

#6: What is the Average Wisdom Teeth Removal Price?

Undergoing wisdom teeth removal surgery will surely bring improvements to your oral health, both short and long-term. If you have decided to take this course of action, here is a list detailing the average wisdom teeth removal cost (insurance may cause price variations):

  • Simple Extraction — $75-$200 (one tooth) to $300-$1000 (all four teeth)
  • Surgical Extraction (Soft Tissue Impaction) — $225-$600 (one tooth) to $800-$1800 (all four teeth)
  • Surgical Extraction (Bony Impaction) — $250-$500 (one tooth) to $1000-$2300 (all four teeth)

Schedule your COMPLIMENTARY Consultation!

Your introduction to wisdom teeth and wisdom teeth removal is over. You are now ready to decide whether wisdom teeth removal surgery is in order or you would like to keep your “latecomers” even longer. If you would like more details on the subject of wisdom teeth, do not hesitate to schedule a complimentary consultation at Loudoun Orthodontics. In the meantime, make sure to check out our blog for more information on orthodontic treatments!