You had your wisdom teeth removed not too long ago. You bravely sat through the procedure, which was not as bad as you’d feared but was certainly not your favorite thing to do. You survived the discomfort and the medication. You followed instructions carefully and gradually healed. You took care of your part of the wisdom teeth removal cost. Now you’re so glad that you’ll never, ever have to go through that again. Or will you?
Can wisdom teeth grow back? This is a real fear for some because, really, who wants to go through wisdom teeth extraction again? The quick answer is no, they cannot grow back. However, it’s not quite that simple.
A small percentage of the population can find another tooth back in the area your wisdom tooth recently vacated. If you are one of the lucky few, you should rest assured that you have not grown a new wisdom tooth. Instead, you have another type of dental intruder—a supernumerary tooth.
Doesn’t that sound like a bad horror movie waiting to happen? But fear not! There’s an explanation, and your dentist knows how to deal with it. So, let’s see if we can figure out what’s going on back there.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last four teeth to make an appearance in your mouth. They are located way in the back of the mouth. At what age do wisdom teeth grow? These third molars typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25, and the name “wisdom” comes from the fact that they show up at a more mature age than the other teeth. If they grow in the right way, these healthy teeth help you chew more thoroughly and don’t bother adjacent teeth.
Unfortunately, they often grow improperly and cause mayhem. They do not emerge completely or at all, or they grow crooked. This may be a matter of the human body’s evolution. Over time, the jaw has gotten smaller and moved back, crowding a full set of teeth. There is no longer enough room to fit the wisdom teeth completely.
Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Often the wisdom teeth have to be removed for the sake of your other teeth. When there’s not enough room for them to grow straight, they can come in at an angle and push against other teeth. Left to their own devices, they cause tooth decay, infections, and other problems, so they need to be removed.
It’s best to remove them as soon as possible, and the younger the patient, the better. It’s easier during the teenage years because the wisdom teeth roots are not yet fully formed. Also, younger people tend to heal faster.
How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost?
Costs vary by dentist, location, and the extent of treatment. But generally you can expect something close to the following:
- Simple extraction: $75-$200 (one tooth) to $300-$1,000 (all four teeth;)
- Surgical extraction (Soft Tissue Impaction): $225-$600 (one tooth) to $800-$1,800 (all four teeth);
- Surgical extraction (Bony Impaction): $250-$500 (one tooth) to $1,000-$2,300 (all four teeth) .
Additional costs include X-rays and follow-up exams. Payment is often arranged through dental insurance, payment plans offered by your dentist, and discounts.
Did My Wisdom Tooth Just Grow Back?
You look in the mirror, and there it is—a tooth where a tooth should not be. You went through all that effort to get rid of the offending wisdom tooth. But there it is, again!
You may be relieved to know that this is not your wisdom tooth coming back to haunt you. Instead, it is a supernumerary tooth.
What Is a Supernumerary Tooth?
There is a condition called hyperdontia, where additional (supernumerary) teeth beyond the normal 32 grow in the mouth. Most are located behind the front teeth or in line with or next to a molar. The extra teeth may look like normal teeth or may be misshapen somehow.
Hyperdontia does not happen often. A study of over 7,000 people suggested that about two percent of people have supernumerary teeth. It is believed to be a genetic anomaly. So, if you won the hyperdontia lottery, that rogue tooth you found is probably a supernumerary tooth that erupted after your wisdom tooth was extracted.
What Do I Do with my Supernumerary Tooth Now?
It depends on the tooth’s behavior. It may be sitting peacefully among your normal molars, not bothering anything. However, as with wisdom teeth, they can wreak havoc in your mouth. They can push normal teeth out of place, cause pain and infection, and otherwise interfere with normal teeth development. They can threaten your overall oral health.
After examining the intruder—its shape and position relative to other teeth—and the surrounding area, your dentist will develop a treatment plan. You may not need any treatment at all if the tooth isn’t getting in the way of good dental health. But if it’s causing problems, treatment can go as far as hyperdontia surgery.
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You’ve gone through a lot to get your wisdom teeth removed to have a healthy mouth. The last thing you want is a repeat of that experience. So you may nervously wonder, “Can wisdom teeth grow back years later?” Fortunately, that is not possible. Once a wisdom tooth is gone, it will not make a mysterious reappearance.
There’s a slim chance, though, that a supernumerary tooth can show up in the wisdom tooth’s wake. If that’s what you see in the mirror, simply take yourself back to the dentist, and they will recommend what action to take. We invite you to contact us here at Loudoun Orthodontics, where we are ready and waiting to help you. We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health!