Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of permanent teeth to emerge in the mouth.
Treatment options for wisdom teeth vary depending on a patient’s individual circumstances and can range from removal to preserving them “in-situ”. Other treatments include atypical eruption treatments and treating any underlying infection.
The cost of treatments can also vary but may involve x-rays and other imaging techniques. It is important to understand all treatment options and potential recovery tips prior to making a decision as this will have an impact on your overall oral health.
What wisdom teeth and why do they need treatment
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to emerge in the mouth, usually occurring between the ages of 17-25. They are sometimes referred to as “third molars” and can cause overcrowding or misalignment if they do not come through properly.
Wisdom teeth may need treatment if they become impacted or there is a risk of infection due to lack of space in the jaw.
Treatment is mainly aimed at avoiding any potential complications that could arise from wisdom teeth that have not positioned themselves correctly.
Types of Treatment
Removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure that may be done to prevent crowding, infection, or future complications.
The dentist may recommend removal if they are not positioned correctly in the mouth, and the procedure can be done in a hospital or dental office, typically under local or general anesthesia.
During surgery, the surrounding tissue and bone that hold the tooth in place are carefully removed before the tooth itself is extracted.
It usually takes several weeks for any swelling associated with the surgery to go down, after which patients typically need to follow up with their dentists for a checkup.
In-situ preservation of wisdom teeth is an alternative to removal that can be used if the teeth are healthy and not causing any issues. This option involves keeping the teeth in their natural position without any surgical intervention.
It involves regular checkups where the dentist will use X-rays to monitor the position of the tooth, as well as other preventative measures such as professional cleaning to reduce the risk of infection.
In-situ preservation is still a relatively new concept, so patients should consult with their dentist to make sure it’s an appropriate option for them before making a decision.
Atypical eruption treatments
Atypical eruption treatments are recommended when a wisdom tooth fails to grow in properly due to crowding or other complications.
This can cause swelling, pain and even infection if left untreated. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the problem and may include medications for pain relief, antibiotics for infections, orthodontic treatment to correct alignment issues or even surgical removal or repositioning of the impacted tooth.
In any case, it is important to consult with an experienced dentist to determine which treatment is best for your situation.
Infection treatment for wisdom teeth often involves a course of antibiotics to reduce the amount of infection-causing bacteria in the mouth. In more severe cases, such as when a tooth is impacted, a dentist may need to perform surgery to remove it or reposition it so that it can properly erupt.
After the procedure, regular checkups and professional cleaning are recommended to prevent further infections. If left untreated, an infection can spread and cause serious complications such as gum disease or abscesses.
Cost of Treatments
The cost of wisdom tooth treatments can vary depending on the complexity and severity of the issue.
Simple extractions may cost only a few hundred dollars, whereas more complex treatments such as orthodontic treatment or surgery can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
It is important to consult with your dentist in order to discuss all available options and understand the costs associated with each.
Additionally, many insurance providers offer coverage for these types of procedures so it is best to contact your carrier prior to getting treatment.
Recovery Tips and Considerations
Recovering from wisdom tooth extraction or other treatments can be a long process. It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions in order to reduce any complications and promote healing. Some recovery tips and considerations include:
- Keeping the area around the extraction site clean using warm salt water rinses after eating or drinking
- Eating soft foods and taking small bites
- Avoiding hard or crunchy foods that could irritate the site
- Refraining from smoking and using tobacco products as these can interfere with proper healing
- Taking antibiotics if prescribed by the dentist
- Avoiding strenuous activity for several days
- Contacting your dentist immediately if any swelling, redness, or increased pain occurs
There are several options available when it comes to treating wisdom teeth. Extractions are typically recommended if the teeth are impacted, while other options may include braces or surgery if the case is more severe.
It is important to speak to your dentist about all of the various treatments available and understand the advantages and risks associated with each one.
Additionally, insurance may cover some of these treatments so be sure to check with your provider for further information.