Wallet burn factor
$200 – $400
3 days inc recovery
What are they?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth in your mouth (your third molars) and don’t usually start to come through until your late teens or early twenties. Once you reach this age, it is always a good idea to get them checked out by your tooth doctor as there are a few things that can go wrong when they start coming through.
- They may decide to ‘lay down’ horizontally or be angled towards the front or back
- They may be impacted where left to their own devices they will not come through
- They may only partially erupt
If your wisdom teeth choose to be unwise and do any of the above, this can cause a few problems such as:
- Crowded teeth
- Damage to your other teeth or jawbone
- Jaw stiffness
- Gum infection
In fact, the ADA recommends that every kid between the ages of 16 and 19 get their wizzy’s evaluated to see if they need removing.
We have heard the wisdom teeth removal horror stories from our friends – or maybe you have one of your own of having wisdom teeth removed. Well, we are here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be like that anymore! Now with advancements in technology and pain management, your wizzy’s can be removed more comfortably.
OK, so we totes don’t want to freak you out here, this is a place where we want you to feel warm and fuzzy! Having your wisdom teeth removed should not be a super painful experience but having any tooth removed probably has one of the longest recovery times of all the things you can get done dentally.
What’s the Procedure for Wisdom tooth removal?
Sometimes, if the roots of your wisdom teeth are nice and straight and you only need one or two removed the dentist may offer to do this in his or her practice, or they may have a specialist that visits their practice that can do this at the surgery under local anaesthesia.
If you are having any more than two removed or it looks like the roots of the teeth are curved or close to your nerve that sits in your bottom jaw it is recommended to have them removed at a hospital under sedation by an Oral Surgeon.
Your tooth doctor or Oral Surgeon will remove the tooth and may need to remove any bone surrounding the tooth. Sometimes they may decide to cut the tooth in half or quarters to make it easier to remove.
Stitches may be required but not always, and gauze can be applied to the area to promote healing – see our post-op instructions below for more info on this.
As with any surgery, there are some possible risks so be sure to download our list of questions to ask your doctor and follow any advice given on pre and post-op care.
Great - I'd love a new smile, so what now?
How long does it take?
Even though getting your wisdom teeth out is a pretty standard thing, it is still a surgical procedure, and therefore you will still need a decent amount of recovery time.
If you have them removed at the dental practice it can take anywhere from ½ hour to 3 hours to remove one tooth, if you are going to the hospital, you will have to book off the whole day.
It is recommended that you take at least three days off work after the procedure.
Our recommendations – bring your mum! OK, so it doesn’t have to be your mum, but it’s always advisable after such a significant amount of anaesthetic that you have someone available will look after you, drive you home, and make sure you are OK.
Keep your head up! Your face will be a bit swollen so don’t book any first dates for at least a week and try to keep sitting in an upright position. The swelling starts subsiding after 24 hours, and you’ll want to keep a cold press nearby.
You’ll want to avoid really hot, or spicy food, smoking and alcohol for a couple of days and do not drink out of a straw. Soft foods are best for the first few days of recovery.
You can use sterile gauze pads to control bleeding and promote clot development and no strenuous exercise for about a week.
You will also need to wash your mouth out with a salt water rinse while healing about twice a day or every time after food but no brushing your teeth for 2 to 3 days after surgery.
No spitting – sorry to gross you out but the blood clots in your mouth help clotting and prevent bleeding. If the clot is dislodged for any reason, you may get what is known in the game as ‘dry socket’.
If you are experiencing pain still 2 or 3 days after the surgery, you may develop dry socket. Make an appointment with your tooth doctor immediately. Your tooth doctor will have to place medication directly in the socket for it to heal – this is one of the most common complications of the surgery.
Painkillers, such as Ibuprofen will also help with any pain management.
How much does it cost?
Two main factors will affect cost will be whether you have your wisdom teeth removed in the dentists’ surgery or the hospital.
If you get them removed in the hospital, then other cost factors will have to be considered such as the anaesthetist’s fee for sedation and hospital costs. Some of these costs will be covered by your private health fund so make sure to find out from them exactly what they include.
The cost for each tooth removal can range from $200 to $400.
If you get your wizzy’s removed at the hospital, there will be the extra cost of the anaesthetist. Medicare always covers at least 75% of the price for this, and your private health insurance will also cover some of these costs – perhaps even the whole amount. The gap can range from $100 to about $300.
Are there payment options?
Of course – there are always options to assist you in paying your dental costs, check with your tooth doctor as they may offer something directly or there many companies that provide dental payment plans.
Does it hurt?
Tooth removal is probably one of the more serious dental procedures you can have, but in the case of wisdom teeth, the benefits far outweigh any uncomfortableness you may experience.
You should not be able to feel any pain under any anaesthetic with the actual removal of your wizzy’s, if you are let your tooth doctor know immediately. Any surgical procedure is going to come with some recovery, so this is going to leave you feeling a little bit knocked around – our advice, make the most of it and have some downtime to recover properly.
Who’s the best at it?
Oral Surgeons specialise in any surgical procedure for your teeth, jaw and mouth. They study both dentistry and medicine so are experts when it comes to removing wisdom teeth. Sometimes your wisdom teeth may be hard to remove due to the shape of the roots and may need to be sectioned to be removed.
In the case of your lower wisdom teeth, these may be located near the nerve in your lower jaw. This nerve is super important, and if there is any damage to this nerve, it can cause loss of feeling in your lower jaw forever so in these cases it is always advised to have an oral surgeon perform this surgery.
Some general dentists have oral surgery as a particular interest of theirs and do offer wisdom teeth removal, use our handy interview questions to check who’s the right tooth doctor for you.
If your tooth doctor recommends getting your wisdom teeth removed it’s probably a good idea to do it. If you are not sure, make an appointment with an Oral Surgeon to get a second opinion, you don’t need a referral to do this
If it is recommended to you to get your wisdom teeth removed and you don’t do it when you are younger, the risks are much higher as an adult.