Why choose South Austin Oral Surgery for my Wisdom Teeth extractions?
Dr. Raju is an expert in oral surgery, with a focus on wisdom teeth removal. As a specialist in oral surgery, he is uniquely qualified to not only perform the surgery but also manage post-operative issues that may arise, which can provide peace of mind for patients
Sedation is often used during wisdom tooth removal. Oral Surgeons and Dental Anesthesiologists are the only dental professionals who have extensive training in anesthesia. As part of his training, Dr. Raju did a 6 month rotation in General Anesthesia where he provided anesthesia not only for oral surgery, but also general, trauma, orthopedic, and heart surgeries. His expertise in evaluating patients for anesthesia ensures patients are in safe hands.
Dr. Raju’s commitment to providing the highest level of care led him to integrate advanced techniques like photobiomodulation (PBM) and platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) into his practice. These simple yet effective techniques can significantly improve post-operative healing and recovery, and they are included or available at low cost for all of his patients.
When our goal is to give every patient the highest level of care, everyone wins.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are typically located at the back of the mouth. While four is the most common number, some people may have none. Dr. Raju has even treated a patient with EIGHT! Wisdom teeth begin forming in the teenage years and fully develop in the mid-teens to early twenties. Due to limited space in the mouth, many individuals face challenges maintaining proper oral hygiene, leading to cavities and periodontal disease. The most common reason for wisdom teeth removal is difficulty with oral hygiene.
Why do Wisdom Teeth need to be removed?
Removing wisdom teeth is not always necessary. The decision depends on several factors, including the patient’s needs, age, and the risks involved in the extraction. To make an informed decision, it is best to schedule an evaluation with South Austin Oral Surgery. We can provide personalized recommendations based on your unique circumstances.
Patients may visit an oral surgeon for wisdom tooth removal due to pain, infection, cavities, hygiene issues, orthodontic reasons, or pathology. Extracting problematic teeth is necessary to avoid harm, such as in cases of pain, swelling, infection, cavities, periodontal disease, and pathology. Poor oral hygiene also justifies extraction, as it becomes increasingly difficult to clean teeth at the back of the mouth, leading to buildup of plaque and tartar that can cause damage to not only the wisdom tooth, but also the adjacent tooth. In most cases, partially or fully erupted teeth should be removed.
For orthodontic reasons, patients should consult their orthodontist to determine if wisdom teeth extraction is necessary. Extraction may be necessary to make room for teeth movement during treatment or to maintain a straight smile after treatment. While wisdom teeth may contribute to teeth movement to some extent, wearing a retainer is the best way to keep teeth straight.
During teenage years, wisdom teeth are still forming and the bone around them is relatively soft, making it an opportune time for extraction. As the roots are not fully developed, the likelihood of complications, such as invading nerve canals and sinuses, is reduced. Furthermore, healing and recovery are typically quicker for young patients, and the extraction site often fully fills with bone. Unless contraindicated, wisdom teeth removal is usually recommended for teenagers due to the fewer risks involved.
After the age of 30, the complication rate for wisdom teeth removal increases substantially. As jaw bones become denser, teeth become more difficult to extract. Fully formed roots can overlap nerve canals and sinus cavities and may develop hooks and curves, anchoring them more firmly in the bone. In addition, bone does not reform as well in older patients. Considering these factors, we must weigh the benefits and risks before recommending extraction.
For adults with partially or fully erupted wisdom teeth, treatment is typically advised. Leaving them in place often results in cavities and periodontal disease, affecting not only the wisdom tooth but also the adjacent tooth. Fully impacted wisdom teeth that are not exposed to the oral cavity may be better left in place. However, it is important to monitor them with x-rays to prevent damage to the neighboring teeth, the development of pathology, or other diseases that could affect oral health.
A thorough examination allows Dr. Raju to evaluate the risks associated with your wisdom tooth removal. The health history gives us an idea of how your body will handle the surgery as well as heal. The oral and x-ray evaluations will shed light on important anatomical factors.
Perhaps the biggest risk we evaluate when extracting lower wisdom teeth is their proximity to the nerve. We often use a panorex x-ray to get an idea of where the tooth and the nerve are relative to one another. If there is some bone between the tooth and the nerve, the risk of extraction is fairly low. However as there is more overlap between the tooth and the nerve canal the risks increase. At this point, we are left we three options.
- Leave the tooth alone and monitor it.
- Extract the tooth understanding there is a high risk of nerve injury.
- Coronectomy – removing the crown(top) of the wisdom tooth and leaving the roots in place.
Sometimes, we will want to get additional imaging such as Cone Beam CT (CBCT) scan to better evaluate the relationship of the tooth and the nerve in 3-dimensions. South Austin Oral Surgery has a CBCT, but Dr. Raju reserves its use if he feels that it will assist in our decision making or the surgery itself.
While there is a risk of sinus complications with the extraction of the upper wisdom tooth, the risk of long term complications is extremely low and the sinus can often be repaired. There is no nerve that requires the amount of attention that it does in the bottom.
One of the reasons wisdom teeth are often extracted in teenagers is to avoid the difficult scenarios where either health or anatomical become risks associated with extraction of wisdom teeth.
Do I need to be sedated to have my Wisdom Teeth removed?
Sedation is not a requirement to have your wisdom teeth extracted, however many patients choose to have sedation. In office sedation is specifically to address dental anxiety many patients have about their upcoming procedure. During the extraction of wisdom teeth, there is a lot of pressure in the face region – it is not painful, but many patients may find it uncomfortable.
South Austin Oral Surgery offers IV sedation and oral sedation as options for removal of wisdom teeth for medically qualified patients. Regardless if you choose to have sedation, every patient receives local anesthetic. It is important to understand that IV sedation is to address anxiety and local anesthesia is to address pain. If you have no anxiety regarding your surgery, you will likely do fine with local anesthesia. However, if you have some or a lot of anxiety about your upcoming procedure, IV sedation may be the best option for you. The two things Dr. Raju tells patients are – (1) you need to be honest with yourself regarding the anxiety for the surgery and (2) no one has ever complained about getting IV sedation.
How long does Wisdom Tooth surgery take?
For most oral surgeons, wisdom tooth removal takes 30-60 minutes. However, some cases may be more complicated and require more time. Wisdom tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures oral surgeons do in their training and in their practices.
How long is the recovery from Wisdom Tooth removal?
This is a difficult question to answer because it varies so much from patient-to-patient and is not always associated with how difficult the extractions are. For teenagers, it is generally 3-5 days and for adults 5-7 days. Sometimes it is shorter and sometimes it is longer.
Can I have my Wisdom Teeth removed on my first visit?
Probably. We are committed to your safety and well being, so patients without medical contraindications or high risk of surgical complications may be offered same day treatment. To determine if you qualify for same day treatment please contact our office. We will also need a recent (within 1 year) panorex x-ray from your referring dentist/orthodontist.
How much does it cost to have Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Dr. Raju has simplified the pricing structure at his office for extractions, classifying them as either “extraction” or “complicated extraction.” This is different from most dental and oral surgery offices, where fees are typically based on the level of impaction and complexity. Dr. Raju has extracted thousands of teeth and does not think the level of impaction significantly effects the difficulty of the extraction. The 1% of “complicated extractions” are reserved for teeth that have high risk of nerve injury, sinus complications, jaw fracture, amongst other things.
In Austin, Texas, the cost of wisdom tooth extraction typically ranges between $375-700 per tooth, depending on the level of impaction (according to fairhealthconsumer.org). Dr. Raju’s “extraction” price falls at the lower end of this range, while the “complicated extraction” price falls at the higher end. For patients who choose IV sedation, the fee generally ranges between $400-600. We are not only competitive with our pricing but provide a tremendous value for our patients with the use of PBM/PRF and concierge level of care you will receive after your treatment.
If you have a PPO insurance plan, you may use your benefits at our office. We are able to verify your insurance and provide an estimate of your out-of-pocket costs.
Contact our office and we will be happy to give an estimate.