woman with wisdom tooth pain

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth can cause a variety of oral health problems, including undoing the effects of orthodontia.

Fortunately, wisdom teeth removal is a trusted, incredibly common procedure.

Dr. Kellyn Hodges and her team in the greater Philadelphia, PA, area can remove your or your child's wisdom teeth as a preventive measure.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. Although they can sometimes erupt without causing any issues, wisdom teeth can become impacted or erupt at improper angles, causing damage to surrounding teeth and other tissues.

Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Removal

Removing wisdom teeth in the earliest stages of development can benefit every aspect of your smile. Even when wisdom teeth erupt properly, they can be difficult to clean and floss, making them especially prone to decay. Often, tissue flaps develop as the wisdom teeth erupt. This creates the perfect place for bacteria to accumulate, increasing your risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

If you have impacted wisdom teeth or they erupt at an angle, it can result in pronounced discomfort, damage to surrounding teeth, overall misalignment, cysts, infection, and gum disease. Because wisdom teeth are not essential to proper oral function, extraction is almost always recommended when these issues occur.

Additionally, if you plan to receive orthodontic treatment to fix misalignment, removing your wisdom teeth can give your other teeth more space to align properly.

Schedule a Consultation With Us!

If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of wisdom tooth complications or you would like to explore the option of preventive extraction, we can help you. This procedure can be performed when issues become apparent or during the early stages of wisdom tooth development as a preventative measure. If our doctors recommend extraction, you can depend on them to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

Our dentists at Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics have three offices serving the greater Philadelphia, PA, area. We have locations in Bensalem, Bala Cynwyd, and Montgomeryville, so you can choose an office that's most convenient for you.

Dr. Kellyn Hodges and her team use a combination of experience, state-of-the-art technology, and the latest techniques to safely remove wisdom teeth with minimal discomfort.

Contact us to request a free consultation or give us a call at:

(610) 617-0700

What to Expect During Removal

Before recommending the procedure, your dentist will provide a consultation to properly assess your oral health. During this consultation, our dentists at Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics will take 3D scans and X-rays to assess the wisdom teeth and any issues they are causing. We will then refer you to a trusted oral surgeon in the greater Philadelphia, PA, area who can complete your oral surgery.

The wisdom tooth extraction procedure will include several steps:

You can request to be sedated if you're anxious about dental work or have a complex wisdom tooth case.
You can request to be sedated if you're anxious about dental work or have a complex wisdom tooth case.

X-Rays

Prior to your oral surgery, your surgeon will take X-rays to see how many wisdom teeth you have and plan an extraction strategy.

Anesthesia

Your oral surgeon will then apply a local anesthetic to ensure that the area around your tooth is completely numb. You can request to be sedated if you're anxious about dental work or have a complex wisdom tooth case.

Incision

Depending on the position of the tooth, your oral surgeon may need to make an incision in the gum tissue or remove bone tissue to better access the tooth.

Removal

Your oral surgeon will then use dental tools to remove the tooth from its socket. In some cases, the tooth may need to be separated into smaller pieces for easier removal.

Sutures

Once the tooth has been extracted, the incision will be closed with sutures, and gauze will be placed over the extraction site to minimize bleeding.
This dental procedure often takes under an hour to complete, and you can return home once it's done. It's important to arrange for someone to drive for you because the anesthesia can take some time to wear off.

Recovering From Wisdom Teeth Removal

Most people recover from their wisdom tooth removal in three to four days. However, healing from impacted wisdom teeth could take a little longer. Your mouth should be completely healed in about two weeks.

Patients can expect swelling and discomfort in the days following your procedure, which should subside within a week. During this time, you should take your medication as prescribed by your dentist. You can use heating pads to manage your discomfort and a cool compress to alleviate any swelling in your jaw. Our dentists also recommend eating soft foods, taking small, manageable bites, drinking plenty of liquids, and gently exercising your jaw by slowly opening and closing your mouth.

Patients may be advised to take special measures to avoid developing dry sockets, a painful condition that occurs when a blood clot at the extraction site dissolves or becomes dislodged before the underlying tissue heals. You should avoid:

  • Drinking through a straw
  • Eating hard or crunchy foods
  • Brushing or flossing at the extraction site
  • Smoking

Signs You Might Need Wisdom Teeth Removal

Scheduling regular dental exams at Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics can help us determine if you'll need your wisdom teeth removed. We can use X-ray technology to monitor how your wisdom teeth are growing and refer you to an oral surgeon if necessary.

However, it's important that you monitor your own oral health and pay attention to additional signs that you may need your wisdom teeth to be removed:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth that become crooked after orthodontics
  • Cavities or infection
  • Sinus pain, headaches, or congestion
  • Swollen or painful gums
  • Bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth
wisdom tooth

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Covered by Insurance?

Wisdom teeth removal is often a medically necessary dental procedure, so your insurance should contribute to the cost. Our offices in the greater Philadelphia, PA, area accept most insurance plans. We also offer payment plans with no down payments and low monthly payments for people who don't have insurance.

You can save a lot of money by having this procedure done as soon as possible because it prevents dental problems that can be expensive to treat later in life.

Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics staff

Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics

At Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics, serving patients in Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, and throughout Philadelphia, we are committed to helping children and adults of all backgrounds achieve beautiful, healthy smiles. Our compassionate and widely respected doctors are members of prestigious dental organizations, including: 

  • American Association of Orthodontists
  • American Dental Association 
  • National Dental Association
  • National Board of Orthodontics, U. S. 

To reach our helpful, multilingual staff, call us at (610) 617-0700 or request a consultation online.

Contact Us Today

We love Kellyn Hodges! She listens to her patients and provides excellent care! Her staff is very friendly and helpful as well! Tara F.

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