Wisdom Teeth - Morristown,NJ

Updated on January 12, 2014
M.A. asks from Morristown, NJ
25 answers

Advice wanted for wisdom teeth removal for my teenager. My son is 17 and has 4 wisdom teeth that need to come out. The teeth are not out of the gums yet. I assume this means they are impacted.
I have him scheduled with a regular dentist as of now but am wondering if he should go to a oral surgeon instead.
How bad will it be for him?

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answers from Houston on

Just because they are under the gum does not mean they are impacted. They just haven't broken through yet.
I had 3 of my 4 removed when I was 39.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Depends on how he takes things. I have friends that had bad reactions or pretty bad (eating baby food) recovery and I have friends that had not problems. My wisdom teeth were also impacted but gave me no problems at all. I actually did not get them taken out until I was 29 or so. The first started coming through after I had the last molar pulled. It was going top push the other tooth so the dentist took it out. He was a specialist and it took maybe 10 minutes. The only issue I had was a little pain and a reaction to the shot. Rinsing cleared it up within a week. The a few years later the others decided to show through. I actually still have one.

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answers from Miami on

I HIGHLY recommend an oral surgeon. They have more equipment at their disposal and do this type of surgery on a regular basis. This is their specialty.

I know your dentist does this too, but I would not be comfortable using a regular dentist who does not do wisdom teeth extractions as often as he does teeth cleaning.

That's my 2 cents, having two children who have had not only wisdom teeth extractions, but also extra teeth extraction near roots of permanent teeth. Oral surgeons have MORE expertise. I would also trust them MORE in terms of complications during the surgical procedure and afterwards.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I never heard of a dentist pulling impacted wisdom teeth. Everyone I know went to an oral surgeon and was given anesthesia to be completed knocked out during the procedure. I wouldn't trust a dentist to do that.

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answers from Chicago on

Get referrals from family and friends for an Oral Surgeon. Having peoples personal experiences is important IMO.

My daughter got her wisdom teeth removed last February. I told her to go to my Oral Surgeon but she refused because it was 30 minutes further from her home.

She went to a posh Oral Surgeon on Michigan Avenue that she found out of the phonebook. That was a BIG mistake that almost cost her her life. He didn't give her any antibiotics and she got a severe abscess that landed her in the hospital for 8 days.

When she got to hospital, she had an MRI done to see what was going on, they put her on mass doses of antibiotics that didn't even slow down the abscess, in fact it got worse and traveled down and she ended up having surgery to remove it. She had an Oral Surgeon and ENT do surgery on her, they came out of surgery and hugged me saying it was very close to her heart, worse than they even thought. She had lock jaw for 3 weeks and had to go to a Physical Therapy Specialist.

The only thing that they can think of why she got this abscess that was so deep was due to an unsterile needle.

The kicker was that the Oral Surgeon I told her to see from the beginning ended up being the on call Oral Surgeon at the hospital. I felt like that was Gods way of assuring me everything will work out.

Watch your son.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would definitely opt for the oral surgeon. I have never heard of a regular dentist who would extract wisdom teeth, especially if they have not broken through the gums.

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answers from Chicago on

I would ask around for recommendations for an oral surgeon. Most dentists don't do this procedure. We took my daughter to an oral surgeon.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

yes-he will need to have this done by an oral surgeon-and no sense skimping here-take him to the best surgeon you can find. Your dentist will be able to recommend someone, I'm sure. My youngest son had a difficult time with this and we both feel that, while as wildly expensive as his surgeon was, the doctor was not the best person for the procedure and his suffering was unbearable. Good luck-this is not a walk in the park. Have the necessary food and drinks at your home ahead of time-and the prescriptions-once you get home-it's a full court press until the healing is underway. Read the directions carefully-as they are your lifeline. Go to someone who will keep him for a couple of hours and will remain in the building with him-don't be in a hurry to get home-read, read, read everything you are given. I literally recovered from an open colectomy faster than my son recovered from having his 4 wisdom teeth out. The recovery is astonishing-the reason all four are done at once is because no one would ever go back after the first tooth was removed-you'd sooner rip them out yourself. Good luck-don't be scared-just read and ask questions and don't deviate from the instructions.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I have never known anyone who has had their wisdom teeth extracted by a dentist. This is normally done by an oral surgeon. It is typically considered a dental expense and not medical by insurance so do expect to pay a hefty out of pocket amount. I have very good dental insurance and paid $1200 for my daughter's extraction this past summer (she was 15, which is a bit young, but they were growing perpendicular to her molars so needed to come out now). The total cost was over $3K and my insurance picked up the difference.

If there is no urgency, plan on having it done in June right after the school year ends.

As for how he'll do...it varies greatly among patients. My daughter had a hard time coming out of the anesthesia and was swollen for 2-3 weeks and had a limited range of opening for almost a month. She was miserable. Her boyfriend had the same procedure by the same doc a day later and he was at our house the same day he had his done and he wasn't swollen at all and was able to eat a burger the next day. Her best friend's brother also went to that surgeon the same week and his was a piece of cake too. My extractions were a breeze, my sister had a horrible recovery. So you just never know. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Definitely oral surgeon. He will have about two days of discomfort. It was not bad IMO for me and for my two kids that had it done.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Your regular dentist should look him over and then refer him to a local oral surgeon. Only an oral surgeon should remove impacted teeth.

It's really not so bad. I just had mine removed in July. He'll get good drugs, and need a few days to lay around and do nothing, and be sure to follow all the food instructions...but after that he should heal up quickly. Mine took a while longer to heal because I waited until I was 34. :-P

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answers from New York on

A second opinion by a qualified oral surgeon would be the way to go.

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answers from New York on

For what it's worth, mine were never pulled. They haven't caused me any problems.

F. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would absolutely go to an oral surgeon. My 15 year old son had his wisdom teeth removed over the Thanksgiving break a couple of months ago. All four of his wisdom teeth were impacted, and one of them was very close to a nerve. It caused complications. I'm so glad we were with a good surgeon. It was a horrible ordeal for my son, but at least we were with a surgeon that worked well with us. He was compassionate and even met us at the office on a Saturday when my son was unable to swallow at all. After about a week and a half, he was fine, but it was a rough road.

It's different for each person. My husband had his removed with no problems at all. He was almost back to normal the next day. I had a horrible time when I had mine removed. If you talk to 10 people, you'll likely get 10 different experiences.

I hope things go well for your son, but I do strongly recommend you go with a well-qualified oral surgeon. You just never know if your son will have an easy surgery or a complicated one, and in case it is a more complicated case, I would want an oral surgeon.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Impacted doesn't mean the teeth have not broken through the gums. Impacted are when the teeth are "stuck" behind another permanent tooth (like the molars) because there is not enough space between the molar and the back of the jaw OR the teeth are comin in at such an angle that they can't descend properly, even if there is enough space.

However, you can have wisdom teeth that are not impacted that just haven't fully descended through the gum. These are actually QUITE easy to remove.

Call your dentist and find out which you have. Call your insurance and find out if they cover a dentist (rather than an oral surgeon) doing a wisom tooth extraction. Then call an oral surgeon (just for fun) and ask what they think.

Personally, I would probably go to an oral surgeon, although you might not need to. If the teeth are NOT actually impacted and just have not descended the Dentist is certainly capable. You wouldn't go to an oral surgeon to have a molar pulled just because the molar hadn't broken through the gum. Your Dentist does that.

Although you wouldn't go to your regular Dr for a knee replacement..... They COULD cast a broken bone that is not complicated with no problem. It's only when you get into complex issues that you need a specialist.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would most certainly go to an oral surgeon for this procedure. An oral surgeon is most equipped for this procedure. The patient is "asleep" during this procedure with anesthesia and it is crucial that a specialist used.

Our regular dentist, as great as he is, would never, ever do this procedure in his office. He refers everyone to an oral surgeon.

You wouldn't have your regular Dr. perform a specialist surgery such as knee replacement, etc would you?

That said, our daughter got her impacted wisdom teeth removed in June of 2013. We were required to stay in the office and wait which was no issue. The procedure itself was only 45 minutes. The majority of the time was spent with us in recovery with her until she was awake enough to go home. She had ice packs that were around her jaws. We put her straight to bed, she was very groggy and could not speak well, gave meds as directed and used the ice as directed. She had a day of pain but overall, she did great and had no issues.

We paid out of pocket in order to receive a 10% cash discount and that was around $2300.

It is scary, especially for the teen involved but it will be fine. Experienced oral surgeons do this every day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Both of my kids had theirs out by an oral surgeon. Actually the same one. I had two of mine taken out by the dentist and I was miserable. The other two came out with an oral surgeon. Much better.

Check your medical plan, sometimes, with an oral surgeon your medical insurance will pick up the bill.

He will be uncomfortable for a couple of days. I used frozen peas as the ice pack for the kids. Easy to manipulate and re-freezable just don't eat them afterwards!!

Both kids were 17/18 age range as well. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wichita Falls on

It all depends on the size of the teeth, if and how bad they are impacted, what the roots look like, and his tolerance to anesthesia. Mine were all impacted but they were very small. A few shots of Novocaine, few few tugs and one stitch at my regular dentist and I was done. My sister had curly roots and needed several visits to an oral surgeon.

Talk about the complications with your dentist and he should be able to tell you what to expect. Just don't let him drink from straws afterward (for a few weeks), it can lead to dry socket, a very uncomfortable condition


answers from Columbus on

I had mine taken out when I was about 19 because they were impacted. The dentist would not do them because they needed cutting out, and I had to be put under for that. One thing they mentioned is that if I'd had them taken out sooner, my front teeth might have been straighter. I never got braces though. Some kids have their wisdom teeth taken out prior to braces to keep them from undoing the work the braces are doing. Talk to your dentist before you do anything major, ask all your questions and make sure you are confident in your decision.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Find out what the dentist thinks but I don't have money to spend for appointments that will likely be a waste of time. If he needs them out he needs them out. Regardless. Spend the money at the oral surgeons and save time and effort. Ask them if he needs them out yet

If he's not going to be on any insurance after his 18th birthday you definitely need to get them done now so he doesn't have to find the money to do them in a year or more.



answers from Los Angeles on

Should definitely take him to an oral surgeon!! I had mine taken out by one, and am glad I went to an oral surgeon instead of a regular dentist. I had one on the bottom right and one on top left that were extracted when I was 22.



answers from Wausau on

Wisdom teeth usually don't erupt until a person is in their early 20s, so that part is not unusual and does not mean they are impacted.

Impacted means the teeth are sideways, not pointing in the right direction.

Didn't the dentist tell you the reason for removing the wisdom teeth now? Were xrays done, and did you see them? Sometimes they are removed because the jaw is too small and the other teeth are crowding. They could be impacted, but the dentist should tell you clearly. Not having erupted is not a reason for removal.

In any case, this is an oral surgeon's job. Because the dentist doesn't seem to be very forthcoming with information and because it is odd for a regular dentist to do this kind of thing, I do not trust him. I think you need a second opinion and an unrelated dentistry.


answers from Austin on

Yep, I recall having a terrible ear ache at my prom.. it lasted and got worse for a week. I could hardly stand the pain and I have a very high tolerance for pain.

Called my Doctor, he asked how old are you? I said 17, he said call your Dentist, probably Wisdom Teeth. Sure enough, they needed to be removed, Had the surgery to have all 4 removed..

A day down because of the drugs.. Then a few weeks to be able to eat chewy things.. steak.. etc.. Overall about a month to be totally myself.. But this was 100 years ago. I am sure it is so much better now.

Our daughter has now put this off way too long.. She is 23 and her WT have been bothering her off and on since her senior yr in High school.. Cannot force or drag her.. she is now graduated from college!

When she complains, I give her "the look".. and she says, I know, I know.. Should have done this in High School.. She takes after her dad, they HATE the dentist..

I say get it over with, it is so not a big deal, but needs to be done.



answers from Washington DC on

how do you know they need to come out right now if you have not been to the dentist yet? Not everyone needs them removed. My hubs still has all of his and he is 40. Also, check your dental insurance. When I was that age (and on my parents insurance), they did not cover the removal of wisdom teeth unless it was "necessary". So, one by one they would come in and eventually start to cause a problem, and I would go to the dentist, and they would tell me what to do next and give me the proper referral. The dentist was able to pull most of them and only sent me to an oral surgeon for the one that got infected and was still too low in the gum.

Wisdom teeth are one of those things that everyone will love to tell you their most horrible story about. But its not always that bad. It fully depends on the individual situation. Getting 4 impacted ones cut out wont be fun but he will be fine in a week. But dont assume they are impacted just because you cant see them. The dentist needs to take xrays before you do anything.


answers from Norfolk on

I wouldn't worry about dentist vs oral surgeon.
I went to an oral surgeon (this was over 30 years ago) but our current dentist does all sorts of tooth extractions and has an anesthesiologist on his staff.
Having the wisdom teeth out is an ordeal for some patients and easy for others and there's no way to tell which it will be for your son.

I had mine out at 16 and was eating pizza within 2 days.
My husband had them out when he was 27 and he was in pain for about a week.
Mine were impacted (coming in sideways, not emerged at all and pushing my other teeth forward).
The dentist had a tough time getting them out.
They had me knocked out under anesthesia - 3 out of 4 shattered (my M. wanted to save my teeth) - and I had a few bruises on my jaw from where his thumb was holding tight.

My husbands wisdom teeth were partially emerged but very difficult to keep clean - the dentist said to have them out before any rot set in and have to deal with all kinds of infection.

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