Well, my daughter Grace got her wisdom teeth out last week. I thought I would share my experience as a father rather than a dentist this time.
You need an evaluation by an Oral Surgeon to determine the best time to remove wisdom teeth. The fact is, most all wisdom teeth need to come out or they will cause problems. So the trick is to find the sweet spot when they have some, but no full, root development yet. I was convinced my daughter needed them out at 15, but our oral surgeon said 17 years – Big Difference!
First of all, they are not cheap! You’ll want your kid to have IV sedation. Even my daughter’s perfectly timed extractions required tricky and lengthy sectioning and removal of the teeth. I used to say you could figure about $500 a tooth. Now, it is now closer to $600 a tooth. Since I don’t have dental insurance, I can’t tell you what they might cover. (My staff could!)
Secondly, get the wisdom teeth out sooner rather than later. Grace had a very easy recovery with very little swelling or pain. She took two narcotic pills at her mother’s insistence, but was able to do ibuprofen for only three days. As far as antibiotics, we chose NOT to use them as a precaution. A healthy teenager should be fine without them, even though your dentist may recommend them. In my mind, this is the way antibiotics get overused, because a healthy teen is not the same as an adult with periodontal gum disease or a person with an abscess. Of course, don’t take the advice of an internet blog- consult your dentist!
Also, while you do not have to video tape your child’s recovery from the IV sedation, it sure is fun! Grace was totally blown away by her own numb tongue. She looked like a crossed-eyed iguana all the way home. I love ya, kid! Just getting my money’s worth out of the experience!
Everyone needs a dentist sometimes. We are so lucky to have so many good and caring specialists in our community to rely on. Sometimes, people are surprised I go to the dentist too! If you have questions or comments, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love what I do, and I love helping you raise healthy and happy kids!