Fraud Blocker Wisdom Tooth Extraction at Our Fort Collins Dental Office

Wisdom Tooth Extraction at Our Fort Collins Dental Office

Assessment Diagnosis & Treatment Plan

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. They are the last set of your natural teeth to emerge. Wisdom teeth usually come in behind the other teeth and can cause problems if there isn’t enough space for them to grow in properly.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Details

Before getting into the details of why many people need a wisdom tooth extraction, we need to cover some terminology and details around wisdom teeth.

What Does it Mean When a Tooth Erupts?

When a tooth erupts, it is breaking through the gum line and becomes visible. For most of us, the eruption of most of our teeth goes relatively smoothly. By the time our wisdom teeth are ready to erupt, there oftentimes isn’t enough room for this final molar in our mouth. This results in the tooth erupting at a bad angle – or potentially not erupting at all.

What is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?

An impacted wisdom tooth is a tooth that becomes stuck in the gum tissue or jawbone and can’t erupt properly. Impacted wisdom teeth are a common problem and can cause pain, and swelling. An impacted tooth may even damage nearby teeth by applying pressure and crowing the teeth.

Reasons for Wisdom Tooth Extraction

An impacted or partially erupted tooth may cause many different problems necessitating wisdom tooth removal.

Oral Hygiene Issues Leading to Larger Problems

Oral hygiene issues are one of the more minor effects of wisdom teeth that don’t erupt properly. It is already challenging for many of us to brush – and especially floss – towards the back of our mouth.

This problem is exacerbated when wisdom teeth come in at odd angles and press directly up against neighboring teeth. This makes it extremely challenging to floss leading to teeth pain and damage to surrounding teeth. Inadequate flossing can lead to infection, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Trapped food particles can also be a problem with wisdom teeth. The non-standard eruption process may create gaps and crevices which may collect food. This can be a breeding ground for bacteria, infection, and gum disease down the road.

Impacted Teeth Causing Damage

A wisdom tooth that is impacted may put incredible strain on an adjacent tooth. This results in teeth crowding each other – which may cause potential damage to healthy nearby molars.

Regular Checkups to Identify Wisdom Tooth Problems

For the best possible outcome with your wisdom teeth, make sure that you (or your children) are coming into our Fort Collins dental office for regular dental care services. Our dental practice provides a full range of preventive services including cleanings, exams, and x-rays. Children should start coming in for checkups as soon as they have teeth.

Periodic panoramic and digital x-rays are important tools we use to identify potential wisdom teeth problems before they happen. Our office also is also equipped with a CT Scanning machine allowing for better diagnostics in preparation for the removal of the wisdom teeth. With these x-rays over time, we can get a better understanding of the progress of your wisdom teeth and how they may adversely impact other teeth.
Coming in for regular checkups allows us to properly monitor and plan for a wisdom tooth extraction should it become necessary. Waiting too long to address wisdom tooth issues can result in a more complicated dental emergency situation with a longer recovery time.

When Should You Get a CT-Scan for Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

A CT scan offers more information regarding the location of wisdom teeth as well as their closeness to nerves and sinuses. A CT Scan isn’t used by all dental practices for the examination of Wisdom Teeth, but we find that it gives us highly useful information about the structure of your mouth.  This applies especially to our patients who have wisdom teeth that are extremely impacted – especially in cases where those impacted teeth may be very close to a sinus cavity, nerves, or even cysts that can cause problems.

Having this knowledge available prior to wisdom teeth removal allows for highly precise oral surgery and can prevent unwanted outcomes.  As an example, irritation to the nerve that runs behind the lower wisdom teeth might cause numbness along the lip and chin region. 

In most situations, this is a transient state that disappears gradually over the course of six to eight weeks. It may become more protracted or permanent in rare cases. 

The CT-scan is being used increasingly frequently instead of or in conjunction with a panoramic X-ray since it is less expensive and emits much less radiation.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery

A wisdom tooth extraction is an oral surgery procedure where a wisdom tooth is removed from your mouth. The wisdom teeth extraction procedure usually involves a local anesthetic to numb the area. We also have sedation dentistry options including both iv and oral sedation to keep you completely calm and relaxed while the surgery is being performed.
You’ll need to allow time for the surgery (usually a couple of hours). You’ll also need a ride to and from our Fort Collins dental office as you will still be suffering mild sedative effects after the completion of the procedure.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Overview Video

For more information about wisdom teeth, check out this video below from the American Dental Association.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Overview Video from the ADA

Wisdom Tooth Extraction: Frequently Asked Questions

Why are they called Wisdom Teeth (or Third Molars)?

They are also called third molars because they are the third set of molars to erupt through your gums. The first set typically appears between ages 5 and 7. The second set of molars appears right around the onset of the teenage years. The final (third) set arrives during a person's late teens or early twenties. Historically, this final set arrives at an age associated with a person having "wisdom" - which is why they're called wisdom teeth.

How Many Teeth Are Removed During a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

This will vary based on patient needs. In some instances, a wisdom teeth removal may involve all 4 wisdom teeth being extracted.

Other times, some wisdom teeth never develop and don't have to be removed at all.

In still other cases, a patient may be one or two wisdom teeth that can be allowed to erupt and function properly while others have to be removed.

What Can I Eat After a Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Our Fort Collins dentist will provide you with post-operation instructions based on your specific requirements and how you're feeling. Most people will generally wish to stick to mostly liquids and very soft foods for at least a week. Most patients are able to return to a mostly normal diet within about two weeks.

What is Dry Socket?

Dry socket is a condition that can occur after a wisdom tooth removal. It is when the blood clot which was protecting the wound from infection and healing properly is dislodged or dissolves prematurely. This can leave the bone and nerves of the jaw open to infection and significant tooth pain.

How Much Does Wisdom Tooth Extraction Cost?

Most dental insurance plans will provide at least partial coverage of wisdom teeth extractions. Some plans may even provide complete coverage.

Call our Fort Collins dentist office with your dental insurance plan details and we can tell you how much your provider will cover. We are experts with insurance and are happy to give you the information you need.

Easy Payment Options

We accept most major insurance, cash, most credit cards, and offer patient financing with Cherry and CareCredit.
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Wisdom Teeth Extraction

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About Dr. Murphy

We are excited to welcome you to Murphy Dental! Our goal is to provide excellent care and a relaxing environment for our patients. Whether you are looking for a routine checkup, cosmetic dentistry, emergency dentistry or restorative care, we can help!

We offer general dentistry, including cleanings, exams, X-rays, fillings, crowns and more. We also can provide restorative care, including endodontics, implantology and periodontics. We take pride in offering outstanding service at affordable prices.

Dr. Murphy is our Fort Collins Dentist. He is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), the Colorado Dental Association (CDA). Our Fort Collins dental practice is consistently rated as a Top Dentist in 5280 Magazine thanks to Dr. Murphy and his skilled team of dental hygienists.

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(970) 225-8081


2038 Caribou Dr. Suite 101
Fort Collins, CO 80525


We’re located on Caribou Dr just west of Timberline Ave – north of Harmony Road and South of Horsetooth Road. For full directions click here.

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