Appointments Request Appointment Call Call
Dr. Foust
Doctors Referring Doctors

Frequently Asked Questions

Have Wisdom Tooth

Patients and parents usually have a lot of questions when their dentist recommends a wisdom tooth extraction, and Dr. Foust is more than happy to answer them. If you want to know more about the procedure and how Wisdom Partner DDS works with local dentists, read on below. Curious about something that hasn’t been covered on this page? If so, feel free to give us a call any time.

How does Wisdom Partner DDS work?

Dr. Foust partners with dentists in the Greater Houston area to provide top-quality wisdom tooth extraction care in their dental offices. If your dentist suggests you or your child have the wisdom teeth removed, Dr. Foust will come to your home dental office and perform the procedure right there, saving you the time and trouble of visiting a different dental office.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

The wisdom teeth are the very last set of molars and typically come in around the teenage years. They get their name from the fact that the person should be at an age where they are “wiser” compared to when they were a child.

Why do we have them? Why don’t I have room for mine?

Our human ancestors had larger jaws that were able to contain more teeth than we do now, and researchers believe this helped them chew foliage and other rough foods that made up their diet. As agriculture developed over the last 10,000 years, most of the foods humans eat regularly have become softer. This resulted in the jaw gradually shrinking, eventually eliminating the room needed for the wisdom teeth. This is why they often don’t have enough space to come in properly, and because we can’t clean them, they usually harbor bacteria that can lead to serious infections if the teeth aren’t ultimately removed.

Why remove wisdom teeth if they don’t hurt?

Even wisdom teeth that do not cause any pain can lead to serious, lasting problems for someone’s oral and overall health. Because most people don’t have enough room in their mouths for them, they can be extremely hard to reach while brushing, making them virtually impossible to clean. This drastically increases someone’s risk of cavities, gum disease, and oral infections. They can also create a flap in the gums that is the perfect breeding ground for oral bacteria. Left untreated, an oral infection can get into the bloodstream and damage the heart, kidneys, and other organs. Severely impacted wisdom teeth can also cause the development of fluid-filled sacs or cysts, which can harm the jawbone and nearby teeth.

When is the best time to remove the wisdom teeth?

Ideally, the wisdom teeth should be removed before the roots have time to fully develop, which is usually between the ages of 14 and 18. This increases the success rate of surgery while also reducing the possibility of long-term complications. If a patient waits to have their wisdom teeth removed after the roots have hardened, this makes surgery more difficult, and healing may take much longer and be less comfortable as well.

When Is Removal Needed?

You or your child’s dentist will recommend having the wisdom teeth removed if they are causing problems or if an X-ray shows that they will cause issues in the future. Some of these include:

  • Misalignment: As the wisdom teeth struggle to come in, they can actually push the nearby teeth out of place, leading to crowding and an unbalancing of the bite.
  • Gum Inflammation: The gum tissue near the wisdom teeth can swell, become sensitive, and be difficult to clean.
  • Dental Damage: Bite problems associated with the wisdom teeth can lead to pain and worn down teeth if ignored.
  • Cysts: A cyst can form around an impacted wisdom tooth, which over time, can hollow out the jawbone and cause nerve damage.
  • Sinus Problems: Sinus pain, pressure, and congestion are also side effects of the upper wisdom teeth not coming in properly.
  • Cavities: Crooked teeth and swollen gums create small spaces where bacteria can become trapped, multiply, and eventually damage the enamel.

What could happen if I don’t remove my wisdom teeth when my doctor recommends that I should?

Patients who wait to have their wisdom teeth removed during their late teens or early twenties typically encounter more complications than if they had the procedure earlier. This allows time for the wisdom tooth roots to harden and firmly bond with the jawbone. This increases the risk of the root tips pressing on the nerves in your jaw, which can cause lasting or even permanent numbness in the lips or chin. Plus, the older you become, your bones become denser, and this increased density can make removing the wisdom teeth much more difficult—adult patients typically experience more swelling and longer healing times. Having the wisdom teeth removed as early as possible also lowers the risk of dry socket.

What is a dry socket?

After a wisdom tooth is removed, a blood clot needs to form in order to protect the hole left in the jawbone. If this clot becomes dislodged or doesn’t come together properly, this is called dry socket. It usually results in a persistent ache towards the back of the mouth, but fortunately, it can be easily treated.

What can be done to prevent a dry socket?

Dr. Foust uses a state-of-the-art procedure called PRF to help dramatically reduce the chances of someone developing a dry socket. In fact, the odds go from around 1 in 10 to 1 in 100! Using a small sample of your own blood, it is placed in a centrifuge and spun extremely fast until it separates into distinctive layers. The PRF layer contains white blood cells, neutrophils, and several other healing proteins in a concentrated substance that he can place in the space left by an extracted wisdom tooth. The PRF helps speed up the healing process, aids bone growth, and helps reduce pain and swelling in the first three days after surgery. It also helps bleeding stop much earlier as well, leading to a shorter, safer, and more comfortable healing process.

Does wisdom tooth extraction hurt?

Not when Dr. Foust does it! Thanks to his extensive experience in both oral surgical services and sedation dentistry, he’s able to help patients again and again with how comfortable the procedure is. To date, he has completed over 20,000 extractions and safely sedated about 4,000 patients.

How long does it take to heal after a wisdom tooth extraction?

Most patients need about a week before their mouth feels completely normal and they’re able to resume their regular diet. But, because Dr. Foust uses PRF therapy, many patients are able to recover much faster.

I’m scared of needles—is IV sedation safe?

Yes, IV sedation is extremely safe and painless when administered by a highly trained physician like Dr. Foust. He completed a residency dedicated to providing IV sedation and has taken countless hours of sedation safety training over the years. With him, you’ll basically feel nothing right before you feel nothing!

Can I just wait for my wisdom teeth to come in naturally?

In most cases, no. The wisdom teeth often become stuck (impacted) while trying to erupt, and ignoring them will simply lead to more pain and problems with the nearby teeth and gums. As soon as they start causing issues, it’s wise to remove them.

Do you take dental insurance?

No, all dental insurance matters are handled by a patient’s general dentist’s office. If you have questions as to what kind of coverage you have for wisdom tooth extraction, it’s best to talk to your insurance provider or contact your home dental team.

How much does a wisdom tooth extraction cost?

The cost can vary from patient to patient depending on how many teeth we are removing at one time and various other factors, but you can learn more about our all-inclusive pricing on this page.

Woman with healthy smile after wisdom tooth extraction