Wisdom Tooth Extraction (Third Molar Extraction)
While many Americans choose Costa Rica for dental implants and full mouth restorations, an increasing number of patients are traveling for less expensive procedures such as tooth extraction and root canals. In a survey of patients from different parts of the USA, patients reported high prices for wisdom tooth extraction. Jake from Cape Coral, Florida told us that he was quoted $3250 for the removal of four wisdom teeth, also known as third molars. Richard from New York received a quote of $3650 for the extraction of four wisdom teeth, while Amy from Texas was expecting to pay just under $4000 for the same treatment.
How much does wisdom tooth removal cost in Costa Rica? A simple tooth extraction can cost as little as $80 at Goodness Dental, while a more complex wisdom tooth extraction is priced at $250 to $275, allowing patients to have all four wisdom teeth removed for around $1000, more than two-thirds less than the price for the same services in the USA.
On average, patients that come to Costa Rica for dental care can expect to save more than 50% on most dental procedures. Some patients save even more, especially on more costly services like dental implants. Even when considering the cost of airfare and accommodations, most patients save at least fifty percent or more on dental care in Costa Rica.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Aftercare:
After dental extractions and third molar (wisdom tooth) removal a certain amount of bleeding, discomfort or pain, and swelling is normal. Apply ice packs immediately to the surgical site. Place ice packs on for 30, then off for 30 minutes. Continue at least 24-48 hours.
The following instructions are provided to make your post-operative recovery as short and pleasant as possible.
- The most important consideration is not to disturb the surgical area. Healing requires time. Don’t rush it.
- Bite down with firm pressure on the gauze pack for at least 30 minutes after leaving Goodness Dental. After thirty minutes, remove the pack and replace with another gauze sponge. Repeat as necessary. You may start taking pain pills after you have something to eat. If an antibiotic is prescribed, start taking it as directed by your doctor.
- Do not rinse or spit for 72 hours. This tends to disturb the blood clot and may prolong bleeding. Try to swallow normally and do not chew until the numbness has worn off. Your diet should then be limited to cool, soft foods and non-carbonated liquids for at least 48 hours. A high calorie, high protein nutritional supplement such as Ensure or Boost may be helpful and is available at your pharmacy. Patients should try to eat and drink as much as possible to speed healing. Do not take pain medicines on an empty stomach.
- Patients should keep activity to a minimum, avoid drinking with a straw and avoid alcoholic or carbonated beverages and smoking until healing has progressed substantially (3-5 days). Do not drive a car or operate machinery for 24 hours after sedation or general anesthesia or while taking pain medication.
- Some bleeding following surgery is normal. If excessive bleeding occurs 4-5 hours after surgery, place 2 sterile gauze packs firmly and directly over the area of surgery and bite down with firm, even pressure for 30 minutes. Do not chew the gauze and refrain from speaking. If this is not successful, bite firmly on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. If excessive bleeding continues, call a member of our staff.
- During this time the most important care is to keep your mouth clean.
- 72 hours after surgery, you may begin gently rinsing your mouth with a lukewarm salt-water solution (one-half teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water). Repeat this 4 or 5 times a day for one week to gently cleanse the surgical site.
- Brush teeth carefully and thoroughly, except for the immediate surgical area, with a soft toothbrush. Keeping your mouth clean helps avoid postoperative infection and speeds healing.
- Wisdom tooth extractions are considered oral surgery. These operations are performed very close to nerves. This can sometimes cause some lingering numbness or altered sensations, especially of the lower lip or tongue. This condition is usually temporary and will generally disappear when swelling recedes and the nerve heals. If this feeling of numbness persists for two weeks, please contact our clinic.
- Stitches (also known as sutures) are usually placed to control bleeding, aid healing and help prevent food from collecting in the surgical site, especially for lower teeth. The sutures we use will dissolve in 3 to 5 days and do not have to be removed.
- Swelling, soreness or stiffness in the jaw can be relieved by applying ice packs to the affected side of the face several times a day. Moist heat should not be used until after the first 48 hours. If swelling, tenderness, or pain should increase after the first few days, call Goodness Dental.
- A soft diet is recommended for the first few days after surgery. Most patients are able to resume a normal diet within three days after surgery.
- Bruising may appear on the face for the first few days after surgery. Moist heat application will help relieve this condition once again. An antibiotic or moisturizing cream may be used on the lips to promote healing.
We are available to help answer any questions or attend to your needs following surgery.