What they don't want you to know...

The Dirty Secret about opoids and Wisdom teeth

HOW and WHY you should go Opoid Free...

According to DrugAbuse.gov, one-third of patients prescribed opioids misuse them.


It’s easy to think of the opioid crisis as something far away. But the truth is, it’s happening in our own communities. In 2016, 11.7 billion opioid pills were prescribed in the United States, which is an average of about 36 pills per person.

Unfortunately, it’s not just doctors who are overprescribing. Studies show that American dentists are also giving out opioids at dangerous levels. 

For example, research from the University of Pittsburgh found that half of the opioids given out by dentists are unnecessary and inappropriate. In many cases, powerful pain pills are prescribed for mild pain that could be treated with simple remedies, like Tylenol or an ice pack.

"We found that over time, overprescribing of opioids by dentists actually increased," said Katie Suda, lead researcher on the project. She noted that 10% of opioids distributed in the U.S. each year are now prescribed by dentists.

Opioid addiction and dentistry

Young patients, especially teenagers, undergoing wisdom tooth extraction may be at risk of developing an opioid dependence due to the use of high-powered opioids such as oxycodone.

The brain is not fully developed until the early 20s, so taking opioids before this stage leaves a greater chance of developing a dependence. It is important to be aware of this risk and talk to your doctor about other options.

Dentists are the primary prescribers of opioids to adolescents and young adults, who are at high risk for opioid misuse.

At Dr. Babiuk’s practice, we understand the risks of prescribing opioids to younger patients. That’s why we strive to provide them with the best wisdom tooth extraction solutions that are non-opioid, or opioid-free, to ensure their safety and well-being. We are dedicated to providing the best care and treatment possible for our patients. Let us take care of your wisdom tooth extraction needs in the safest and most effective way.

Brain development is not complete until the early 20s. When opioids are prescribed before this occurs, there is a higher chance of developing a dependence.

Recent research has brought to light an alarming trend: dentists commonly prescribe opioids to patients after wisdom tooth extractions, even though evidence has revealed that alternative treatments can provide the same relief. 

This is especially concerning for young patients, as it is often the first time they will ever be exposed to this type of drug.

It is thought that the medical community’s preference for powerful pain pills, such as oxycodone, has been a major contributor to the opioid epidemic in America.

Insurance companies are often more likely to cover opioids than alternative treatments, leading to a decline in the use of other, safer options

Before turning to opioids, consider other available treatments. Safe alternatives scan be just as effective for managing pain after wisdom tooth extractions. 

It’s important to remember that opioids should never be the first option. They carry a much higher risk of side effects, addiction, and overdose.

It took years to realize this approach was dangerous.

Why Choose Dr. babiuk?

Having your wisdom teeth removed is one of the most common procedures that requires opioids for pain management. 

Many people don’t realize that wisdom tooth removal is a surgical procedure and requires more than over-the-counter pain relievers. Unfortunately, this means that you may be prescribed opioids to manage the pain.

It’s important to be aware of the potential risks of opioids, especially when it comes to wisdom teeth removal. As an oral surgeon, Dr. Babiuk takes special care to ensure that his patients are informed of the potential risks of opioid use, and only prescribes what is necessary for your pain management. That way, you can rest assured that you’re receiving the best care possible.

We have your solution!
The TheWisdomToothDoc™ 

Getting your wisdom teeth removed doesn’t have to involve opioid prescriptions! With the WisdomToothDoc Technique, you can have a successful procedure and recovery without the risk of addiction.

Dr. Babiuk starts by helping you mentally prepare for the procedure. He then administers an appropriate sedation protocol using non-addictive meds, and conditions you for surgery.

All of this helps to reduce your fear and make the process easier on you. By following his technique and being adequately prepared, you may find that you don’t need hard painkillers to cope with the pain.

You can trust Dr. Babiuk to provide the best oral surgery care without relying on opioids!

Dr. Babiuk’s “TheWisdomToothDoc Technique is a highly successful approach to speeding up recovery and reducing pain after wisdom teeth extraction.

It helps patients prepare mentally, physically and emotionally to ensure they feel comfortable and relaxed during the process. Here’s how it works:

Mental preparedness: Dr. Babiuk ensures that the patient has a better understanding of what’s going on in the procedure to avoid any surprises and give them the confidence to face their wisdom tooth extraction.

• Sedation: Sedation is key for wisdom tooth extraction. The sedation protocol of the WisdomToothDoc Technique uses different, non-addictive meds to ensure the patient, and their parent, can feel more comfortable and relaxed with what’s happening.

• Conditioning: Pre-operation procedures help condition the patient for surgery to ensure they feel prepared and ready for the procedure.

This natural approach to oral surgery is designed to reduce fear and anxiety and provide a more relaxing experience for patients during the wisdom teeth removal. It helps to ensure that patients don’t need to rely on hard pain killers to cope and have the best possible experience.

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Frequently asked questions

TheWisdomToothDoc™ technique focuses on minimizing pain and swelling. Although there may be some redness and swelling, we will give you the tools and information you need to get better quickly and comfortably. We will also text you after the procedure to see how you are doing, and you will be able to call our office if you have any questions or concerns.

For most people, they are going to be a little dizzy and a little sleepy for the rest of the day after wisdom teeth removal. There will be an effect on coordination for about 24 hours, so we don’t want people driving, riding a motorcycle, or using power tools, or doing anything else where they could hurt themselves. The residual effect on coordination persists a little bit longer than the residual dizziness and sleepiness, so it’s really important that people follow those restrictions for 24 hours. For reasons unknown, sometimes we will see adolescent female patients become more emotional than usual for a few hours after sedation. It is important to note that the outlandish behavior of people after wisdom tooth extraction typically portrayed on YouTube is not at all a realistic depiction.

The question of whether or not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed has been debated for many years amongst dental professionals. The reality is that nearly everyone will need their wisdom teeth out at some point. Most people need them out when they’re young because they don’t have enough room for them to come in, so they get stuck and cause problems. Some people will have enough room for the teeth to come into the mouth but then they struggle to clean them, leading to problems like tooth decay and gum disease. This leads to the need for removal later in life.

The typical wisdom tooth removal patient is a high school or college aged young adult, who has spacing issues. These arise due to genetics, due to improved dental care practices, and due to modern dietary issues. In the past, no one needed wisdom teeth removal. Most people didn’t have access to dental care, so teeth would break or fall out, the remaining teeth would shift, and there was enough room for the wisdom teeth to come in without problems. As dental care has improved, people have stopped losing teeth at a young age.

Another big factor is the modern diet. People used to eat food that they picked and prepared on their own. Grains were milled between rocks. Leaves and stems were in their vegetables. So they ate dirt and sand and their diet was very abrasive. This has changed and now what we eat is very processed.  Our teeth no longer wear from our diet. If we look at the work of the anthropologists who examine human skulls, all the teeth are worn and smaller, so there was room for the wisdom teeth. Human jawbones are actually about 25% smaller now than they were just a couple of thousand years ago because growth is affected by function. Diet was more abrasive, so people needed more chewing force in order to eat. That meant that the jaw would grow bigger and there was more room for more teeth to come in. The average mouth today doesn’t have enough room. The wisdom teeth will form, get stuck, and end up partly covered by bone or by gum tissue.

If you put off getting your wisdom teeth out for too long, your jawbone and teeth start to harden. As the third molars get harder, they get harder to take out, and the process gets more painful and complicated.

The cost of wisdom tooth removal depends on the position of the tooth, whether it has erupted, whether it is stuck, whether it’s angled, and whether it is covered by bone or gum tissue. There are a lot of factors and choice plays a role. Some people only want shots of local anesthetic. Most people have trouble tolerating such an intense removal, so the best way to do things is under sedation. The cost can vary from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on each individual patient’s situation. Typically, dental insurance will cover some of the procedure but not all of it. Some medical plans will provide some coverage as well. Our financial team will help you to get the maximum benefits possible.


If you wait, you are also more likely to have problems after the surgery, such as sinus problems, heavy bleeding, tooth roots being damaged in healthy teeth, and limited jaw movement. You might only have these symptoms for a few days or for the rest of your life.

The majority of individuals have unexposed wisdoms with a high risk of plaque and foreign debris blockage. Consequently, the tissue may become infected. It can also lead to improper tooth positioning and mouth development. Click here for more information.

For most young people, wisdom teeth don’t fully emerge. They are typically angled in a complex position. It’s not a straight up and down erupted tooth. In order to fully expose the tooth to remove it, we have to lift the gum tissue. We typically have to make space between the tooth and the bone in order to free it. Many times, we actually have to cut the tooth into pieces to remove it.

In older people who have been functioning on the teeth, it becomes harder to remove them because of the changes in bone that happen with age. In your typical 16 year old, the bone is still very flexible and you don’t have to do as much removal of bone because you can get the bone to flex and create space, and then return to where it was. In the average person over 35, there’s no flexibility of bone left, so there’s typically a need for bone removal to break the attachment of the tooth to the bone.

Should ask questions

Dr. Babiuk is amongst the state’s best qualified oral and face surgeons. He has extracted over 150,000 teeth and trained one of the leading hospitals, Cook County. In addition to teaching anesthesia and surgery at Cook County, he has more than 25 years of expertise in private practice and 20 years of experience in anesthesia. Dr. Babiuk specializes in extractions of wisdom teeth and has a lower rate of complications, post-operative infections, and dry sockets than the national average. Read more about Dr. Babiuk here.

I always recommended that sedation be used unless someone has a medical reason why they’re not a sedation candidate. Sedation is always given as the best option. It’s better to not be aware of what’s going on, in order to have a good experience. If someone has a bad experience, they may develop a fear of dentistry and end up avoiding dental care in the future, which will negatively affect their overall dental health for their lifetime.

If, for whatever reason, someone feels anxiety over the sedation process, they may choose to not be sedated. There are two choices when they’re not sedated. One is using the local anesthetic, Novocaine. They will feel pressure, vibration, water, and the initial anesthetic injections. There is one step between that and being sedated. There’s a mask over their nose and they are breathing a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide, laughing gas. The result is very minor sedation. You can only feel 90% of what is happening instead of 100%.

If someone decides against sedation, we can’t avoid the use of opioids. Under sedation, we have intravenous line access. We can give medications that are going to reduce the inflammation and pain for many hours after the procedure. Without sedation, we don’t have this access and we can’t give those medications. The average person is then going to need much stronger pain medication.

A General Dentist is the primary care doctor of your oral health. They are trained to restore teeth back to normal form and function. They are trained to replace missing teeth. They have very little exposure to tooth extractions in dental school. Most have only done a handful before graduation. They also have no training in managing surgical complications. While the likelihood of of complications is low, they should be handled by experienced hands. When someone has a problem with an extraction by their dentist, they will need to then find an expert to take over.

Experience is an important consideration for any procedure. The added experience of a seasoned professional reduces your risks and improves your recovery experience.

Not to sound too sarcastic, but, would you want your primary care doctor to perform your bypass?

Since the extraction is generally performed under sedation, you’re unaware of the procedure even being done. We start an IV line and we give you some medications. You fall asleep and we give you local anesthetic while you’re asleep, so you don’t have any awareness of the injections. The areas are numb in addition to the sedation. After the procedure, you wake up feeling numb, as if you had gone to the dentist for some fillings. The local anesthetic wears off over a period of a few hours.  We also place long acting local that lasts for 3 days. The sites won’t feel totally numb, instead there will be decreased sensation in the areas to decrease your discomfort.

For healthy people, the risk of an anesthetic problem is between one in 500,000 and one in one million. We are typically working with young, healthy people, which reduces the risk. When a procedure is done under sedation in the office, it is done with the exact same technique that would be used in a hospital operating room, with the same monitoring equipment. In order to be a sedation provider, you have to be trained in it. You need to have staff that is trained in managing emergencies and CPR. You constantly have to retrain and test. Realistically, the potential for an anesthetic problem in an oral surgery office while having wisdom teeth taken out under sedation is very low.

Dr. Babiuk and his staff are widely regarded as the foremost experts in wisdom tooth extractions. They take satisfaction in minimizing complications through careful patient evaluation and have contingency plans for most, if not all, possible complications.

A typical clinic will give opioid prescriptions to mostly young and healthy patients after a procedure. Opioids are one of the most addictive substances available, and prolonged use can be fatal. We are one of the few clinics engaged in the fight against opiates and have carefully developed a safe, comfortable, and opiates-free procedure. Click here for more information.

We prioritize your safety and treat you as if you were a member of our family. We take the time to personalize your procedure and limit your exposure to potentially addictive drugs. Click here for more information on Dr. Babiuk.

We have a transparent and organized system for handling new patients.

  1. Phone call to set up your consultation
  2. Consultation
  3. X-rays and evaluation
  4. Pre anesthetic evaluation, Health history, anatomy review
  5. Customized procedure and course of action using “Full Big Picture Evaluation”
  6. In Office sedation
  7. Procedure/Leave Same Day
  8. Post Op Evaluation,  Recovery, and Text Message Updates

From the initial phone conversation to the post-operative appointment, we take pride in ensuring your satisfaction. Call us today!

After wisdom teeth removal, most patients will see a period of swelling that peaks after about three days. The swelling resolves over a period of about a week and a half. The inflammation that happens from the surgery will lead to pain and discomfort. The average patient of TheWisdomToothDoc will take  Tylenol and prescription strength ibuprofen, at the same time, every 6 hours for the first four days. After this we have them transition to an as needed basis.

Typically, a patient who has her wisdom teeth out on Friday will be able to go to work or school on Monday. They will be a little uncomfortable, but still able to do what they would normally do. The average patient will get to the point where they feel normal again within two weeks. Gum tissue healing is about a six-week process. The bone underneath the gum tissue takes about six months for full healing. Those processes are typically not felt by the patient at all.

3209 Fiday Rd, Joliet, IL 60431, United States

Second Location:

1404 Aquarius Circle, Suite A
Ottawa, Illinois 61350

Call: (815) 254-1560

Text: (815) 473-3560

Fax: (815) 254-1562

Email: info@wisdomteethjoliet.com

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Click here to schedule your consultation in our Joliet office.

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