Coherent vortices are extracted from data obtained by direct numerical simulation (DNS) of three-dimensional homogeneous isotropic turbulence performed for different Taylor microscale Reynolds numbers, ranging from Reλ = 167 to 732, in order to study their role with respect to the flow intermittency. The wavelet-based extraction method assumes that coherent vortices are what remains after denoising, without requiring any template of their shape. Hypotheses are only made on the noise that, as the simplest guess, is considered to be additive, Gaussian, and white. The vorticity vector field is projected onto an orthogonal wavelet basis, and the coefficients whose moduli are larger than a given threshold are reconstructed in physical space, the threshold value depending on the enstrophy and the resolution of the field, which are both known a priori. The DNS dataset, computed with a dealiased pseudospectral method at resolutions N = 2563, 5123, 10243, and 20483, is analyzed. It shows that, as the Reynolds number increases, the percentage of wavelet coefficients representing the coherent vortices decreases; i.e., flow intermittency increases. Although the number of degrees of freedom necessary to track the coherent vortices remains small (e.g., 2.6% of N = 20483 for Reλ = 732), it preserves the nonlinear dynamics of the flow. It is thus conjectured that using the wavelet representation the number of degrees of freedom to compute fully developed turbulent flows could be reduced in comparison to the standard estimation based on Kolmogorov’s theory.