At What Age Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
A Rite Of Passage
There are several milestones in late adolescence that we might anticipate fondly as children. Graduating high school, starting your first job, or getting your driver’s license are all associated with a transition into adulthood and typically occur in our late teens. However, one right of passage is not thought of as fondly: having your wisdom teeth removed.
Many patients understand why wisdom teeth are removed, but not everyone knows when to have wisdom teeth removed. Ideally, we want to extract wisdom teeth before they can cause any problems, such as pain, movement, or oral disease. Patients who are 17-25 years old should generally have their wisdom teeth removed. For a more exact extraction date, your dentist can determine the best time to have your wisdom teeth extracted.
With Youth Comes Wisdom
In the case of wisdom teeth, wisdom doesn’t always come with age! Studies have shown that having your wisdom teeth removed at an earlier age is beneficial to your oral health and post-operative recovery. Younger patients typically have an easier time healing after a wisdom tooth extraction and experience fewer complications during the procedure.
Why Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the largest and final teeth to grow in. Unfortunately, the modern jaw typically cannot accommodate their size and have to be surgically removed. When wisdom teeth cannot erupt properly, they become impacted and can cause a number of issues, including infection, cysts, tumors, and tooth decay.
Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted, however. Some patients may be able to keep one, two, or all of their wisdom teeth if the teeth have room and are capable of growing in properly. Medical scans are required to determine if you will experience complications with your wisdom teeth. A brief examination can be conducted at our office to confirm whether or not an extraction is needed.
The Impact Of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth that are "impacted" cannot properly grow in, or erupt, through the gums. This can be caused by the teeth growing in at an odd angle, being blocked by bone or soft tissue, or a lack of space in the jawbone to accommodate another pair of teeth.
While a wisdom tooth extraction is unfamiliar to most, it is a routine procedure in our office. The concept of oral surgery and being an oral surgery patient can bring about many feelings of fear and anxiety. For this reason, our team is more than familiar with guiding you every step of the way to ensure you receive superior, stress-free care.
There is no exact age when your wisdom teeth should be removed, but having your wisdom teeth extracted in early adulthood will likely create the best outcomes. When talking to your dentist, it is never too early to start discussing wisdom teeth. For younger patients, our doctors can form an outlook for preparing for a wisdom teeth extraction and anticipating how they may grow in. If you are a patient in your mid-twenties, there is no better time to have your wisdom teeth removed.
To schedule a consultation or a wisdom tooth extraction, give our Dallas Oral Surgery Associates office a call at 214-363-9946.