When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Wisdom teeth received their name because they typically come in much later than other adult teeth—perhaps when you’re older and “wiser.” Unfortunately, however, wisdom teeth don’t really make you feel wise at all; in fact, all they typically make you feel is pain.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third molars in the very back of your mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth: one for each quadrant of the mouth. It is possible, however, to have more or fewer than this.
When do wisdom teeth usually appear?
Wisdom teeth often “come in” sometime in late adolescence or early adulthood, so late teens or early 20s.
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. If your wisdom teeth grow in without disrupting your other teeth or your bite, and you are able to clean the teeth properly, you may not need to have them removed at all.
For the vast majority, however, wisdom teeth do need to be removed to avoid pain, infection, or problems with your other teeth. Wisdom teeth tend to crowd out your other teeth, since there isn’t usually room for them to grow properly. They may even grow in at an extreme angle, literally pushing against your other teeth. Obviously, this can cause a good amount of pain.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
Wisdom teeth should be removed at the advice of your dentist. More often than not, your dentist will want to remove your wisdom teeth before they start causing problems with your other teeth.
For many people, this is right around the age of 20. But it may be sooner or later than that, depending on your specific circumstances. Any dental patient over the age of 16 should ask their dentist to at least look at their wisdom teeth, so they can start working on a plan of action for taking care of them.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
Many patients are under general anesthesia during wisdom teeth extraction, though some choose not to go that route. The surgery is fairly quick (no more than an hour). Removing the teeth will likely cause heavy bleeding, so you’ll be provided with gauze pads that you’ll need to keep in your mouth for a while. You should also plan on giving yourself at least a couple days to recover from the surgery.
Having your wisdom teeth removed may feel like a big deal, but it is a common procedure that will likely spare you from pain and possible expense down the road. Rest assured—your dentist or oral surgeon will do everything they can to keep you comfortable before, during, and after the surgery.
Smile Concepts is committed to helping you have a healthy, happy, wisdom tooth-free smile. We’d be happy to discuss your options for wisdom teeth removal with you, including when the best time is to get your wisdom teeth removed. Give us a call at 480-951-2800; we look forward to serving you!