When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

For many people, the wisdom tooth removal process can be nerve-wracking and frightening. There are many factors that influence if and when an individual should have their wisdom teeth removed.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars in the mouth. They are the last teeth to form and emerge, usually any time from age 17 to 21. Their arrival in these years is what gave them their name! During this period of an individual’s life, they have gained enough life experience to have some “wisdom”.

Due to their placement in the mouth, it is not uncommon for wisdom teeth to not properly erupt. In fact, a large majority of individuals have their wisdom teeth removed because they are at risk of developing infection. Another reason for removal is because these teeth have the potential to collide into one another and cause an impaction. In the case of impaction, it is possible for the teeth in the mouth to shift, causing crookedness and crowding. In this case, orthodontists will usually recommend their patients to have their wisdom teeth removed to assure that any orthodontic treatment done will not be in vain.

Is Removal Right For You?

There are many cases in which it actually serves the patient better to not extract their wisdom teeth. If the teeth develop and emerge correctly, there is no need for concern, and the teeth can safely remain. If the teeth are impacted, however, the dentist will most likely recommend extraction, even if the teeth are not giving the patient any pain or discomfort. This is done proactively, both to avoid damage to the other teeth, and to avoid potential pain and discomfort.

Many people choose not to receive the treatment they need for their wisdom teeth simply because they do not feel any pain. While a lack of pain is always a good sign, this is not to say they won’t suddenly develop pain at a certain point in the future. This is why it is recommended to get the wisdom teeth extracted as soon as possible.

Good Timing

Wisdom tooth extraction is best done anywhere from ages 16 to 21, as the teeth are not yet fully developed and have softer roots. It is also highly recommended to have the extractions done at this time because the younger the individual is, the sooner they will bounce back from surgery and heal. This is not to say extractions can not be done later in life! In fact, many people wait until after they are 21 to have their wisdom teeth removed.

The team at Summer Dental in Oklahoma City, Norman, Moore and Yukon can help you determine if a wisdom tooth extraction is the right choice for you! Summer Dental recommends coming in first for a $19 dental exam. At this appointment, they will take your  x-rays and the dentist can let you know a treatment plan for your wisdom teeth. Call or text Summer Dental today to schedule your appointment!