Wisdom teeth removal is almost a rite of passage for older teens and young adults, and for good reason. It is recommended that patients have their wisdom teeth removed by age 25 for a number of reasons. First of all, as you get older, the roots of the wisdom teeth become more entrenched in the jawbone, making it more challenging to extract these teeth. Additionally, younger patients tend to recuperate more quickly after an oral surgeon removes their wisdom teeth.
Many patients opt to have their wisdom teeth removed as a preventive measure because these large third molars are highly susceptible to becoming impacted. Over time, the human jaw has evolved to become smaller, so in most people, the wisdom teeth are unable to erupt properly. By examining a patient’s smile along with x-rays, an oral surgeon can determine the likelihood that the wisdom teeth will become impacted in patients as young as 15 years old.
Impacted wisdom teeth have the potential to cause significant problems for patients, including abscesses, infections, cysts and tumors. They can also cause discomfort as they continue to attempt to erupt, and they may also push other teeth out of alignment, undoing the results of previous orthodontic treatment.
Furthermore, it’s impossible to tell when any of these issues could arise with the impacted wisdom teeth, which is why patients may have these teeth extracted even if they are not symptomatic.
Keep in mind that if you are older than 25 and you still have your wisdom teeth, you can have them removed. However, you should plan for a longer recovery period and work closely with your surgeon to minimize your risks of post-operative complications.
If you are reaching the age when you should have your wisdom teeth removed, contact our office to schedule a consultation. We can educate you on the treatment process and help you make the decision that is most appropriate in your case.