At what age should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

 

shutterstock_67912567-Small-300x291Most patients’ jaws are not large enough to accommodate the third molars, more commonly known as the wisdom teeth, so those teeth often fail to erupt properly.

When wisdom teeth become impacted, an oral surgeon must remove them. This procedure is typically more complex than a more routine tooth extraction, often requiring surgery to remove surrounding bone before removing the tooth.

Many people associate removal of the wisdom teeth with late adolescence, and there’s a valid reason for that. When you are in your late teens or early twenties, the roots of the wisdom teeth are shorter and not as strongly attached to the bone. 

Many people associate removal of the wisdom teeth with late adolescence, and there’s a valid reason for that.

As we get older, the wisdom teeth’s roots grow longer and more entrenched in the jaw. It can be more complicated to remove wisdom teeth in older patients, and it may take longer to heal following the surgery.

When there are signs that the wisdom teeth are impacted, many patients opt to have them removed regardless of whether they are symptomatic. An oral surgeon can look at a teenager’s x-rays and make a reasonable conclusion as to the likelihood that the wisdom teeth will become impacted and potentially cause problems later down the road.

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause many problems, including infection and abscesses, discomfort and damage to surrounding teeth as they continue to attempt to emerge.

Wisdom teeth removal is a routine oral surgery procedure, but patients should still discuss any concerns about wisdom tooth extraction, including risks and benefits, with their oral surgeon as part of the treatment planning process.

The ideal time to have your wisdom teeth removed is by age 25, so if you are approaching that age, schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. If you are older and have developed problems with your wisdom teeth, you may still be able to have your wisdom teeth extracted but you should be prepared for a longer recovery period. For more information, contact our skilled team of oral surgeons at Austin Oral Surgery today.