Generally, it is best to get wisdom teeth removed in early adulthood, if necessary. Those who wait until an older age, the risks and complications associated with wisdom tooth removal are more likely to increase.
Unremoved Wisdom Teeth Complications
First we must explain the complications that can result if wisdom teeth are not removed. The problems include:
● Impacted teeth. If the wisdom tooth does not have enough room to grow, it can become impacted. Impacted teeth are painful and can cause problems like periodontal disease and damage to surrounding teeth.
● Tooth decay. It may be harder to effectively clean wisdom teeth and impacted teeth, and as a result, tooth decay may result.
● Infection. Bacteria thrives in the partially erupted wisdom tooth site, and this can cause a serious infection to develop.
● Tumors and cysts. Severely impacted teeth can eventually lead to the growth of dangerous tumors and/or cysts.
Postoperative Complications for Older Patients?
Wisdom teeth are usually removed during early adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 25, because the roots are not fully formed and can be removed easily. This is done to limit trauma and decrease the likelihood of postoperative problems from occurring. If a person waits to have wisdom teeth removed till later in life, roots have had a chance to develop, and complications
can result. The most common issues are:
● Longer recovery time. If teeth are impacted, the wisdom teeth removal surgery can be more complicated, and the recovery time for the patient will reflect this.
● Risk of nerve damage. As a person ages, wisdom tooth roots grow downward towards the nerve that controls feeling in the lower lip. If the roots are in close proximity to this nerve, there is a risk of injury to that nerve during surgery.
Austin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery’s team of surgeons has extensive training the removal of wisdom teeth and has been caring for families of Austin and Central Texas for over 42 years. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth removal or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact our office!