Wisdom teeth, otherwise known as your third molars, often need to be surgically removed. Discover when the appropriate time is to have wisdom teeth removed and what you can expect to happen during the surgery.
When to Consider Having Wisdom Teeth Removed
A number of problems, ranging from overcrowding and pain to cracked back molars and headaches, can be directly connected to the growth of wisdom teeth. Most dental professionals and oral surgeons recommend that wisdom teeth be removed before you start experiencing these problems. If you don’t remove wisdom teeth before you start experiencing problems, it is recommended that you have them removed at the first sign of problems.
Everyone’s wisdom teeth grow at different rates. This makes it nearly impossible to provide an exact timeline of when they should be removed. On average, most people will have their wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 17 and 25. However, that isn’t always the case. Some people will need to have wisdom teeth removed around the age of 14 or 15 while others could wait until they are 25 or 30.
How to Tell it is Time to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed
Every year your dentist probably takes routine x-rays of your entire mouth. While these x-rays are used to determine if you have cavities and other dental problems, they are also used to monitor the growth of your wisdom teeth.
On the x-rays your dentist will first be able to determine if you have wisdom teeth. Not everyone will get wisdom teeth. The x-rays will show the presence of wisdom teeth.
Once it is determined you have wisdom teeth, your dentist will monitor their growth. Things your dentist will be looking at on the x-rays includes what direction your wisdom teeth are growing, whether or not they are impacted in the gum, and whether they are fully grown. All of these things are factors that will determine if – and when – you should schedule oral surgery.
Is There a Better Time to Schedule Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
Oral surgeons often prefer to perform wisdom teeth removal surgery before the roots of the teeth have fully formed. Once the roots form, the surgery becomes more complex and it will take you longer to heal. Removing the teeth before the roots have formed will reduce your risk of complications from the procedure and help you heal faster.
The age in which the roots of wisdom teeth fully form will vary from person to person. However, it typically occurs between the ages of 14 and 18.
Are You Ever Too Old to Have Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
Even though it is typically recommended that you get your wisdom teeth removed when you are a teen that doesn’t mean that is a requirement. You can have wisdom teeth removed at any age.
If you do have wisdom teeth removed at an older age, keep in mind that you could experience complications. The older you are when your wisdom teeth are removed the higher your risk is of experiencing infections, dry sockets, and slower healing.
What Happens During Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
Most wisdom teeth removal surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure by an oral surgeon. A general anesthetic is administered to relax you. The general anesthetic makes it easier to perform this lengthy procedure as you are put in such a relaxed state you are almost sleeping. Once the procedure is over, you will not remember anything from it.
During the procedure the oral surgeon if the teeth are impacted he or she will make a small incision along the gum line to obtain access to the wisdom teeth. If the teeth have fully erupted, there is no need to make an incision as they are already out of the gum line. The oral surgeon will then cut the wisdom teeth into four tiny sections. The tooth is cut into sections to make it easier to remove. Sometimes, if the tooth is extremely impacted or the roots have fully grown, some of the jawbone may need to be removed.
Think it is time for wisdom teeth removal surgery? Call Dr. Sedaros at Sedaros Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implants to schedule a consultation to see if it is the right time for wisdom teeth removal surgery.