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When Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

by Williams, Daily & Frazier on Aug 24, 2017 9:46:34 AM

Many parents and teenagers often ponder; when do you get your wisdom teeth out? Over the last decade, there’s been a growing controversy over automatically removing wisdom teeth, which are also called third molars. Some dentists and orthodontic surgeons say they should be removed as soon as possible. Other dentists recommend keeping them until they show signs of problems.

What age do you get your wisdom teeth out?

There’s no defined age for when individuals need to have their wisdom teeth removed. It depends on when the wisdom teeth start emerging from the gums. Most wisdom teeth come in between the ages of 17 and 25.

Why do some dentists recommend the automatic removal of wisdom teeth?

According to conventional thinking, wisdom teeth don’t serve a useful purpose in the mouth, and they often come in crooked, partially emerged or completely impacted. Rather than waiting to see if the wisdom teeth emerge properly, many dentists and oral surgeons recommend immediate extraction. This is primarily due to ease of removal. New wisdom teeth do not have fully formed roots, and the bone surrounding the wisdom teeth is softer. There’s also less risk of damaging the nearby nerves in the jaw.

When do you get your wisdom teeth removed?

There are certain situations where the wisdom teeth should be extracted to maintain the health of the mouth, jaw and surrounding teeth. A dental examination and x-rays can determine if any of these scenarios are occurring in your mouth.

  • The Wisdom Teeth Do Not Grow Correctly – Third molars are prone to emerging crooked or emerging too closely to the second molars, which can cause the existing teeth to shift.
  • The Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted – When third molars fail to break through the gum, they are said to be impacted, which can be a serious problem. Impacted teeth are more prone to developing infections and cysts, which can negatively affect the jawbone, nearby nerves and the roots of the teeth near the impacted wisdom tooth.
  • The Wisdom Teeth Only Partially Emerge – Partially emerged wisdom teeth are more prone to the build-up of tartar and plaque because the entire surface of the tooth cannot be cleaned and the gum surrounding the tooth makes it difficult to keep clean. This can lead to plaque and tartar build-up, resulting in gum infections.

Are there scenarios in which wisdom teeth removal is not needed?

Not every wisdom tooth needs to be pulled. There are several scenarios in which you can keep your wisdom teeth.

  • X-Rays Have Shown Your Wisdom Teeth Are Growing Correctly – Once you realize your wisdom teeth are coming in, it’s best to schedule an appointment for a dental examination and x-rays. If your wisdom teeth appear to be growing straight and are in good condition, you may be able to keep them.
  • Your Wisdom Teeth Fully Emerge – Fully emerged wisdom teeth that are properly spaced may not need to be removed immediately. However, the individual will have to dedicate to properly cleaning their third molars.
  • Your Bite Is Not Affected – Once your wisdom teeth fully emerge, it is best to get them examined by a dentist to ensure that they are not negatively affecting your bite. If your bite looks good, extraction may not be needed.
  • You Are Not Experiencing Pain – If your wisdom teeth are not causing you pain or discomfort, you may be able to keep them.

Make an informed decision when it comes to wisdom teeth removal.

When it comes to making the decision to keep or remove your wisdom teeth, it is best to consult with a professional, experienced dentist. Dentists can perform an oral examination and take x-rays to determine if your third molars are healthy or if they should be extracted. If they do not need to be immediately removed, the dentist will most likely recommend regular dental cleanings and x-rays to monitor their health. If your wisdom teeth do need to be removed, the dentist should recommend extraction by a qualified oral surgeon.

Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist in Raleigh, NC with a dedicated team of dentists, assistants, hygienists and administrators who are enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.