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wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in your mouth. They are typically the teeth that are set the furthest back in your jaw. They also develop much later than the rest of your teeth and generally erupt between 17 and 25 years of age. Unfortunately, our jaws are typically not large enough to accommodate these final teeth. If they can grow in, they can often cause excruciating pain and discomfort and even push the rest of your teeth out of alignment. For this reason, many dentists suggest that patients have their wisdom teeth removed.

It can be a difficult decision for many people to make because they are often taken out when there aren’t any issues and patients may want to avoid surgery if they don’t really need to have it. You may want to heed your dentist’s advice though. We have pulled together some information to help you decide when the best time to have your wisdom teeth removed.

How do You Know if You Even Have Them?

Before your dentist suggests that you have your wisdom teeth removed, they will verify that they are present from an X-ray. X-rays can detect teeth as they form in the jaw before they have even started to erupt through the gums. Your dentist can also evaluate if you will have enough room in your mouth to hold the additional teeth. This is often the first indication that wisdom teeth can be a real problem for you.

Why Should They be Removed?

There are many reasons that scientists have why we have wisdom teeth and why they don’t fit into our mouths. All the reasoning aside, our jaws and mouths typically aren’t large enough to accommodate this third site of molars. If they can grow in, they can often push other teeth out of alignment and cause a change in how our teeth align. As this happens, it can cause significant pain and lasting damage to a patient’s oral health.

When Should You Remove Wisdom Teeth?

After your dentist verifies that you have all of your wisdom teeth and that they will be a problem, they will probably want to schedule you for an extraction. You generally want to have the wisdom teeth removed before there is any possibility that they will cause issues. This means that most extractions are conducted for patients between the ages of 14 and 18.

Completing the extraction early also helps the surgery go more smoothly. Dentists like to perform this operation before the roots of the teeth have formed. This means that they are easier to remove, and patients can heal more quickly. Dentists are also cautious to remove the teeth before there is potential of any infection. Infection of these teeth can make the operation much more difficult and has a higher potential for negative side effects.

What are the Risks of Surgery?

Wisdom tooth extractions are a commonplace surgery. They are performed frequently by dentists across the globe to ensure that their patients receive the best dental care. There are generally minimal risks to patients for this type of surgery, but there are some risks with any type of operation. Due to the invasive nature of the procedure, there is a potential for infection at the surgical site. There is also some potential for issues with healing that are specific to wisdom teeth extractions, like dry sockets. Additionally, if the teeth can grow longer, there is an increased potential for nerve damage that can cause numbness, sometimes permanent numbness, of the lips.

Overview

While many patients may want to wait until surgery is necessary, wisdom teeth extractions should be considered an exception. Removing these teeth before they have time to fully develop can avoid a host of other problems. If you have more questions, consider setting up a consultation with your dentist so that they can fully explain the potential issues that involve your case. Speak with Dr. Cadle and his highly experienced staff. They would love to hear from you.