At what age should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

At what age should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

wisdom teeth HenricoThe wisdom teeth are so large that most people’s jaws do not have enough room for them to erupt properly. When that occurs, the wisdom teeth become impacted, which can lead to a host of problems, such as infection, abscesses, discomfort and misaligned teeth.

In order to avoid those consequences, many patients opt to have their wisdom teeth extracted before they even develop any symptoms.

It is easier for an oral surgeon to remove the wisdom teeth in younger patients because the roots are not as long and they’re not as solidly attached to the jaw. Younger patients also recover from the procedure more quickly than patients who postpone wisdom teeth extraction until their 30s or beyond.

Therefore, patients who want to have their wisdom teeth removed should do so before age 25. In fact, insurance coverage for the procedure may decrease or be unavailable after that point as well.

By inspecting the jaw and examining x-rays, the oral surgeon can determine the likelihood that the wisdom teeth will become impacted by the patient’s early to mid-teen years. This gives patients (and their parents) the opportunity to decide at a relatively young age to have the wisdom teeth extracted.

Patients can gain a number of benefits by having their wisdom teeth removed. It is quite difficult to keep the area at the rear of the jaw clean, especially when the wisdom teeth are impacted or merely partially erupted. This can cause the buildup of bacteria that can cause decay on neighboring teeth, gum disease or even abscesses.

Furthermore, the wisdom teeth will continue to try to push through the gums, which can potentially knock the other teeth out of alignment. Any time and effort you invested in orthodontic treatment can be rendered useless by that process.

If you (or your child) are in your late teens or early 20s, schedule a consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons to get a sense of whether you might benefit from wisdom tooth extraction. Contact our skilled team at Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery to schedule your visit today.