23 Dec Do all patients need to have their wisdom teeth extracted?
The wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the largest teeth in the human mouth, which also makes them the most likely to become impacted. Furthermore, human jaws have become smaller over time, and many patients don’t have enough room in their jaws for those teeth to come in properly.
While impacted wisdom teeth may not be symptomatic in all patients, they can develop problems at any time. Those problems can be serious issues like cysts, tumors and abscesses, and they can also cause discomfort or damage to surrounding teeth as they continue to attempt to erupt.
To prevent such outcomes, many patients choose to have their wisdom teeth extracted pre-emptively. If you are considering this procedure, you can consult with our oral surgery team to discuss the risks and benefits associated with it. This will help you to make an informed decision regarding the treatment and give you a chance to ask about any concerns that you may have.
An oral surgeon can inspect your jaw and take x-rays to determine whether your wisdom teeth are impacted and whether extraction is recommended.
Wisdom tooth extraction is usually done in a surgeon’s office, and most patients will opt for sedation during the procedure. Your surgeon will thoroughly review pre- and post-operative instructions with you so that you can reduce your risk of complications.
Timing is also a factor in wisdom tooth extraction, as the procedure is less complex in younger patients, who also bounce back more quickly after the procedure. Therefore, patients who do want to have their wisdom teeth extracted are advised to do so before age 25. Older patients can still undergo wisdom tooth extraction, but it’s more difficult to remove the teeth and it takes longer to recover afterward.
Some patients may be able to keep their wisdom teeth, but they are in the minority. All patients should at least be evaluated to determine the best course of action regarding their third molars. If you still have your wisdom teeth, contact any of our convenient locations to schedule an initial consultation.