Wisdom Teeth

Reasons Why Wisdom Teeth Are Removed

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually appear in adults between the ages of 17 and 25 and are the final set of molars that most people get. While most will eventually have their wisdom teeth removed, not everyone needs to do so. Most dental professionals will recommend having your wisdom teeth removed if you experience any of the following scenarios:

A) Your wisdom teeth do not fit in your mouth. Most people have 28 teeth before wisdom teeth erupt. Many do not have enough room in their jaw for 32 teeth and this may cause teeth to become impacted. Impacted means the wisdom teeth cannot fully erupt or they may become misaligned. Removing the wisdom teeth can prevent impaction and overcrowding in your jaw.

B) You experience chronic pain in your gums around your wisdom teeth. Pain in your gums can be an indication of infection. Infections are common around partially erupted wisdom teeth because food and bacteria get trapped in these areas. Having your wisdom teeth removed can prevent further infection.

C) Your wisdom teeth do not come in straight. Often, wisdom teeth will not grow in straight and can cause your teeth to shift and move over time. To prevent your teeth from moving, removing your wisdom teeth is often recommended.

D) Your wisdom teeth are causing tooth decay to adjacent teeth. Wisdom teeth can be difficult to keep clean because of their location in the mouth. Flossing and brushing can be challenging and without good oral care, gum disease and tooth decay can develop.

Frequently Asked Questions When Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Because each patient’s needs are unique, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor. During your consultation, your doctor will discuss how many wisdom teeth need to be removed in order to prevent future dental issues. The doctor may choose to remove all wisdom teeth at once or just remove a few potentially problematic teeth.

Our office uses different types of general anesthesia during wisdom teeth extractions. To learn more about the various forms of sedation we offer, visit the IV sedation section on our website.

The duration of your procedure depends on how many wisdom teeth are being removed. Usually, the procedure lasts 1 to 2 hours.

Because each patient is unique, the ideal age to remove wisdom teeth may vary. Most doctors will recommend having them removed before they are fully developed to prevent crowding after eruption. Younger patients also tend to heal faster and with fewer complications than older patients.

Even if you choose to wait to have your wisdom teeth removed, it is important to continuously monitor them. Your mouth is constantly changing over time and it is possible to develop problems later in life. As with many other health conditions, as people age, they are at a greater risk for health problems and that risk includes potential problems with their wisdom teeth.