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When is it Time to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Man at dentists holding wisdom teeth from tooth pain

In modern dentistry, dentists often recommend the removal of wisdom teeth to prevent potential complications down the line. But how do you know when it is time for wisdom teeth to be removed? What are the signs and symptoms of damaged or compromised wisdom teeth? And is it safe to leave them in? Here is everything you need to know about when wisdom teeth removal is needed.

What age do wisdom teeth begin growing?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow into the mouth and typically begin appearing around the ages of 17-21 years old. Although wisdom teeth begin growing around 7-10 years of age, you will not notice them erupting until several years later.

Is it safe to leave wisdom teeth in?

It may be safe for wisdom teeth to remain under several conditions. Most important is that they are grown in without causing any crowding in your mouth. It is common that wisdom teeth can be positioned incorrectly which can cause problems for your dental health. Properly positioned wisdom teeth should connect and bite properly against opposing teeth in the mouth. Even if they are positioned properly, crowding can still occur which can push other teeth to overlap one another or become crooked. It is important to get a professional opinion from a dentist to see if this may be a problem for you.

Finally, properly cleaning the third molars is important to ensure dental care for the whole mouth. For many people, the third molars are simply too far back or can be hard to reach and clean which makes them much more susceptible to cavities.  Your dentist can help show you brushing techniques to ensure you are reaching and properly cleaning your wisdom teeth. If you develop a cavity in your wisdom teeth, your dentist may opt to remove them in order to help protect against any problems later on.

When should I have wisdom teeth removed?

According to the British Journal of General Practice 80% of dental patients under the age of 70 have their wisdom teeth removed. Just because your wisdom teeth do not cause direct pain does not mean that there is nothing wrong with them, or they won’t potentially cause an issue in a few years. X-rays can often reveal how wisdom teeth are growing in and whether they are positioned correctly, as well as if they are causing crowding in your mouth. The most common reasons for wisdom teeth removal include:

  • Damage caused to other teeth
  • Cavities
  • Pain
  • Extensive tooth decay
  • Cysts
  • Limited jaw opening

Another reason it may be time for wisdom teeth removal is if they grow at incorrect angles. When the mouth is too small to hold wisdom teeth, certain patients may find their wisdom teeth growing in horizontally. This means that wisdom teeth may sometimes remain completely hidden under the gums which may lead to cysts in the mouth. If they do emerge, they may not erupt fully and will be an easy passageway for bacteria to cause gum disease.

What age can I have wisdom teeth extracted?

Some dentists recommend having wisdom teeth removed before they are fully grown in. Dentists believe it is an easier extraction if the roots and bone have not fully formed for the wisdom teeth and can lead to a faster recovery after surgery. Therefore, your dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removed at a younger age.

Schedule Your Appointment

Extraction of wisdom teeth is a common procedure performed by the team at Dental365. If you are experiencing problems with your third molars or are interested in a treatment consultation, we welcome you to call our practice at (844) 365-DENTAL to schedule an appointment at one of our many office locations throughout New York, New Jersey, & Connecticut.



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