At What Age Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Posted by: Nelson Hui, DMD, on September 16, 2013

Every patient is different, and while some experience problems with their wisdom teeth, others may not at all. Following your dentist’s recommendation for wisdom teeth removal is the best option.

Wisdom teeth, also called the third molars, are the final teeth to erupt. There is no magical age for these teeth to come in, and for some, they never emerge. Generally, the wisdom teeth come in between the ages of 15 and mid-twenties.

The third molars are the very back teeth on both sides on the upper and lower arches. There are four in total in most cases. The discussion about wisdom teeth removal quite often revolves around jaw space – many people have more teeth than their jaws can accommodate. So when the wisdom teeth erupt, one of several scenarios occurs:

  • Teeth are pushed together creating a malocclusion – over bite, under bite, or cross bite. When this happens, teeth appear crooked and create places where plaque builds which may lead to gum disease or decay.
  • Wisdom teeth grow in sideways because there is no room to erupt properly.
  • An impacted wisdom tooth (one that does not erupt) can create discomfort and lead to infection.

The removal of third molars becomes a necessity in many cases before implementing orthodontic care. But even if your teeth are perfectly straight, the incidence of infection and the serious problems that can follow may be cause for concern.

That is why your dentist plays such a pivotal role in the ongoing care of your entire family’s teeth. Problems with wisdom teeth may or may not occur, and there are several options up for consideration.

One of them is to have third molars extracted before they can erupt. For some, this may be the optimum step for care.

Some patients may decide to take the wait and see approach. But whatever side of the discussion you land on, know that your dental provider has your best interest at heart, and has the ability to provide the services you need in one place.

Make sure daily hygiene needs are met with brushing and flossing; and keep a consistent schedule of dental appointments every six months. That way questions and concerns about the status of third molars will stay in the forefront and be handled the best way possible.

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