Wisdom Teeth: To Remove or Not to Remove?

Wisdom teeth

Removing your wisdom teeth is an important decision. And whether they are impacted or not, wisdom teeth should always be closely monitored to make sure they won’t cause future problems. We know it can get confusing, so to help understand your options, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers. As always, your dentist is the best resource to answer questions about your oral health and we encourage you to schedule an appointment with them for the most detailed information.

 What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third last molars to erupt. Generally, there are one on each side of the upper and lower jaws and are the furthest teeth from the front of the mouth.

What age do wisdom teeth come in?
Usually between the ages of 17-21, but this can vary between patients.

Do wisdom teeth always need to be removed?
Not necessarily, as long as the wisdom teeth erupt fully into the mouth and function correctly. Also, not everyone gets wisdom teeth. While some people have all four wisdom teeth, others may only get one, two or three or none at all. If a wisdom tooth remains fully buried, it can sometimes be left alone if it does not cause problems. Your dentist will continue to monitor these teeth because the potential for developing problems later do still exist.

In what instances would wisdom teeth need to removed?

Wisdom teeth can partially emerge, come in crooked or lead to overcrowding and disease. Consequently, diseased or potentially problematic wisdom teeth should almost always be removed. Your dentist can help examine your wisdom teeth as they erupt and help you make an informed decision; however, instances for removal usually include: 

  • Incorrect position, or not coming in properly
  • Not enough room
  • Infection
  • Tooth decay
  • Cyst or tumor formation
  • Gum disease
  • Pain

 What age should wisdom teeth be removed?

The ADA recommends that people between 16 – 19 should have their wisdom teeth evaluated. Generally, wisdom teeth that are removed before age 20 have less complications.

Need to find a dentist to discuss your wisdom teeth treatment plan? Click here to find one near you.

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