Wisdom Teeth Removal
Over 90% of the population have wisdom teeth that erupt in their late teens or early 20s. Most of the time there is a level of pain that is experienced as they erupt. At times however, there is no pain experienced and patients are generally quite lucky in that instant.
Do I need to get my wisdom teeth removed?
The removal of wisdom teeth is highly recommended. The 2 main factors for removal of wisdom teeth are:
1. They usually cause some level of pain and infection within the jaw. It can occur not only during eruption, but at any time during your life. The infection can spread in the jaw and at times can cause serious consequences and hospital admissions.
2. At times, they can stay non-painful for a very long time. However because of their location so far back in the mouth, most people are unable to clean these teeth thoroughly. As a result, over-time these teeth begin to decay and become painful. At such a time, patients can be in their 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s. Removing a tooth on a 70yr old patient carries a much more significant risk in regards to healing, bleeding and pain post operatively; than a healthy young patient.
At what age should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
Dentists have different recommendations as to when to remove wisdom teeth. The best advice is as soon as possible – generally in the mid to late teens. But why? Wisdom teeth grow from a small crown and slowly become larger and then begin to develop roots until those roots are fully mature in the late teens to early twenties.
However imagine attempting to pull out a small plant out of the ground compared with a large tree with fully grown roots. A small plant is very easy, quick and simple to pull out of the earth, and the earth is not disturbed greatly. However a large tree with deeply embedded roots takes a longer time, more effort and creates a lot of disturbance in the ground from where it was removed. It is similar in patients. When wisdom teeth that are not fully formed, removal of them is easy and healing is very quick. However as patients get older and the teeth and roots are fully formed there is more effort, and generally healing takes longer.
Therefore, at Super Smiles Dental we advise and recommend wisdom teeth removal at a young age where the treatment is less traumatic and healing occurs quickly, compared with later in life where it takes a longer time for removal and healing.