One of the most common questions we hear is, “What is the best age to have wisdom teeth removed?” At the office of Steven C. Hewett, D.D.S. in Champions Gate, FL, we would typically recommend removing wisdom teeth between the ages of 17 and 25. However, the timing of removal can vary depending on a person’s individual circumstances. Let’s explore the factors that can influence the best age for teeth removal and discuss what the process entails.
What Is the Right Age to Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are typically removed between the ages of 17 and 25, as this is the time when they have fully developed but have not yet become firmly rooted in the jawbone, making them easier to remove. It’s generally recommended to remove the teeth before they start causing problems, such as pain, swelling, or infection.
While removing these teeth isn’t necessarily always a given, it’s often recommended even if they aren’t causing issues. In some cases, the teeth can become impacted later, meaning they do not fully emerge from the gums and can cause damage to nearby teeth or cause infection.
The timing of removal may depend on individual factors such as the development and position of the teeth, the size and shape of the jaw, and any existing dental issues. Dr. Hewett will be able to evaluate your specific situation and recommend the best course of action.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to delay or even forego removal if they are not causing any problems and are not likely to in the future. Regular dental checkups and X-rays can help monitor the development of teeth and determine if removal is necessary.
What If I’m Older Than 25?
There are several reasons why a person may have these teeth removed later in life. One reason is that, while the teeth may not have caused any problems earlier in life, later on they start to cause issues such as pain, infection, or damage to neighboring teeth. In such cases, the teeth may need to be removed even if the person is older.
If a person has not had access to dental care earlier in life or was not aware that their teeth needed to be removed, these issues might also lead to delayed removal. Additionally, there may be medical or dental reasons why a person may not be able to have these teeth removed at a younger age. For example, if a person has certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, or is taking certain medications, they may need to delay the removal of teeth until their condition is stable or a medication is adjusted.
Finally, some people may choose to delay the removal of their teeth for personal or financial reasons. However, it’s important to note that delaying the removal of teeth that are causing problems can lead to further complications and may result in more complicated or expensive treatment in the long run.
Signs of a Problem
During your late teens or early twenties, regular dental checkups will reveal underlying wisdom teeth issues. However, the following symptoms might also indicate a problem:
Too Much Crowding
If you have a smaller frame or narrower jaw, there may not be enough room for your wisdom teeth to grow properly. This can cause impacted teeth, which can cause discomfort or pain.
Pain and Damage
Wisdom teeth can compromise the structural integrity of your jaw, increasing your risk of jaw fracture. Erupting teeth can cause swelling and stiffness, pushing against nearby teeth and causing unwanted movements.
Additionally, problems with your sinus can be caused by wisdom teeth appearing in the upper jaw. They can rub against the sinuses, causing nasal congestion, headaches, and sinus pressure. They can also cause damage and cavities to other teeth, leading to tooth decay and abscesses.
Cysts and Infections
Impacted teeth can cause cysts to develop around them. Cysts are tiny sacs of fluid that can grow and cause damage to your jawbone and the roots of nearby teeth. In the worst-case scenario, benign tumors can develop around impacted teeth.
Furthermore, partially erupted teeth can cause an infection of the gum tissue, known as pericoronitis, leading to sore throats, lymph node swelling, and pus drainage in the affected area. Because of where these teeth are located in the mouth, they are a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to bad breath and poor oral hygiene.
About the Process
We understand that preparing for a dental extraction can be overwhelming, but it’s crucial to know what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. These procedures are done every day, and there’s nothing to be worried about.
The first step is to schedule a consultation with us. During the consultation, you will discuss the details of the procedure, the type of anesthesia to be used, and any pre-operative instructions. Then, we will provide specific pre-operative instructions to follow, such as not eating or drinking anything for several hours before the procedure, taking any prescribed medication, and arranging transportation for the day of the surgery.
After the procedure, you will need to rest and recover, so it’s essential to make any necessary arrangements beforehand. You may need to take time off work or school, arrange for someone to take care of you, and plan to avoid any strenuous activities. On the day of the procedure, wear loose, comfortable clothing, and avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes or jewelry.
Based on the complexity of the extraction and your comfort level, we will choose from different types of anesthesia, like local anesthesia or sedation anesthesia. Local anesthesia will only numb the affected area, and you’ll feel some pressure while staying awake during the extraction.
In contrast, sedation anesthesia will affect your consciousness during the procedure, and you’ll have little to no memory of it. This is a very comfortable way to have the procedure done and is popular with our patients.
The procedure starts with disinfecting the area. Then, we open the gum tissue over the tooth, cut and remove the flap that covers the impacted wisdom tooth, if needed, and then remove the tooth. Once the area is clear, you may need some stitches to stop the bleeding and promote the healing of gum tissue.
After the procedure, it’s essential to rest and avoid strenuous activities. The full healing and recovery period may take up to two weeks, and it’s best to take enough time off work or school to allow yourself to heal. A week after your treatment, we’ll ask you to return for the removal of your stitches, if needed, and make sure everything is going as expected.
Find Out If the Time Is Right for You
If you’re looking for a trusted and experienced dentist in Champions Gate, FL, contact Steven C. Hewett, D.D.S. Our team provides a wide range of dental services, including wisdom tooth removal, and we are dedicated to ensuring that our patients receive the highest level of care possible.
If you’re ready to schedule a consultation or have any questions about our dental services, contact our office today. We look forward to helping you achieve optimal oral health and a beautiful smile!