When is the Right Time for Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Most people need to have their wisdom teeth removed at some point. We have evolved to no longer need these teeth, which often grow in a way that can damage other teeth or cause pain. At Savannah Smiles Dental in Schertz, TX, Dr. Cassandra Garcia is skilled at wisdom teeth removal when the time comes. Keep reading to find out how you'll know if the time is right to get your wisdom teeth extracted.
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that grow at the very back of the mouth. As humans have evolved, our mouths have gotten smaller, and most of us don't have room to accommodate these teeth when they erupt through the gums.
Wisdom teeth can grow at an awkward angle and impact other teeth, pushing them closer together and out of alignment, causing pain or infection in the mouth.
While wisdom teeth begin to develop around ages 7 – 10, they take years to grow roots and calcify before erupting through the gums. Most patients have fully formed wisdom teeth by their late teens but begin to experience issues with them in their early 20s.
What is the best age to have wisdom teeth extracted?
Getting your wisdom teeth removed will need to wait until at least your late teen years when the root is at least two-thirds developed. Most people get their wisdom teeth extracted between 18 and 24 years old.
If you're having your wisdom teeth removed as a preventive measure, you may choose to do that while you're still covered by a parent's dental insurance. Extraction is a personal decision, and there’s technically no “best age” to have the surgery. However, most dentists recommend that wisdom teeth extraction take place before the teeth erupt to minimize complications, which is usually in a person’s early 20s.
What are the signs that wisdom teeth need to be extracted?
If you've waited to have your wisdom teeth removed but are now experiencing symptoms of eruption, consult Dr. Garcia at Savannah Smiles Dental. Symptoms include:
- Pain or dull aching sensation in the jaw
- White bumps or redness behind the last molars
- Throbbing pain in the ears or eyes due to pressure on the nerves
Do I have to have my wisdom teeth removed?
Occasionally, people have no problems with their wisdom teeth as they erupt. While Dr. Garcia will still likely want to perform an x-ray to ensure there are no other issues at play, in those rare cases, patients can keep their wisdom teeth. However, they tend to be hard to brush and floss properly, and it's easy to develop cavities farther back in the mouth.
What does wisdom teeth extraction involve?
Dr. Garcia performs wisdom teeth extractions using local anesthesia. However, oral-conscious or IV sedation techniques can be used to comfort patients with anxiety or particularly complex dental issues.
Dr. Garcia will create an incision in the gums above the tooth during the surgery. She may split the tooth into segments if it is impacted before removing it. You will likely not feel pain during the procedure, but you may feel some pressure. After the surgery, sutures are used to close the incision, and you'll need to follow your personalized aftercare instructions during healing to ensure the best results possible.
Get wisdom teeth extraction in Schertz, TX
Not everyone experiences problems with wisdom teeth, but many people choose to have them removed anyway instead of waiting to see what happens. If it's time to remove your wisdom teeth, either because you're experiencing pain or you're in your late teens or early 20s, Dr. Cassandra Garcia is here to help. Simply schedule a consultation at Savannah Smiles Dental in Schertz, TX today.