Many people associate removing their wisdom teeth with reaching adulthood or going to college. Wisdom teeth refer to the third set of molars in your mouth. These four teeth usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 21. While some dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth before they emerge, patients often wonder “is it important to remove them?” And what kind of issues can lead to wisdom teeth removal?
General Reasons for Removing Wisdom Teeth
In general terms, there are two approaches to wisdom teeth removal: preventative and treatment-based. If your dentist removes your wisdom teeth before they cause discomfort, or if you have a history of wisdom teeth problems in your family but no current signs, this is a type of preventative dental care. However, these terms have different meanings as far as dental insurance is concerned.
On the other hand, if your dentist decides to remove your wisdom teeth after pain or other issues associated with the teeth arise, this is a treatment-based removal. While there are some debates around the preventative removal of wisdom teeth, there are plenty of treatment-based reasons to remove your wisdom teeth.
Some signs you may need your wisdom teeth removed include:
- Jaw or tooth pain
- A small or crowded jaw
- Tooth displacement
- Infections, cysts, and tumors
- Tooth decay
- Impaction or partial eruption
Impacted or Partially Emerged Wisdom Teeth
Some common wisdom teeth issues include impacted or partially erupted or emerged wisdom teeth. In impacted wisdom teeth, your wisdom teeth are not growing correctly or are effectively “trapped” by your jaw or other teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can grow down, sideways, in different directions, or refuse to emerge. Since impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, potential infection, and jaw issues, these wisdom teeth are usually extracted.
Partially erupted or emerged wisdom teeth have partially broken the surface of the gumline but have stopped coming in for one reason or another. This can be due to a lack of space or other dental issues. However, partially exposed wisdom teeth can be challenging to care for and be a source of infection and dental caries.
What Age Is it Best to Remove Wisdom Teeth?
The right age to remove wisdom teeth depends on the patient and their dentist. In general, you should talk to your dentist if you are experiencing any oral concerns, pain, or signs of infection. If you have a family history of dental issues or are concerned about complications from your wisdom teeth, your dentist may suggest early wisdom teeth removal surgery. In general, when your wisdom teeth are removed depends on when they emerge, underlying concerns, and the discretion of your dentist. Of course, in some cases, your wisdom teeth do not need removal at all.
If you have questions about wisdom teeth removal or would like to schedule an appointment, give Artistic Smiles a call today at (305) 271-3333. We offer compassionate, caring dental care to patients in the Miami, FL, area, and we would love to hear from you.