Like signing up for those first high school classes or getting a learner’s permit, teenage wisdom teeth removal almost seems like a sign that your child has officially moved into the young adult years. But you may be wondering – is wisdom teeth removal really necessary?
In select cases, young adults can keep their wisdom teeth with no negative repercussions. Most people, however, require extraction to protect their long-term oral health. Dr. Chris Tye can make an honest assessment about whether your child requires extraction. If he or she does, Dr. Tye will perform gentle surgery to minimize discomfort and downtime.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars. Without extraction, they would typically appear between the ages of 18 and 24. Most people have two top and two bottom wisdom teeth, although some people may be missing one or more of these molars.
Some scientists believe that humankind originally needed all three sets of molars. As our diets changed throughout history, however, wisdom teeth became unnecessary. As a result, they are now classified as vestigial organs (body parts that we no longer need.)
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
If wisdom teeth have enough room to come in cleanly and unimpeded, teenage wisdom teeth removal may not be required. However, these teeth can still cause problems down the road. In fact, studies show that two-thirds of patients who do not have problems with their wisdom teeth later develop health concerns in this area. That is why the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends that patients who retain their wisdom teeth receive annual checkups specifically to evaluate the status of their third molars.
The fact is that most patients do not have enough room for their wisdom teeth to come in all the way. The molars may remain partially blocked by their gum tissue or another tooth. Alternatively, wisdom teeth may come in at an angle. This condition is known as impaction. Impacted teeth can lead to a number of serious oral health concerns, including:
- Gum disease
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Swelling and pronounced discomfort
When is the best time for wisdom teeth extraction?
You should not wait until wisdom teeth cause problems before having them removed. At this point, your child may already have suffered needless pain and sustained irreversible dental damage. Furthermore, when teeth are extracted earlier, their roots have not had a chance to develop, and the surrounding jawbone tissue is softer. As a result, extraction poses a lower risk for nerve and tooth damage. Recovery is also easier for younger patients.
Oral surgeons recommend teenage wisdom teeth removal, rather than waiting until your child reaches his or her early 20s. Evaluation of wisdom teeth should begin in the preteen years.
Learn More about Teenage Wisdom Teeth Removal
If your child needs wisdom teeth extraction, an oral surgeon can provide the best possible results. Contact Texas Oral Surgery Specialists to benefit from Dr. Tye’s skill and expertise. You can reach us online or call 817-552-3223. Dr. Tye serves patients from across the greater Fort Worth area, including Colleyville, Southlake, and Grapevine, TX.