Are you concerned about your or your child’s wisdom teeth? At Texas Oral Surgery Specialists, we get a lot of inquiries about wisdom teeth, and some of the most common questions are, “Should everyone have their wisdom teeth removed?” and “What is the best age for extraction?” Wisdom teeth are a tricky subject, and each individual case may be different.
Do you need a professional opinion or second opinion on wisdom teeth extraction? Contact Dr. Christopher Tye for a consultation in our Colleyville, TX office. Call our office at 817.552.3223 to schedule an appointment.
Should Everyone Have Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are a natural part of our body and no one “needs” to have them removed unless they are causing problems (i.e., they are impacted). However, there is a reason why most dentists recommend the procedure. Few people actually have jaws/mouths large enough to accommodate the third molars without disrupting the alignment of their other teeth. Our jaws just don’t grow as large as they used to, primarily because of our modern diet. Beyond the space issue, molars are already the hardest teeth to keep clean. They are hard to reach, and they contain many deep crevices that can easily develop cavities.
When you practice dentistry and oral surgery long enough, you tend to see enough problematic wisdom teeth that your attitude becomes “better safe than sorry.” Most patients can save themselves a lot of potential discomfort in the future by having the wisdom teeth taken out when you are young. There are few down-sides to having the wisdom teeth removed. You will experience a few days of post-operative pain is a small thing compared to what could happen in the future. That said, there are a lot of people out there who keep their wisdom teeth, so the choice is ultimately yours.
When you come to Texas Oral Surgery Specialists, we will take x-rays and examine the teeth and give you an unbiased assessment of whether we think you or your child will have room in his/her jaw to hold the third molars. We will also look at present tooth alignment spacing to predict whether the molars may be able to come in unobstructed.
When is the Best Time for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Medically speaking, the best time to have wisdom teeth extracted is before the roots are fully grown. If the teeth have only recently begun to erupt, you are in a sweet spot now, before the roots grow deeper and the teeth become fully embedded in the jawbone. Adults who wind up needing wisdom teeth removed many years after eruption tend to have more post-operative pain. It can also take much longer for their sockets to heal.
Most patients are somewhere between 16 and 19 years old when their wisdom teeth are in the optimal stage for extraction. However, since different patients grow their teeth at different rates, you may fall earlier or later on the spectrum. For example, if you recall losing your teeth later than most of your peers, your wisdom teeth may also come in later than average. The only way to know for sure is to have your teeth examined by a dentist or oral surgeon.
Summer is a Great Time for Wisdom Teeth Extractions!
If you’re a young adult who’s recently home for summer break, now might be an ideal time to have your wisdom teeth removed! You will need a few days to stay home and be pampered as your mouth heals from surgery, and this is always easiest when you don’t have to worry about missing classes, schoolwork, or practices.
There can be a few days of discomfort following a wisdom teeth extraction, and you don’t want to feel rushed back into a busy routine. Beyond the initial post-operative pain, you may need to spend some extra time pureeing your food and cooking special meals to ensure you don’t irritate your mouth or sockets. Summer holidays and other longer vacations give you enough time to heal comfortably without feeling like your oral surgery convalescence is cutting into your routines.
Contact us at Texas Oral Surgery Specialists for a wisdom teeth consultation with Dr. Christopher Tye; call 817.552.3223 to schedule an appointment.