Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that normally erupt into your mouth when you were about 18 years old. Some people get them in earlier, some get them later, and some don’t get them at all. Most people do not have room in their mouths for their wisdom teeth. This causes them to be impacted, which means they are “stuck” against the tooth in front or under the gum that remains over them. Both of these situations can eventually cause some problems.
Some of these problems are as follows: If the gum tissue lies over the wisdom tooth either partially or completely, you can often have pain because of an infection around them. If the wisdom tooth is angled into the tooth in front of it, it can cause difficult to treat decay on the twelve year molar in front. Wisdom teeth may also exert a forward pressure on your other teeth causing increased crowding. Sometimes cysts and other growths result from leaving wisdom teeth in when they cannot erupt properly.
Wisdom teeth are most ideally removed around age 18 before the roots are completely formed. They are then more easily removed and the recovery time is minimized. We remove a lot of wisdom teeth and would be happy to talk to you if you have concerns.
Generally if the patient is older than 25 years old, we will wait until there is a specific problem prior to removing wisdom teeth. Other situations may also exist that would make waiting our treatment choice.