Patients may be reluctant to consider wisdom teeth removal if their impacted wisdom teeth aren’t causing problems like discomfort or active infection. However, delaying the procedure can make it more complicated for your oral surgeon to perform, as wisdom tooth extraction is more challenging in older patients. It is recommended that people have their wisdom teeth removed by age 25 or so.
In younger patients, the roots of the wisdom teeth are shorter and can be extracted more easily from the jaw. In contrast, those roots get longer and more strongly attached to the bone as you get older, making it more difficult for the oral surgeon to remove them completely. As a result, the wisdom teeth removal may take a longer time in older patients.
Additionally, patients who wait until their late 20s or later to schedule a wisdom teeth removal complain of longer recovery times and may face higher risks of post-operative complications. This is another important consideration for the timing of your wisdom teeth removal.
A specialist can determine the likelihood of wisdom tooth impaction in patients as young as 13 or 14 years old, so patients in their mid- to late-teens can consider wisdom teeth removal. However, it is impossible to predict when an impacted wisdom tooth will develop issues like cysts, or infections. Furthermore, an impacted tooth will continue to try to push through the gums, exerting forces that can make the other teeth shift out of their proper positions as well as causing discomfort.
Wisdom teeth removal is a routine procedure, although like any type of surgery, it does have risks, most of which are relatively minor and manageable. You should discuss these with your surgeon so that you can make an informed treatment decision and take steps to reduce your chances of post-operative complications.
If you (or your child) has not yet considered wisdom teeth removal, call our office for an evaluation to determine whether your wisdom teeth are indeed impacted and what the recommended course of action is in your case.