When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Do you still have your wisdom teeth? If you are reading this article, the likely answer to that question is ‘yes’. You are wondering when wisdom teeth need to be removed, so yours are probably still hanging out in the back of your mouth. Maybe, they are causing you a bit of pain or discomfort, which is why you are doing some research. Whatever the case, we hope that this post will shed some light on this topic.
What are Wisdom Teeth, Anyway?
Before talking about taking them out, let’s talk for a moment about what wisdom teeth are, and what they do. These teeth are the last set of molars for most people. Typically, they will come in sometime around early adulthood, between your late teens and early twenties.
While it is common for these teeth to come out, many people are able to keep theirs with no negative side effects. If your wisdom teeth happen to come in correctly aligned, you may not need to take any action at all. They can remain in your mouth, adding to your chewing power for years to come. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many people, however.
In many cases, the wisdom teeth will enter the mouth misaligned. This can cause a number of problems. Damage can be done to nearby teeth as the result of poorly-aligned wisdom teeth, and they may even damage your jawbone or surrounding nerves. Needless to say, wisdom teeth which become a problem for other parts of your mouth almost always need to come out.
Signs of Trouble
There is no standard age for when wisdom teeth need to come out, because each case is different – and they might not need to come out at all. However, if you start to exhibit some of the common signs of problems with your wisdom teeth, it would be wise to speak with your dentist as soon as possible.
Of course, the first sign that there is a problem with your wisdom teeth may be pain. If you have discomfort in the area of your wisdom teeth on either side, it is likely that they are causing a problem which will only be resolved through removal. It could be that the teeth are stuck and can’t break through your jaw properly, or it may be that they are pushing on other nearby teeth. Whatever the source of the pain, you will want to have it fixed quickly. Not only will waiting to address this problem mean you have to live in pain for longer, but it may also complicate the procedure when it is performed.
You don’t have to be in pain to come to the decision that your wisdom teeth need to come out. By having your dentist examine the situation, it may be determined that these teeth should be removed now to prevent further damage later on. By taking them out before they cause other problems, the procedure should be easier, less painful, and include a shorter recovery time. It is difficult for some patients to decide to go ahead with this procedure when they aren’t actually in pain, but taking the long-term view can pay off in the end.
The Fear Factor
Honesty is crucial in dentistry, or in any other healthcare field. We aren’t going to pretend like there is no pain associated with having your wisdom teeth removed. The recovery process can be uncomfortable at times, and your diet will be compromised for a while. Unfortunately, these issues lead some people to completely skip having their wisdom teeth removed – and that is often a mistake.
The key thing to understand here is that having your wisdom teeth removed should be viewed as a long-term decision. Yes, it might not be the highlight of your year right now, but you will be glad you did it when you avoid more serious dental issues later on. This is just like nearly everything else you do for your health – there is some short-term sacrifice for the good of the overall picture.
Of course, we will work hard to make the removal of your wisdom teeth as painless as possible. We will communicate with you clearly throughout the process, and we will make sure you have everything you need for a successful recovery process. By working together, we can make sure that your experience is not nearly as difficult as some of the horror stories you may have heard.
Working with the Facts
Rather than sitting back and guessing at whether or not you should have your wisdom teeth removed, the smarter approach is to come see your dentist for an exam. Your dentist will use the proper equipment and examination methods to determine whether or not it would be in your best interest to have your wisdom teeth pulled.
With that said, dentistry is always a cooperative effort. You will be given the information that you need to make a choice, and then the final decision is up to you. By building a trusting, cooperative relationship with your dentist, you can be confident that everything you have done will be in the best interest of your overall oral health.
It is a mistake, in any walk of life, to make a decision without having all of the necessary information. The only way to be sure that it is time to pull your wisdom teeth is to schedule a visit with your dentist to review the facts and proceed as necessary.
We hope the information above has answered some of your questions with regard to finding the right time to have your wisdom teeth pulled. Of course, this is a complicated topic, so you are likely to have more questions. Not to worry – we are here to help! Contact our West Plains Dental office at your convenience to learn more, or to schedule an appointment. Thanks for taking the time to visit, and we look forward to serving you soon!