Wisdom teeth are the last teeth in your mouth to emerge. These teeth first develop between the ages of 17 to 25.Impacted wisdom teeth can occur when one or more of your third molars have no room to enter the arch, are misaligned or are growing at an angle that keeps them from fully erupting.An…
Why Wisdom Teeth Removal Before Age 20 May Be Easier than Later
Unlike other molars, wisdom teeth arrive at the end of your teenage years or even into your 20s. These teeth are also known as the third set of molars. There will be up to four of these teeth in your mouth — two on top and two on the bottom. However, some people have fewer than four. These teeth often pose problems because there is not enough room in the mouth for them to emerge properly. For this reason, and others, timely extraction is critical.
Challenges that wisdom teeth can create
Some people do not have to worry about wisdom teeth extraction. These dental patients can allow the teeth to grow, and there will be no consequences. But for many patients, dentists recommend extraction. Because of the lack of space in the mouth to accommodate these teeth, various problems can result when the teeth come in.
These third molars may grow in at odd angles. This is not only a cosmetic issue but an oral health one too. The teeth can be difficult to brush and floss properly, leading to cavities and infections. The third molars can also damage other teeth and push them out of place. Impacted third molars can be painful and create discomfort in the jaws and gums as well.
When to see the dentist
Wisdom teeth begin to cut through the gums in a person’s late teens or early 20s. The timeline varies for everyone. But dentists will start to talk to patients and their parents about extraction by the time a person is 16 or 17. The dentist will take X-rays to see how the teeth are developing. These images can show the dentist how close the teeth are to impacting and the challenges the molars may pose.
The dentist will refer the patient to an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth extraction. The surgeon will use local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or sedation therapy to make the patient comfortable. The surgeon then cuts into the gum, exposing the tooth and bone. After breaking the tooth into pieces, the surgeon removes them. The surgeon cleans the area and then stitches up the wound.
The right time for removal
Most dentists and oral surgeons recommend extraction before a person turns 20. Waiting longer than this typically results in more pain and discomfort for the patient. There is a higher chance of the wisdom teeth impacting and developing an infection in the mouth. Putting off removal into the 20s and beyond can also increase the chances of other teeth moving or suffering damage. Surgery later in life can also be more difficult for the person, and recovery can be more extensive.
Do not put off wisdom tooth removal
If your dentist has recommended that you see an oral surgeon for wisdom tooth removal, make an appointment soon. Waiting too long for surgery can affect your appearance and the way you feel. Having surgery later in life can be a more challenging process. Acting now can spare you severe consequences to your oral health.
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