Your wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are usually the last to grow in. In most patients, these molars don’t manifest until adulthood, usually between the ages of 18 and 25.
Unfortunately, most people’s mouths are only large enough to accommodate 28 teeth, and the third molars make for a total of 32. Consequently, these late arrivals cause a problem for most of our patients.
If these rear molars are poorly aligned or impacted, the issues may quickly become more complex. For most people, extraction is an inescapable fact of life.
Typical Problems Related to the Third Molars
Since your mouth is probably not able to handle these extra four teeth, the third molars can cause crowding, damage and misalignment of your other teeth. In many cases, pain and infection can result. Other patients, however, face more serious consequences.
Occasionally, patients with impacted wisdom teeth may develop cysts below the gum line. These cysts can devastate the jaw, resulting in permanent damage to adjacent teeth as well as the underlying bone and nerves. Left untreated, cysts may lead to the formation of tumors.
Even if the third molars emerge normally, their presence is linked to a variety of problems, including periodontal disease and tooth loss.
When to Remove Wisdom Teeth
The longer the third molars are allowed to grow, the stronger the roots. As we age, extraction becomes progressively more difficult, and the potential for damage to surrounding teeth grows.
As a general rule, the earlier the third molars are extracted, the fewer the potential complications and risks. If possible, have your children’s third molars evaluated ― it’s often best to get them removed before age 16. At a younger age, healing is easier and the risk of damage or complications is minimized.
How Wisdom Teeth Are Removed
In virtually every case, our oral surgeons remove rear molars in our office under appropriate anesthesia.
Dr. Garrison and Dr. Partridge of Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery near Fishers, Indiana are trained and certified in a variety of anesthesia techniques, allowing them to recommend the best option for your individual case.
Although it is impossible to predict when wisdom teeth will emerge or become a problem, a proactive approach is the most effective way to ensure your ongoing oral health and well-being. Waiting until you notice pain or discomfort may mean complications have already developed.
If you or any members of your family still have third molars, contact us today for an exam and consultation. Our caring, compassionate staff will work with you to personalize a treatment program that is most effective for preserving your oral health.