Best Time To Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

dentist checking girls teeth

When To Get Wisdom Teeth Removed

Wisdom teeth, otherwise known as your third set of molars, are the last to develop and break through the gum tissue. Leftover from the days when humans ate raw meat and needed an extra set of molars, wisdom teeth are now more likely to crowd your mouth and cause oral health issues.

While not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, you should still get a thorough examination and X-ray to determine the status of your wisdom teeth and the right course of treatment if needed. Here’s what you need to know about when to get wisdom teeth removed:

Removal depends on genetics and pure luck

Thanks to genetics, you can have anywhere from zero to four wisdom teeth, and they typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. In some cases, the teeth don’t emerge from the gums at all—impacted wisdom teeth almost always need to be removed to prevent damage to surrounding teeth and potential infection. In other, rarer cases, wisdom teeth emerge perfectly straight and have no need for removal. Even so, patients should seek a professional evaluation to make sure.

Common causes for removal

The most common reason to remove wisdom teeth is that they take up too much space in the mouth. And even if your mouth is large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they usually emerge crooked and because of their location, it is very difficult to straighten them with braces.

Crooked wisdom teeth shift other teeth out of alignment, sometimes even damaging them in the process. Additionally, the positioning of wisdom teeth can create pockets between the teeth and gums, allowing bacteria to grow and cavities to form.

Other reasons for removal:

  • Sinus issues: Wisdom teeth roots developing in the upper jaw can push and rub against the sinuses, causing sinus pain, pressure, headaches, and frequent congestion.
  • Inflamed gums: Gum issue around emerging wisdom teeth can become hard and inflamed, making it difficult to clean and more susceptible to cavities.
  • Cysts: On rare occasions, a fluid-filled sac called a cyst will form next to emerged wisdom teeth, which can destroy bones, roots, and surrounding structures if left untreated.

The best time for wisdom teeth removal

Although wisdom teeth don’t emerge completely until your late teens or early twenties, it is recommended to remove them before they interfere with your other teeth, your jawline, or your bite. The ideal time for extraction is between the ages of 14 and 18, when the roots have not finished forming and the wisdom teeth can be removed with lower risk and faster healing.

A comprehensive examination is the first step

An oral surgeon uses X-rays and visual examination to determine how many wisdom teeth you have, how they are developing, and whether they are likely to cause problems. If you are looking for wisdom teeth removal in San Diego, we can help. At San Diego Dental Specialty Center, we offer board-certified dental specialists in nearly every area of dentistry, including orthodontics, endodontics, family dentistry and more. Give us a call at (619) 263-6683 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.