If you’re in pain or have swelling in the third molar area, wisdom teeth removal is most likely in your very near future.
But what if your wisdom teeth aren’t bothering you at the moment? When should you have them removed? Or do you even need to consider wisdom tooth extraction?
Your oral surgeon is your best source for answers to those questions, as your dental anatomy and oral health are the deciding factors. However, for most patients, proactive wisdom teeth removal is recommended.
The Optimal Age to Remove the Wisdom Teeth
The wisdom teeth, or third molars, typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. And as a general rule, that time period is ideal for removal.
Oral surgeons prefer to perform wisdom tooth extraction when about two-thirds of the roots have formed. At this stage, removing the third molars is easier – and so is the recovery. After the roots have fully developed, patients have a greater risk of complications both during and after the extraction procedure.
Plan Wisdom Teeth Removal to Fit Your Schedule
If your oral surgeon determines that your third molars need to be removed, you won’t want to wait too long – but you should aim to schedule the procedure at a convenient time.
Most patients need a few days to rest and heal, but the recovery period for complex procedures can be a week or longer. For that reason, scheduling wisdom tooth extraction during the summer or an extended holiday break may be best. If you’re working, try to time the procedure when you can take a few days off.
Keep in mind that you will need to avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting and sports when you’re healing from wisdom tooth extraction. Plan ahead and modify your usual routine to allow yourself enough time to recover well.
Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Always Necessary?
For some lucky people, the third molars emerge in the perfect position without a problem – and in those cases, extraction may not be essential.
However, oral surgeons usually advise on proactive wisdom tooth extraction to reduce the odds of future oral health issues. When the third molars are left in place, a host of problems can occur. The teeth may partially erupt or grow in crooked, giving rise to tooth misalignment. In addition, their positioning may make cleaning more difficult, which increases the chance of infection, gum disease and tooth decay. Some patients also develop an oral cyst in the jawbone, which can lead to a tooth abscess or damage to the teeth, nerves and bone tissues.
Is now the right time for your wisdom tooth extraction? If you live in the greater east central Indiana area, the professional team at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can give you an answer.
Dr. Partridge and Dr. Alderman, our board-certified oral surgeons, specialize in third molar management and can offer expert advice on the best course of action to ensure your ongoing oral health. Contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and schedule a consultation and evaluation for wisdom teeth removal today.