Growing Pains: Wisdom Teeth Extraction for Teens & Adults
Wisdom teeth are fickle and like to cause problems if left to their own devices. For some, there may come a point where our Washington, MI, dentists recommend they be removed. While wisdom tooth extraction can be done outside of your teenage years, there are a few things adults need to keep in mind.
Here’s why having your wisdom teeth removed is important and the considerations that go into making the decision for this form of oral surgery.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth There?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final set of molars located at the back of the mouth. They typically start to emerge in the late teens or early twenties, a stage of life often associated with the transition into adulthood. Back in the day, these teeth helped our distant ancestors chew rougher foods but now, our diets have evolved.
As a result, jaws have become smaller and many people do not have sufficient space in their mouths to accommodate these additional molars comfortably.
It’s also important to note that not everyone develops wisdom teeth, and even among those who do, the number and growth patterns can vary. Some may have all four teeth while others may have fewer or none at all. Whether or not these molars cause issues often depends on factors like their position, alignment, and the available space in the jaw.
Reasons for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure recommended for various reasons. One of the most prevalent reasons is impaction, which occurs when there isn’t enough space in the jaw for the wisdom teeth to fully erupt and function properly. Impacted wisdom teeth can grow at an angle or remain trapped beneath the gum line, leading to a range of potential problems.
Overcrowding is another concern that often results in wisdom teeth removal. When there isn’t space to accommodate these extra molars, they can push against other teeth, causing misalignment and discomfort. This overcrowding can lead to issues with bite alignment, potentially requiring orthodontic treatment.
Wisdom teeth can also prove challenging to clean due to their location at the back of the mouth which can lead to dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and infections.
Wisdom Teeth & Teenage Smiles
When it comes to removing wisdom teeth, timing is critical, especially for teenagers. The teenage years, typically between ages 17 and 25, are often regarded as the ideal window for addressing wisdom teeth. At this stage, the wisdom teeth are still in the early stages of development, with their roots not fully formed. This means a less complicated extraction process as well as a quicker recovery time.
If you are a teen, our dentists often recommend regular dental check-ups so we can monitor the growth and positioning of your wisdom teeth. X-rays may also be used to assess their status beneath the gum line. If it’s determined that these molars are likely to cause issues, we may recommend removal as a preventive measure.
The advantages of removing wisdom teeth during the teenage years extend beyond the ease of extraction. Younger individuals often experience less discomfort during recovery, and the risk of post-operative complications is reduced. By addressing potential problems early, teenagers can avoid more significant dental issues that might arise if wisdom teeth are left untreated.
Taking Wisdom Teeth Out as an Adult
For adults who didn’t have their wisdom teeth removed when they were teens, the process can be more complex. The primary reason for this is that wisdom teeth continue to develop, and their roots may become fully formed, anchoring them more firmly in the jawbone. This increased root development can make tooth extraction more challenging and may require more extensive surgical procedures.
Adults who choose to have their wisdom teeth removed may experience a slightly longer recovery period and potentially more post-operative discomfort compared to teenagers. This is because the surgical site may involve more bone removal, and there may be a need for stitches to aid in the healing process.
Despite the potential challenges, adults shouldn’t feel discouraged when it comes to addressing. Leaving impacted or problematic wisdom teeth untreated can lead to a range of dental complications, including infections, gum disease, and damage to neighboring teeth.
Our dentists can evaluate the specific circumstances of each case to determine the most appropriate approach for.
Make an Appointment Today
When it’s time for your wisdom teeth to go, look no further than our dentists in Washington, MI. No matter your age, we’ll make sure the procedure and recovery is smooth. Call Romeo Family Dentistry today at (586) 752-3589 to request an appointment.