Friday, January 25, 2013

When is the Best Time to Remove Wisdom Teeth?

Most dentists agree that wisdom teeth should be taken out when the dental roots are 2/3 developed. This usually coincides with the adolescent years when there is less risk of nerve damage and young patients also tend to heal faster. Another reason this is an excellent time is because removing the wisdom teeth will also clear the way for any future orthodontic procedures.
The teeth found in the very back of the mouth on both sides, in the upper and lower rows, are the molars. The first ones come in around age 6, and the next ones are present around age 12. The third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, are usually ready to emerge between the ages of 16 and 21. Unfortunately, even though the third set of molars are fully functioning teeth, when they are ready to appear, there may no longer be room for them.

Some people have room for the third set of molars and they cause no problems. However, for many, it is necessary to remove them.
  • When the wisdom teeth begin to poke through the gums, they should come out. Even though surprisingly, in some cases, this may not be causing the patient pain, it increases the risk of bacterial infection.
  • Removing them is also necessary when they are expected to grow in and crowd the existing teeth, which will cause them to shift.
  • Sometimes, a wisdom tooth becomes inflamed and a fluid-filled sac will surround it. This causes swelling and the surrounding tissue and bone matter may be affected.
  • Even when the other two sets of molars and the permanent teeth are in place, wisdom teeth that show no signs of coming in should still be removed before they become impacted or trapped in the jaw.
  • Wisdom teeth that have come in but prevent the patient from being able to brush and floss properly should be extracted.
If you have questions or concerns about wisdom teeth, it is best to visit your dentist for a thorough evaluation. Call Dr. Simon Melcher at 919-782-0548 or visit his website. You can also learn more here: Dental Treatments - Wisdom Teeth

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