Does my teenager really need to have their wisdom teeth removed? What if I still have my wisdom teeth as an adult?
First, a little history:
Wisdom teeth are the third molars. Normally people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth; upper, lower, right and left. The first molars usually grow into the mouth at around six years of age. The second molars grow in at around age 12. The third molars usually will try to grow in at around age 17 to 21 years. Since that is considered to be the age when people become wiser, third molars gained the nickname, “wisdom teeth.” Actually, they are no different than any other tooth except that they are the last teeth to erupt, or grow into the mouth. They are just as useful as any other tooth if they have enough room to grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship and have healthy gum tissue around them. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
The following symptoms may indicate that the wisdom teeth have erupted and surfaced, and should be removed before they become impacted, in other words, the teeth have surfaced and have no room in the mouth to grow. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include: Pain, Infection in the mouth, Facial swelling, Swelling of the gumline in the back of the mouth.
Many oral health specialists will recommend removal of the wisdom teeth before they are fully developed, usually in the adolescent years, as early removal will help to eliminate problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar. The root length grows with age. This can make removal a more difficult procedure later in life.
So what are you waiting for? Call our office to have us evaluate if it’s time for your wisdom teeth to be removed. For the first 24-48 hours the patient should REST, keep the heart rate low, refrain from driving if having sedation for surgery. It’s summer break- so schedule your teen or college kids now, while they are less involved with school.
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