Most people develop 32 adult teeth over the course of their life. Typically, the last teeth to emerge are the wisdom teeth, sometimes known as the third molars. These teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21 but may sometimes appear as early as age 11. The jawbone is simply not large enough to hold these final teeth for most people. This can lead to many problems, including chronic pain, that can only be remedied by having your wisdom teeth removed.
Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, your dentist may still recommend that you have your wisdom teeth extracted to avoid health complications in the future.
Having the Wisdom Teeth Removed as a Preventative Measure
Just because your wisdom teeth are not currently causing you pain, that does not mean they will not contribute to problems in the future. For this reason, dentists typically recommend proactively removing them, stopping potential problems before they start.
The key thing to understand about wisdom teeth is that they can become impacted if there is no room for them. This means they remain partly or completely submerged under the gum tissue. This can lead to several concerns, including:
- Crowding issues, with the wisdom teeth potentially throwing your other teeth out of alignment
- An increased risk of infection, as impacted teeth are considerably harder to keep clean
- Cysts that develop along the gums, causing discomfort
- Chronic pain from the impacted wisdom teeth
Correcting any of these issues can be more challenging than simply having the wisdom teeth removed in advance. Wisdom teeth extraction is a common and very safe procedure.
The Benefits of Having the Wisdom Teeth Removed Early
Dentists will often recommend that patients have their wisdom teeth removed as soon as possible. There are a few reasons for this:
- If you wait until later in life to have the wisdom teeth removed, the extraction process can be more complicated.
- Extracting wisdom teeth later can also come with a prolonged or more difficult recovery time.
- Patients who have their wisdom teeth removed early significantly reduce their risk of further dental complications.
Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If you are in your late teens or early 20s and have never had your wisdom teeth examined, we recommend you do so even if your wisdom teeth are not currently causing you any pain or discomfort.
Our practice has plenty of experience performing safe, comfortable, and expedient wisdom teeth extractions for patients in the Covington, LA area. Contact The OMS Center of South Louisiana at your convenience to schedule a wisdom teeth removal consultation.