By the time most people reach the age of 25, they have fully grown third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.” This is the last set of teeth to emerge in a person’s mouth, and the vast majority of people wind up getting these teeth removed in young adulthood. But how do you know if you need yours removed, and when is the best time? According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, about 85 percent of third molars will eventually need to be removed. In many cases, wisdom teeth become impacted because of a lack of room in a person’s mouth, meaning its proper growth is prevented. When this occurs, the teeth and gums may become painful or infected. However, even if third molars do not cause obvious pain, it’s usually a good idea to get them removed before they do cause problems.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons suggests people get them removed while still in young adulthood because complications often arise in older patients. Depending on the state of the teeth and whether they are impacted, the surgical removal procedure will vary in complexity. In general, most wisdom teeth are removed in an oral surgeon’s office while the patient is under anesthesia. After the procedure is complete, the patient will likely experience swelling and discomfort for a period of time, but your oral surgeon can give you advice on how to make the recovery process as pain-free and quick as possible. If either you or your child are thinking about getting wisdom teeth removed, talk to your dentist about how you should move forward. By keeping the lines of communication open and using your dental plan to your advantage, you can get your questions about wisdom teeth removal answered and start this affordable, necessary procedure.