Wisdom teeth come in anywhere from age 16 to the early 20s. Most of the wisdom teeth extraction procedures we do in our DFW dental office are for high school juniors and seniors or college freshman and sophomores.
We also do wisdom teeth surgeries on older patients, but it is a much easier procedure when performed on younger patients, ideally handled as soon as the teeth start to develop and before the roots are fully formed.
Almost everyone gets wisdom teeth — also known as third molars — but only some people have a problem that requires extraction.
When and Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
The most common reason for wisdom teeth extraction is that the teeth grow either horizontally or at an angle and can’t fully erupt (grow past the surface of the gums). This is commonly referred to as impacted wisdom teeth. Another reason for the procedure is crowding in the mouth to the point that there’s insufficient room for the wisdom teeth to come in.
How Would A Patient Know If Their Wisdom Teeth Weren’t Growing Right?
Impacted wisdom teeth are easily visible on dental x-rays. Patients may also experience discomfort, general inflammation or pericoronitis, which is inflammation around the crown.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Surgery
Best practices for removing wisdom teeth suggest that the patient benefits from taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication for a few days prior to the procedure in order to minimize inflammation. A clear x-ray shows the dentist exactly where the impacted teeth are growing and the precise direction of their growth. Sometimes a panoramic x-ray (often referred to as a “pano”) can be beneficial for capturing the most comprehensive picture of the full set of wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth extraction is usually performed in the dental office, using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or other sedation. Post operative instructions are very important and should be followed carefully.
If you have questions about wisdom teeth extractions for children, teens, young adults or older adults, please feel free to call our DFW dentist office for more information