At what age should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Woman in Dental Chair with Mouth PainFor most of us, the discussion about the wisdom teeth begins during the late teens or early twenties. In young adulthood, the last set of molars, usually referred to as the wisdom teeth, will mature and show some signs of movement. Quite often, these teeth fail to follow the typical eruption process, and they are more likely to be abnormal or unhealthy. In these instances, your oral surgeon may determine that the teeth should be surgically extracted.

In opting for the surgical extraction of the wisdom teeth, you can prevent unwanted dental complications, including infection, pain, and oral hygiene obstacles. Since these teeth normally mature (fully develop) and begin the process of eruption as we enter early adulthood, they are often recommended for removal during this time as well.

Wisdom Teeth Removal for Young Adults

A mature teenager or a young adult is generally the best candidate for wisdom teeth removal. Patients in this age group are typically experiencing the healthiest time in their lives and can expect a much faster and more predictable recovery than an older patient. The bone that surrounds the molars can be expected to be less dense and easier to manipulate in a patient who is between the ages of 17-23 versus a patient who is beyond the age of thirty.

However, having the wisdom teeth removed too soon is not generally recommended. Time should be allowed for the teeth to develop and move towards their final position. This will provide your oral surgeon with enough information to determine if the teeth appear to pose a health risk or not.  For the most conservative approach, younger patients will be monitored periodically until the circumstances indicate that the teeth should be removed.

As a rule, age is not considered a determining factor for the removal of the wisdom teeth. Age is used as a guideline in terms of when the teeth can be expected to fully mature, and then the final recommendation will be based upon your oral surgeon’s professional opinion.

To learn more about the status of your wisdom teeth, please call Oral Surgery Associates of North Texas to schedule a consultation today.