When is the best time to remove wisdom teeth? There has been a shift in recent years towards removing teeth at a younger age, before wisdom teeth become problematic. Younger people, particularly teenagers, are having their wisdom teeth pulled to minimize pain and complications. With innovative imagining and techniques, Dr. Glenn and his team can make your wisdom tooth extraction supremely comfortable.
Wisdom teeth are the name given to the third molar; the last set of molars
to erupt into one's mouth, typically in the mid to late teens sometimes the
early 20s. Not everyone gets wisdom teeth removed. The majority of
teenagers and young adults will end up needing to have them taken out at
There's been a pretty definite shift over the last several years, the last
generation. From, leave them there until they cause a problem, that's what
I was advised when I was a teenager, to, currently, we advise removing them
before they become problematic and the reason for that is two-fold.
One, due to modern imaging we can see, distinctly, if these teeth will need
to be removed, or not, and second, that office anesthesia has given us the
ability to take these out in a much safer, much more cost effective and
Wisdom teeth extraction and other tooth extractions, there's really no
differentiation there. Teeth are either all impacted or non-impacted.
Impacted meaning they have not erupted all the way. Because of the nature
of wisdom teeth, being the last to erupt into the mouth, they are the most
commonly impacted teeth and, as a result, require more effort and shop
class, if you will, to get to, and that's the reason we typically offer
this procedure with the general anesthesia.
There's no perfect age for wisdom tooth extraction. I've got four girls and
they're all very different, developmentally. In my mind, and from my
experience, the ideal timing for tooth extraction is when that root is
somewhere between half and three quarters formed.
It's not completely formed and while the patient's skeleton is still soft.
It's a little counter-intuitive, but they don't get easier to remove as
they erupt closer into the mouth, they get harder and that it's the
development of that root and maturation of the bone that can lead to
difficulty. If you were take a survey of teenagers and 30-something year
olds and ask them if they're experiences with wisdom teeth extractions, the
teenagers are always going to win out.
Recovery time for wisdom tooth extraction, as with most types of injuries
and surgeries, is much less dependent on the severity of the injury or the
severity of the tooth removal; it has a lot more to do with the age of the
patient. I find that most of our teenagers will take three or four days to
be back doing normal things, adults maybe a day or two longer.