Your wisdom teeth, also called the third molars on the final teeth to emerge, are considered vestigial parts of the body no longer necessary because we have evolved. However, prehistoric diets created wear and tear, making the third molars essential and developed after other molars as a backup set of teeth for the elderly believed to be closer to 35 earlier.

Presently with our evolved jaws that are much smaller, you may not have sufficient space in your jaws for four more teeth. If your wisdom teeth don’t emerge like your permanent teeth, you may encounter various oral health complications, including cysts, infections, and bacterial growth. Wisdom teeth can erupt crooked or on their sides. Estimates state nearly 85 percent of people who develop wisdom teeth will need wisdom teeth removal treatments. In comparison, the fortunate 15 percent that never produces the third molars can remain happy with their dental health.

The professionals at Family Care Dental offer the following information on wisdom teeth and when is the optimal time to consider removal.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth are pretty standard among many people. Wisdom teeth develop in the posterior region of the jaw, where the bone begins to curve away from the plane of your remaining teeth. The curving might be a factor contributing to the misalignment of the wisdom teeth. The curving causes the wisdom teeth to tilt forward instead of emerging with the crown, and occasionally they may remain entirely horizontal with the crown pointing forwards.

Impacted wisdom teeth pressurize the surrounding teeth creating a constant and dull pain. At the same time, the impacted teeth may remain encased in their sacs or partially erupt. In either situation, the teeth become a breeding ground for bacterial growth and infections.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Process

The condition of your teeth determines how the wisdom teeth extraction process proceeds. In some cases is the extraction is straightforward like any other tooth. Unfortunately, the tooth removal process must proceed in sections to prevent disturbing much of the bone tissue in many cases.

Depending on the complexity of the extraction, you may receive local anesthesia for simple extractions. If your situation is complicated, you receive sedation anesthesia. However, if you are affected by dental anxiety, general anesthesia is delivered by dentists to complete the complex procedure.

An incision made into your gums helps the dentist expose the tooth and jawbone when starting the procedure. Removal of the bone surrounding the tooth is necessary before the tooth itself is extracted entirely or divided into tinier sections to reduce damage to the surrounding bone. Next, the tooth socket is cleaned to remove any leftover debris, and the wound is sutured, although the stitches are not always required.

The Optimal Age for Wisdom Teeth Removal

Your wisdom teeth emerge between 17 and 25, indicating you cannot have them removed earlier. However, dentists believe the optimal age for wisdom teeth removal is between 18 and 24. The earliest the wisdom tooth removal procedure is completed safely is when the development of the root is about two-thirds of its full-size. It might be earlier than 18 or later, depending on the patient. By 18, it is generally apparent how wisdom teeth will develop.

The higher age limit of 24 is prescribed as a cut-off limit because the roots of the wisdom teeth are fully developed after this age, making the removal process more complex. Between 18 and 24, you are young enough for quick recovery. Wisdom teeth removal at older ages requires complicated surgical procedures extending the recovery time by making it slower and increasing the risk of complications.

If you are diligent with your dental hygiene and visit your dentist for routine exams and cleanings every six months, the dental professional notices the wisdom teeth emerging to recommend the best course of action as soon as possible. Although the wisdom teeth are the last to appear, they are the first to receive recommendations for extractions.

This article doesn’t contradict dentists recommending extractions at a later age than 24, which in most cases is improbable. However, the optimal period for safe wisdom teeth extractions and recovery remains between 18 to 24, although no set rules are determined by dentists or oral surgeons about when wisdom teeth removal needs completion without exceptions.

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