5206 Lyngate Court, Burke, VA 22015  |  (703) 425-5010   /   11331 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, VA 20190  |  (703) 736-1640   /   2807 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314  |  (571) 777-6501

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At what age should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

If it seems like many young adults you know are having their wisdom teeth removed, it’s not merely a rite of passage between adolescence and adulthood. There are compelling medical reasons to have your wisdom teeth removed before age 25.

Wisdom tooth extraction often necessitates oral surgery because the teeth typically are impacted, which may mean that surrounding bone needs to be removed before those third molars can be taken out of the jaw.

In patients who delay wisdom tooth extraction until their late twenties or beyond, the roots have become longer and more enmeshed with the jaw. This can present complications for the oral surgeon tasked with removing the wisdom teeth.

Additionally, older patients take more time to recover from the surgical procedure than younger ones do.

Wisdom teeth extraction is often recommended, and a dentist may be able to determine if problems will occur with the wisdom teeth in patients as young as 12 years old.

The wisdom teeth are unnecessary for modern humans, who no longer need to process extremely rough diets. In fact, these third molars located at the rear of the jaw are so large that they actually cause problems for many patients.

When the wisdom teeth become impacted, which often happens, they can create a number of issues. Impacted teeth can develop cysts, tumors or abscesses, the last of which can lead to systemic infections. It’s more difficult to keep partially erupted teeth clean, and they can collect bacteria that can attack the gums and underlying jawbone.

Impacted wisdom teeth also can interfere with the alignment of the other teeth as they continue to try to emerge in a jaw that has no room for them.

To avoid these negative outcomes, many patients choose to have their wisdom teeth removed pre-emptively, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms. It is best to do so before you reach your mid-twenties, but older patients can still consult with an oral surgeon to determine whether wisdom teeth extraction may be beneficial in their cases as well.

For additional information, contact Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery and schedule your professional consultation today.

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