Wisdom teeth, commonly known as third molars, usually grow between the ages of 17 and 25. However, the specific timing may deviate among individuals. While certain individuals encounter no difficulties with the growth of wisdom teeth, others may encounter complications that require extraction.
The decision to extract these teeth depends on various factors, including age. In this blog, we shall look at everything you need to know about wisdom teeth removal for different age groups.
Why Might you Have to Remove your Wisdom Teeth?
In most cases your wisdom teeth might not hurt you and you still wonder, why remove them then? These days, dentist recommending removal of wisdom teeth is a standard practice – almost in case of young adults. It’s not always necessary, though.
While your wisdom teeth might not always be a source of pain, you still must go under oral surgery and get them removed for several reasons. Dentists usually recommend removing wisdom teeth for the following reasons-
- If one or more of your wisdom teeth are partially or fully trapped in your gums or jawbone.
- Have wisdom teeth that grew irregularly or sideways.
- Feel pain near the back of your mouth.
- Get gum disease, especially in the area surrounding your teeth.
- Have cavities in a wisdom tooth that has partially erupted.
- Develop a cyst around wisdom tooth.
To know more about wisdom teeth removal, check out our blog on Wisdom Teeth- Infection and Extraction.
What is Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental extraction procedure to preserve oral health and protect other teeth from infection and misalignment. The extraction process involves surgically removing one or more wisdom teeth, typically under local or general anesthesia.
The Role of Age in Wisdom Teeth Removal
Age plays a significant role in wisdom teeth removal due to the teeth and jawbone development. Younger individuals tend to have less developed wisdom teeth, which means extraction is generally less complicated, and recovery is faster. As age progresses, the roots of the wisdom teeth may be more fully formed, making the extraction process potentially more challenging.
Nevertheless, age alone should not be the sole determinant of whether to remove wisdom teeth. Dental professionals evaluate each case individually, considering factors such as the position of the wisdom teeth, their impact on neighbouring teeth, and the patient’s overall oral health.
Wisdom Teeth Removal for Teenagers
Dentists may advise teenagers, typically aged between 16 and 19, to contemplate the removal of their wisdom teeth. By utilising panoramic X-rays, dentists evaluate the alignment and positioning of the wisdom teeth, determining whether extraction is necessary. During the teenage years, the roots of these teeth are not fully developed, making the extraction process easier. Removing wisdom teeth during this stage can prevent complications such as dental crowding or harm to neighbouring teeth.
Opting for early extraction also mitigates the risk of impaction, a condition where the wisdom teeth cannot fully emerge due to limited space in the jaw. Removing the wisdom teeth at an earlier stage significantly reduces the likelihood of impaction. Dentists typically recommend removing wisdom teeth between the ages of 16 and 19 before they cause any significant problems.
Wisdom Teeth Removal for Young Adults
Young adults between 20 and 25 may need to get their wisdom teeth extracted if they have pain or any other infection. By this age, the roots of the wisdom teeth have fully developed, which can complicate the extraction process.
Delaying extraction may lead to more severe complications and increase the chances of damaging neighbouring teeth. Therefore, young adults should consult their dentists to assess the need for wisdom teeth removal and discuss the best course of action.
Wisdom Teeth Removal for Older Adults
For older adults above 25, wisdom teeth removal becomes less common. If the wisdom teeth have grown without causing any issues, and there is enough space in the jaw to accommodate them, removal may not be necessary.
However, in cases where the wisdom teeth are causing discomfort, infection, or other dental problems, extraction may still be recommended. Considering age-related oral health, older adults should consult their dentist to discuss the advantages and potential risks of removing their wisdom teeth.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Alternatives for Various Age Groups
While wisdom teeth removal is a standard procedure, alternative approaches exist for specific cases and age groups. In some situations, orthodontic treatments or dental appliances help create sufficient space for wisdom teeth to erupt naturally without causing any issues.
For teenagers and young adults with impacted wisdom teeth, dentists recommend a coronectomy. It is a procedure which involves removing only the crown of the impacted tooth, leaving the roots intact. This alternative helps avoid potential nerve damage associated with traditional extraction techniques.
Handling Wisdom Teeth Removal Concerns by Age Group
Each age group may have specific concerns regarding wisdom teeth removal. Teenagers may worry about the pain and recovery process. At the same time, young adults may be concerned about the potential complications and older adults may have anxiety related to the overall health implications of the extraction procedure. Discussing these concerns with a dental professional who can provide personalised advice and address any anxieties is crucial.
Dentists can explain the procedure, offer pre-operative instructions, and provide guidance on post-operative care, such as pain management and diet modifications. By understanding the process and communicating clearly with the dental team, individuals of all age groups can feel more confident about wisdom teeth removal.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Techniques
Wisdom teeth extraction involves several techniques that are selected based on factors such as the position and complexity of the impacted teeth, the patient’s overall oral health, and the recommendations of the dentist or oral surgeon. Some commonly employed methods for wisdom teeth extraction include:
- Simple Extraction
Dentists or oral surgeons use this technique when the wisdom tooth has fully grown through the gumline, and they can easily access it. They loosen the tooth using an instrument called an elevator and then extract it using forceps.
- Surgical Extraction
Dentists or oral surgeons perform a surgical extraction when the wisdom tooth is partially or completely impacted. They make an incision in the gum to access the tooth; in some cases, they may need to remove a small amount of bone to extract the tooth.
If you are getting your wisdom teeth removed, check out our blog on What to Expect When Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed.
Wisdom teeth removal is a dental procedure that varies depending on the age group. Teenagers and young adults often undergo this procedure to prevent future complications. In contrast, older adults may require removal if the wisdom teeth cause discomfort or dental issues.
If you are looking for the best wisdom tooth extraction Perth, contact Alpha Dental. We are more than just a dental clinic in Perth. We are dependable neighbourhood dentists that value your oral hygiene and well-being. We offer a wide range of patient-focused dental services, including general dentistry, inexpensive dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, veneers, and teeth whitening.