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What Age Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

Dr. Degel Sep 6, 2016

An x-ray of dental pain near the molarsWisdom teeth are extra sets of molars (third molars) that develop and emerge during adulthood, positioned behind the molars on the upper and lower rows of teeth. Most people will have four wisdom teeth, though it is possible for people to have more or fewer teeth appear.

The team at Astoria Dental Group has helped numerous people throughout Queens who have had issues with their wisdom teeth. In some cases, wisdom tooth extraction surgery becomes necessary. We'd like to consider some of the basics about wisdom teeth and patient age right now.

When Do Wisdom Teeth Start to Develop?

Wisdom teeth typically begin to develop during the teens. In most people, wisdom teeth emerge between the ages of 17 and 25.

Wisdom teeth are not necessary for biting and chewing. In fact, in a number of cases it's a good idea to have them removed.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Called "Wisdom Teeth"?

They became known as "wisdom teeth" since they grew in during full maturation into adulthood, when people become much wiser than they were as children.

Health Issues Related to Wisdom Teeth

During the ages of 17 to 25, people may experience pain and discomfort as a result of these wisdom teeth coming in crooked. This is known as impaction. When wisdom teeth are impacted, they can press against your existing molars, causing pressure and potentially leading to tooth damage. Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause infections of the teeth and other structures of the mouth if they cause damage.

In addition to the potential for impaction, wisdom teeth can crowd the mouth, making it difficult to properly brush and floss. This crowding leaves these third molars more prone to tooth decay. There is also an increased risk of gum disease to consider as well.

Tracking the Development of Wisdom Teeth

During a patient's teens and early twenties, dentists can track the development, position, and emergence of the wisdom teeth using normal dental x-rays. This will help dentists determine if the wisdom teeth should remain or be removed. Patients will also be asked about any issues with dental pain or toothaches, particularly in the back of the mouth or the jaw, as these can help indicate the need for wisdom tooth extraction.

What Is the Typical Age for Removing Wisdom Teeth?

There's no set age for wisdom tooth removal. In fact, it's important for dentists to generally play this by ear, so to speak. By taking dental x-rays and considering diagnostic information from checkup to checkup, an optimal time for removal can be considered.

With all this in mind, it's not uncommon for wisdom teeth to be removed some time between the ages of 18 and 24.

Are Wisdom Teeth Always Removed?

Not always. In some cases, a person's wisdom teeth come in perfectly straight and do not result in impaction. Crowding may not be extremely significant either. Once again, this varies from patient to patient, and in many cases the ideal option is removal.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly to Monitor Wisdom Teeth

With all of the above in mind, it's important that you visit your dentist regularly for routine maintenance and regular x-rays. You will be able to have wisdom teeth monitored and have a host of other dental care issues addressed as they arise.

Contact Astoria Dental Group

For more information about wisdom teeth and when they should be removed, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist today. The entire team here at Astoria Dental Group will help you address these issues and walk you through the treatment process.

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