Wisdom teeth are the third and final molars to erupt in your mouth. As their name implies, wisdom teeth typically present when you are older. For most patients, the third molars do not break through the gums until they reach their teen or young adult years. Dr. Ken Benson of Wake Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry is an expert at assessing and extracting wisdom teeth for patients in all stages of life.
When is the best time to remove wisdom teeth?
There are a few considerations when deciding the best time to remove wisdom teeth:
- Discomfort. It is best to extract a wisdom tooth before you begin experiencing any pain. Discomfort can stem from pressure applied by a third molar on adjacent teeth. However, it can also signify a dental infection or gum inflammation around the tooth. These complications can be avoided by the prompt removal of the wisdom teeth. In most cases, when it comes to wisdom teeth extractions, sooner is better than later.
- Root development. During your teen years, the roots of your wisdom teeth are still developing. As a result, they may not be as firmly planted in the jawbone as they will be when you reach your twenties. Because of that, your dentist may prefer to schedule the removal of your wisdom teeth before their root development is complete.
- Your schedule. The recovery from a wisdom tooth removal usually takes only a few days, but you will experience minor discomfort. As a result, your extraction should be scheduled during a period when you have time to rest for at least for a couple of days.
What can wisdom teeth do to other teeth?
Your third molars can cause problems with your other teeth. Since wisdom teeth are more difficult to reach for proper cleaning, they may develop decay that can spread to adjacent teeth. In addition, these molars can apply pressure that forces your other teeth out of proper alignment, leaving you in need of an orthodontic correction. This pressure can affect your other teeth even if a wisdom tooth has not yet broken through the gums.
If your child has discomfort with their wisdom teeth and would like to have them assessed, contact our Oral Surgeon, Dr. Ken Benson at 252-235-7235. Wake Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry’s board certified oral surgeon can determine if an extraction is necessary and will provide the service in a gentle, caring manner.