How do I know if I have wisdom teeth?
Most people develop four wisdom teeth, which are the last set of adult molar teeth to form and erupt into the mouth. The tooth buds can generally be seen on a panoramic x-ray around the age of 10-12 which continue to develop beneath the bone and gum tissue for several years.
Why might I need my wisdom teeth removed?
Most people do not have enough space to allow the healthy eruption of their wisdom teeth into their mouth. Many times the lack of space will inhibit the wisdom tooth from erupting at all (and the tooth remains impacted) or the wisdom tooth becomes angled and may cause damage to your healthy teeth or could cause movement and crowding. Also, though uncommon, impacted wisdom teeth may develop cysts or tumors which is another reason to consider removing impacted wisdom teeth. Even if your wisdom teeth do start to come into your mouth in many cases there may be gum tissue overlying the tooth which may lead to gum and bone disease, cavities and discomfort. In some cases you may be able to maintain your wisdom teeth but it would be wise to consult with your dental provider and oral surgeon.
When should I consider removal of my wisdom teeth?
Generally it is safest to consider removal of your wisdom teeth during early root development (this can only be determined with an up-to-date radiograph). Each patient will have a different “dental age” that may not correlate with their chronological age but in most cases the age to consider removing wisdom teeth is from mid-late teens. Also, removing the wisdom teeth sooner rather than later may prevent possible pain and other issues which impacted teeth may cause. Please consider seeing us for a consult so we can help educate you more on when the best time for treatment is for your individual needs and health.
Typically we will have you come in for a consultation to review medical history and perform an exam before scheduling you for your treatment. Most patients feel more comfortable going to sleep for their procedure which we will talk in detail about during your consultation. We will also review all questions you may have regarding treatment and review pre and post operative instructions. Once you have decided to proceed with treatment we will work with you to find a time that suits your schedule and we will help coordinate your insurance benefits.