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Most people have wisdom teeth, which are located in the back of each quadrant of the mouth.  They typically start to emerge around the ages of 17 to 21.  Many adults have their wisdom teeth extracted because they are impacted and never quite push through the gum tissue. It is important to have regular check-ups with your dentist to have your wisdom teeth examined and to determine whether they should be removed.

How Do I Know If I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

The tooth position, angulation, and the surrounding health of the gum tissue are a few factors to consider when having wisdom teeth removed. The health of the patient also plays a role in determining whether they should be removed. A teenager with swollen and painful gums may benefit from having their wisdom teeth (third molars) extracted. An elderly patient may need their third molars to chew their food effectively.

Your dentist may recommend having your wisdom teeth removed if they cause pain or have an infection, crowd other teeth, or are impacted and can’t break through the gum tissue. Some dentists and oral surgeons recommend having impacted wisdom teeth removed before the age of 20 years old. It will most likely be easier to remove them when the roots and bones of the teeth are softer and not fully formed. Younger people are also able to heal faster.

You may never have any issues with your wisdom teeth, especially if you are older than age 30.  Wisdom teeth that are healthy and emerge properly through the gum tissue may not lead to problems.

How Does a Dentist Detect Whether a Wisdom Tooth is a Candidate for Extraction?

A dentist will have panoramic radiograph images taken to examine the position of the wisdom teeth and the health of the surrounding gum tissue. Panoramic images will help detect any issues, such as cysts or the presence of infection. The dentist can then provide an in-depth view of gums and adjacent teeth to help determine whether your wisdom teeth should be kept or removed.

If you, or someone you know, has questions about their wisdom teeth, give us a call to schedule a dental consultation. Dr. Melchers and his experienced staff are here to address all your oral health care issues. Contact us today to make an appointment to see how we can best meet your dental care needs.