What are Wisdom teeth and why do they need to be removed?

What Are Wisdom Teeth & Do I Need Them Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last molars to develop in the mouth. They are also known as third molars. First molars usually erupt around age 6, second molars tend to erupt around age 12, and third molars tend to develop between the ages of 16 and 21.

Some wisdom teeth become impacted which prevents them from erupting properly. This can be a problem that can lead to infection, decay of the adjacent teeth, gum disease, cysts and tumors. Many dentists will recommend extraction of impacted third molars because of the problems they can cause. They also recommend removing them if a patient has had orthodontic treatment completed. Third molars can disrupt the straightened teeth and cause crowding and movement of the corrected teeth.

People who have their wisdom teeth removed at a younger age such as late teens or twenties, typically have less post operative problems like dry sockets, excessive bleeding, swelling and soreness. Being younger helps because the body is more resiliant and can heal at a faster rate. To avoid complications from wisdom teeth extractions, it is extremely important to follow the oral surgeon’s instructions regarding eating and drinking, staying on top of pain management, and keeping the extraction site clean.

Most people are able to go on with their normal schedule within 2-3 days after having their wisdom teeth removed.

Contact your dentist with any questions or concerns regarding wisdom teeth or to determine if your wisdom teeth need to be removed.