The wisdom teeth become impacted in most human beings. That is, they are unable to erupt properly into the smile and become stuck in surrounding bone and gum tissue. In such cases, surgical wisdom teeth extraction by an oral surgeon is advised.
It is generally recommended that preventive wisdom teeth extraction be completed by the time a patient turns 25 years old. However, you don’t have to wait that long to have your child evaluated for the procedure. Signs of impacted wisdom teeth are present in patients as early as their mid-teen years.
Why Wisdom Teeth Extraction May Be Needed
Why is wisdom teeth extraction so common anyway? After all, it’s the most likely reason that any dental patient will need to consult with an oral surgeon.
The problem is that the wisdom teeth are so large that the comparatively narrow jaws of modern humans don’t have enough room for them to come in properly so they get stuck in the bone or gum tissue. Those impacted wisdom teeth can result in a number of issues, including:
- Damage to adjacent teeth
- Misalignment of the smile
Ideal Timing for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
As you can see, avoiding the consequences of impacted wisdom teeth is a compelling reason to have an oral surgeon remove your wisdom teeth.
Because it is nearly impossible to predict when impacted wisdom teeth may become symptomatic, many patients choose a preventive wisdom teeth extraction. The procedure is more predictable in younger patients, who also face shorter recovery times and lower risk of complications.
After about your mid-twenties, the roots of impacted teeth get longer and become more entrenched in the jaw. Therefore, we advise patients to pursue impacted wisdom teeth extraction by age 25.
Scheduling Your Child’s Evaluation for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
You don’t have to wait until you’re on the verge of turning 25 to have your wisdom teeth removed, though.
We recommend that your child be evaluated for possible wisdom teeth extraction no later than age 16 or 17. An assessment at this juncture can help us determine the likelihood of impaction and establish a baseline that can serve as a point of comparison for any future changes.
A child who is eligible to drive (in terms of age) is also eligible for a wisdom teeth extraction evaluation. Contact Jackson Oral Surgery today to schedule your child’s appointment.