Do I really need my wisdom teeth removed?
All of us have heard bad stories of people getting their wisdom teeth out. Some say it is not bad and others say it was the worst experience of their lives. But do you really need them out, is the big question. I actually still have all 4 of my wisdom teeth. Some days I wish I had them removed when I was younger because they can be so difficult to clean. My wisdom teeth came in relatively straight unlike many of yours. So the answer to the question is, maybe. If you are older than 30 we typically do not recommend removing them unless there is some sort of infection or disease present. Once you turn 30 most complications that arise from keeping your wisdom teeth go away and it actually becomes more difficult to remove them. If you are younger and your wisdom teeth are impacted we will generally recommend removing them. While you are younger like 16-25 years old your wisdom teeth are easier to remove and recovery is a lot quicker. Here are a few examples of some panoramic radiographs. Below each photo I will discuss if I would take them out or remove them.
- These wisdom teeth do need to be removed and right now is a perfect time to do so. You can see how the bottom wisdom teeth are coming in at an angle and there is a little dark halo around them.
- This radiograph shows a great example of correct positioning of the wisdom teeth. Unfortunately this patient does have some pretty big cavities in those wisdom teeth. At this point we discussed fixing them or removing them. In this case the patient elected to have them fixed.
- This patient is much too young to have their wisdom teeth out. Ideally your wisdom teeth will be about half – two thirds formed. So this patient we need to wait and see how things form. She may or may not need her wisdom teeth out in the future.
I hope this helps you understand a little about wisdom teeth and will help you make your decision about removing or keeping them. There are many options to have them removed so it can be painless if you are worried. If you have questions about your teeth, please call me and we can talk.
Chase D Davis DDS