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When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

While having wisdom teeth removed is synonymous with teenagers getting their driver’s license, there is no correct age for removal. Some people have them removed before getting braces, while others keep them well into adulthood. However, if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, it is better to take care of it when you are younger because the healing process is quicker. If your wisdom teeth are not causing oral health difficulties, removing them may not be important. If you’re not sure if they’re creating problems, make sure to consult with an oral surgeon for a proper wisdom teeth examination and treatment plan.

Removing Wisdom Teeth in Adults

Wisdom teeth usually grow in between ages 17 and 25 and are identified by your dentist or oral surgeon with X-rays. While it is common for teenagers to have them removed, your dentist may send you to an oral surgeon to have them removed as an adult if they become problematic. Most adults only need them removed if they become impacted, they come in at the wrong angle and press against your other teeth, your mouth is not large enough for an extra set of molars, or you have gum disease and cannot reach them with dental floss or your toothbrush. Wisdom teeth removal may also be necessary if you encounter pain or changes in the area of the teeth, such as:

• Cysts or tumors
• Extensive tooth decay
• Continuous, sharp pain in your gums
• Frequent bleeding from the back of your mouth
• Repeated infections behind the lower last tooth

Talk to your oral surgeon about the health and position of your wisdom teeth and to determine the best treatment solution for your situation.

What to Expect After Surgery

Each person responds differently to having wisdom teeth removed. If you were given a local anesthetic for the procedure and are alert, you might be able to drive yourself home to start the recovery process. You may even be cleared to return to work or perform your regular activities. However, if you still feel drowsy or were administered general anesthesia, someone will need to drive you home. You are also likely to experience some pain and swelling, although most people have minimal pain after surgery. Regardless, it will take a few weeks for your mouth to heal completely.