There are certain rites of passage on the road to adulthood such as getting your driver’s license, graduating from high school, and living on your own for the first time. Unfortunately, there’s also a rite of passage that most people don’t look forward to – having their wisdom teeth taken out! But you’ll be glad to know that having your wisdom teeth in Medford extracted is easier than you might think and also protects your long-term oral health in many ways. In this blog, you’ll find out when you may need this procedure and how it will contribute to a healthier smile for life!
What Are Wisdom Teeth and When Will They Need To Be Taken Out?
Your permanent back teeth (molars) come in in sets, and wisdom teeth are simply the last set you get. Most people get their first molars about age 6, their second molars around age 12, and their third molars (the wisdom teeth) between the ages of 16 -25.
Since there’s such a wide age range for getting these teeth, a dentist will usually recommend a particular kind of X-ray called a panoramic X-ray around age 15. This allows them to see how the wisdom teeth are developing so they can give you a more specific estimate of when they may need to be taken out.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Extracted?
One of the most common questions people have is, “My wisdom teeth aren’t bothering me – why do they need to be taken out?”
In many ways, a dentist in Medford recommends this procedure as a way to prevent more serious problems later on such as:
- Cysts or infections deep in the jaw
- Damage to the adjacent teeth
- Sinus problems
- Severely inflamed or painful gums
- Crowding of your other teeth or bite alignment issues
Also, younger patients tend to heal faster and more easily, so it’s a good idea to do the procedure earlier rather than later.
In addition, most people’s jaws simply aren’t big enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, which can lead to a couple of problems:
- Poor oral hygiene – Wisdom teeth are very hard to access and clean with a toothbrush and floss, so they can easily develop cavities and gum problems.
- Impaction – Impaction is quite common and occurs when the wisdom teeth only come in partially. This creates a deep pocket of gum tissue that collects plaque and bacteria and can result in pain, swelling or a serious infection.
The good news? Although you’ll only have your wisdom teeth taken out once, it will lead to a healthier smile for the rest of your life!
About the Author
Dr. Brady Frank has been a general and restorative dentist for 17 years. In that time, he’s performed countless oral surgery procedures, including wisdom teeth extractions. He often recommends this procedure because it prevents problems down the road and helps his patients maintain great long-term oral health. If you have any other questions about wisdom teeth in Medford, he can be reached via his website.