Wisdom Teeth Removal in East Brunswick & Marlboro
Wisdom Teeth: A Guide for Teens, Parents, and Mature Adult Patients
Has your dentist told you that you need to have your wisdom teeth removed? We’ve designed this guide to help you understand next steps. Our highly trained oral surgeons remove wisdom teeth every day, but we know that the mention of “surgery” and “extraction” can make many young adults feel anxious. We understand, and we want you to know that wisdom teeth extractions in our office are safe, and comfortable.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that generally erupt from your gums during your teenage years. The first set molars erupt around the age of six, the second at age 12, and finally, your third molars, or wisdom teeth, come in when you’re transitioning into adulthood, becoming older and wiser. Wisdom teeth may need to be removed at any point in your life. It’s not uncommon for an adult to have wisdom teeth extracted.
Why do my wisdom teeth need to be removed?
The most common reason wisdom teeth need to be extracted is because there is not enough room in your mouth to accommodate the third set of molars. Your mouth has enough space for 28 teeth, and when your wisdom teeth arrive, those 28 slots are filled. Your wisdom teeth become impacted if they’re unable to grow in properly. An impacted tooth is fully or partially covered by gum or bone and has the potential to cause a variety of complications. If your wisdom teeth are not impacted and come in properly positioned, they are still at a high risk for infection, cysts, and tumors.
The Importance of Timing
The reason that so many of your friends are also having their wisdom teeth removed is because there’s an optimal yet fleeting window of time when the wisdom teeth have come in but the roots are not fully formed. This ideal timeframe is between the ages of 17-25, ensuring much less risk of damaging neighboring nerves, bones, and teeth.
Why Wisdom Teeth Removal Is Ideal During Early Years
Wisdom teeth that are left alone can lead to the following problems throughout your life:
When a wisdom tooth cannot push through the gum tissue, your gums can become infected, a condition called pericoronitis. Infection can cause swelling, pain, and difficulty swallowing.
Cysts and Benign Tumors
Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to cysts (fluid-filled pockets) in the jawbone, damaging the jawbone and nearby teeth.
Crowding and Alignment Issues
If you’ve had braces, it more important than ever to have your wisdom teeth removed before they overcrowd and misalign your perfectly straightened smile. For those who haven’t had braces, removing your wisdom teeth makes room for your other 28 teeth, ensuring they remain aligned and aren’t pushed out of their proper position.
Damage to Nearby Teeth
One of the most common problems caused by wisdom teeth is their damaging effect on neighboring teeth. When too many teeth are squeezed into a small space, maintaining good dental hygiene, including brushing and flossing, is difficult, often resulting in tooth decay, gum disease, and bone loss.
Choosing an Oral Surgeon for Your Child
Today, over five million people have their wisdom teeth removed each year. In fact, tooth extraction is now the most common oral surgery procedure. As your oral surgery specialists with extensive training and experience, we provide an attentive and comfortable wisdom teeth removal experience that’s unlike the extractions you may have undergone as a teenager. Thanks to recent advancement in modern technology, wisdom teeth removal surgery is an outpatient procedure that is routinely preformed in our office every day without complication.
Our exceptional care includes:
- A variety of sedation options
- Compassion and comfort
- Detailed home care information
- A thoughtful surgical strategy that minimizes the use of invasive techniques
- A smooth and easy recovery
Even though wisdom teeth removal is most often associated with adolescence, it is not uncommon for many people to make it well into adulthood with their wisdom teeth still intact. If you’re now experiencing problems and facing the potential for wisdom teeth removal, rest assured you’re never too old to have your wisdom teeth pulled. Our surgeons provide the utmost in quality care and are prepared to guide you through the healing process with skill and compassion. Whether you’re experiencing pain from gum disease or cavities or suffering from swelling in your mouth of jaw, there’s no age limit for wisdom teeth removal, especially when it will improve your quality of life.
Wisdom teeth extractions in older adults can be straightforward or more complicated, so we recommend you meet with one of our oral surgeons for an in-depth consultation where we can fully evaluate your wisdom teeth and answer any questions you may have. Simple or complex, wisdom teeth removals are routine in our office, including those for adults over 65. We use IV sedation to keep you comfortable and calm throughout the procedure, and you may have no memory of the surgery when it’s over. Your safety is our top priority. As top oral surgeons, we have an excellent safety record in anesthesia and in keeping our patients as comfortable as possible throughout every step in the process.
The Cost of Wisdom Teeth Removal
Every case is unique, and as such the financial factors involved in each case is as well. We consider molar positioning, the degree of impaction, the number of teeth to be removed, etc. as we determine the cost of the procedure. We discuss all costs upfront and consider it our job to help you navigate any benefits your insurance offers for the surgery.
The Risk of Not Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Since wisdom teeth tend to cause complications, such as discomfort, infection, damage to adjacent teeth, and cysts and tumors, it is crucial to have them removed in your late teens to early twenties before their roots have been fully established. Waiting to have them removed could cost you greater problems in the future.
Complications of Wisdom Tooth Removal
As is the case with any dental procedure, there are potential risks to having your wisdom teeth removed. However, complications are very rare, and when done within the ideal window of opportunity, the chance of complication is even smaller.
We strongly discourage smoking and using straws during your wisdom teeth recovery period because these habits disrupt the healing process, sometimes dislodging and preventing the extraction site’s blood clot from developing properly. This complication, called dry socket, can involve discomfort that radiates to the ear or cheek, bad breath or an unpleasant taste, and occasionally visible bone or an empty-looking socket. Call us immediately if you have any of these symptoms, and we will remedy the situation and help you manage the discomfort.