• Video

Wisdom Teeth Extractions

by Andrew R. Glenn M.D. D.D.S.
April 8th, 2014

Description

When is the best time to remove wisdom teeth? There has been a shift in recent years towards removing teeth at a younger age, before wisdom teeth become problematic. Younger people, particularly teenagers, are having their wisdom teeth pulled to minimize pain and complications. With innovative imagining and techniques, Dr. Glenn and his team can make your wisdom tooth extraction supremely comfortable.

Transcript

Wisdom teeth are the name given to the third molar; the last set of molars to erupt into one's mouth, typically in the mid to late teens sometimes the early 20s. Not everyone gets wisdom teeth removed. The majority of teenagers and young adults will end up needing to have them taken out at some point. There's been a pretty definite shift over the last several years, the last generation. From, leave them there until they cause a problem, that's what I was advised when I was a teenager, to, currently, we advise removing them before they become problematic and the reason for that is two-fold. One, due to modern imaging we can see, distinctly, if these teeth will need to be removed, or not, and second, that office anesthesia has given us the ability to take these out in a much safer, much more cost effective and comfortable manner. Wisdom teeth extraction and other tooth extractions, there's really no differentiation there. Teeth are either all impacted or non-impacted. Impacted meaning they have not erupted all the way. Because of the nature of wisdom teeth, being the last to erupt into the mouth, they are the most commonly impacted teeth and, as a result, require more effort and shop class, if you will, to get to, and that's the reason we typically offer this procedure with the general anesthesia. There's no perfect age for wisdom tooth extraction. I've got four girls and they're all very different, developmentally. In my mind, and from my experience, the ideal timing for tooth extraction is when that root is somewhere between half and three quarters formed. It's not completely formed and while the patient's skeleton is still soft. It's a little counter-intuitive, but they don't get easier to remove as they erupt closer into the mouth, they get harder and that it's the development of that root and maturation of the bone that can lead to difficulty. If you were take a survey of teenagers and 30-something year olds and ask them if they're experiences with wisdom teeth extractions, the teenagers are always going to win out. Recovery time for wisdom tooth extraction, as with most types of injuries and surgeries, is much less dependent on the severity of the injury or the severity of the tooth removal; it has a lot more to do with the age of the patient. I find that most of our teenagers will take three or four days to be back doing normal things, adults maybe a day or two longer.