Unlike the rest of your adult teeth, which come in during childhood, your wisdom teeth don’t fully descend until you’ve reached the age of adulthood. That’s where they get their name. They’re the teeth you get when you’ve gained a little wisdom from the world! Keep reading to learn more about wisdom teeth and the best time to have them removed.

Why Do We Even Have Wisdom Teeth If We Just Pull Them Out?

Properly called third molars, our wisdom teeth are the vestigial remains of the much larger jaws of our ancient ancestors. Ancient man needed more teeth to grind rough plant foliage but he also had the jaw to accommodate those teeth. As our needs have changed in the modern world, our jaws have become smaller.

What Age Is the Best Time to Have Them Removed?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Most Burlington area dentists advise patients to have their wisdom teeth pulled in early adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 25. Your wisdom teeth typically come in at around this age and the dental surgery is much easier when the teeth have only recently descended and the bone is less dense.

Extraction as Prevention

Wisdom teeth are often pulled as part of a preventative dental plan. There’s little to gain by waiting. Wisdom teeth extractions are recommended if any of the following complications develop:

Teeth are impacted – A tooth is impacted when it is blocked or unable to break through the gum line. Impacted teeth can cause a great deal of discomfort and can push on and damage other teeth. If you suspect you have an impacted tooth, book an appointment to schedule some dental x-rays or speak to one of our dentists to see if you qualify for dental surgery with Eastgate Dental Center in the Burlington area today.

Inadequate space—Even if a wisdom tooth is not impacted it can still cause problems if your jaw is too small to accommodate the extra teeth. The developing wisdom teeth put pressure on your existing teeth which can make biting and chewing uncomfortable.

Misalignment—The pressure caused by “overcrowding” related to emerging wisdom teeth can also result in misalignment of other dental work that you’ve had done like braces and bridges.

Jaw damage—If the wisdom teeth are having trouble erupting they can develop cysts. Left untreated, cysts can cause significant damage to the jaw bone and surrounding nerves that will require extensive dental surgery to repair.

Decay—The most common issue with wisdom teeth is that they are hard to keep clean. They can be hard to brush properly and nearly impossible to floss around, making them prone to cavities. Your Burlington area dentist may advise you to pull them simply to prevent further decay.

Sinus pain—In some cases, issues with the wisdom teeth can result in pressure on, and congestion of, the sinuses.

If your wisdom teeth are causing problems, or if your dentist suspects that they’ll cause problems down the road, then it’s best to simply have them removed.

Consult with a Dentist

It’s important to note that some people never develop problems with their wisdom teeth and never have to have them removed. Schedule a private consultation with one of the professionals at Eastgate Dental Centre today to decide if wisdom teeth extraction is right for you. Emergency and new patients are always welcome and we’re open seven days a week for your convenience. Call now to book an appointment!