When Is the Best Age for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

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When Is the Best Age for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Maybe you have wisdom teeth and maybe you don’t—not everybody gets them. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of back teeth to erupt. These teeth typically emerge in your late teens or early twenties. However, not everyone’s wisdom teeth cause issues, and some people never get them at all. 

If you do have wisdom teeth, you will likely need to get them removed, as that extra set of molars can cause a lot of pain and dental problems. Here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth removal and the best age to get them extracted.

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Need to Be Removed?

Some people have enough room in their mouths for their wisdom teeth to grow in normally. So you might be able to keep your wisdom teeth if they are fully erupted and healthy. But most people don’t actually need their third molars. 

Wisdom teeth are considered to be vestigial, meaning they are no longer necessary. Scientists theorize that our prehistoric ancestors evolved to grow an extra set of molars later in life to replace teeth that may have been lost. 

For many people, wisdom teeth cause all sorts of problems—pain, cysts, and general calamity inside the mouth as the other teeth shift to make room. Removal is often the best course of action, especially if: 

  • There is a risk of overcrowding
  • The wisdom tooth is impacted (stuck in the jawbone) 
  • The wisdom tooth is growing sideways

Best Age for Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth typically emerge from the gums between the ages of 18 and 25. Most dentists will recommend that they be removed before the age of 26. However, extractions can be performed later if necessary. 

Attending twice-a-year dental checkups is very important for teens and young adults. One of the things your full mouth x-rays show are your wisdom teeth and their positions. If you have any pain or discomfort in the back or your jaw, be sure to let your dentist know—your wisdom teeth might be starting to grow in. 

Usually, the younger you are when you get your wisdom teeth extracted, the better. This is for two reasons:

  • The younger you are, the less established the roots of the wisdom teeth will be. This makes the extraction less complicated.
  • Younger people typically heal faster after a wisdom tooth extraction, and tend to experience fewer complications than older adults. 

Even though it may be better to get wisdom teeth extractions when you’re younger, uncomplicated extractions are still possible when you are older. It merely depends on your personal case. However, extractions in older people generally have longer healing times, an increase in complications, and a higher risk of infections.

If you have an appointment for wisdom teeth removal scheduled, take a look at our guide for preparing for a tooth extraction.

Wisdom Teeth Removal in Prescott, Arizona

If your wisdom teeth are healthy and in the correct positions, it may not be necessary to extract them. However, if you are in pain or discomfort, notice a shift in the position of your other teeth, or have any worries about your wisdom teeth, you might want to consider an extraction.  

Having your wisdom teeth removed is a surgical procedure that should be considered with care. At Hicks Dental Group we are dedicated to providing the safest, least invasive procedures available. Using our vast knowledge and the best technology, we can determine if a wisdom tooth extraction is right for you. Call 928-445-6030 to set up a consultation with us today.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/2/22). Photo by Sergiu Vălenaș on Unsplash