Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to erupt in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people never develop wisdom teeth. For others, wisdom teeth erupt normally — just as their other molars did — and cause no problems. Many people, however, develop impacted wisdom teeth — teeth that don’t have enough room to erupt into the mouth or grow normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may erupt only partially or not at all.
There can be some advantages to keeping your wisdom teeth. For example, they can provide support for a dental bridge, or fill in the space left by a missing molar.
It is important to consult with your dentist to consider all of the pros and cons of extracting your wisdom teeth. A thorough dental examination, including digital panoramic X-rays must be undertaken to determine candidacy for extraction and the best means to approach the procedure.
It is important to remember that the complication risks associated with extraction for people over 35 are greater than those of younger candidates. People over 50 faced with extraction are at a greater risk of complications because the bone fuses to the teeth as we age. Ultimately, if you wait to remove wisdom teeth until there is cause for medical concern, the risk for all complications increases.