Wisdom teeth: even a mere mention of the phrase alone is enough to cause worry. This oft-dreaded onset of becoming more “wise” is the very last set of teeth to emerge in your mouth (and, with any luck, you’ll have more wisdom under your belt when they do).
Most people get their wisdom teeth (i.e., a third set of molars) somewhere around 18–21, but that experience can vary drastically from one person to the next. Some wisdom teeth appear without us even realizing it, and others cause so much pain that you couldn’t possibly ignore their presence.
If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, discomfort, or are showing signs of decay, these are obvious reasons to schedule an appointment for an extraction. But what happens when your wisdom teeth come in, and you don’t have any negative symptoms? Should you still get them removed?
There’s a good amount of debate on the subject, and it’s helpful to know the pros and cons before you decide. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of getting your wisdom teeth removed:
Advantages to Wisdom Tooth Removal
You’ll be more likely to heal quicker. Getting your wisdom teeth out early means that you would ideally be able to catch them as soon as possible. As a result, your body’s natural healing processes will be in better shape, making for a quicker recovery overall. Healing from wisdom teeth removal will be less painful (and take less time) for a 24-year-old than a 44-year-old, for instance.
You can get ahead of the problem sooner. Wisdom teeth cause overcrowding in your mouth. This not only causes pain and discomfort, but it can also push your teeth closer together and offset their alignment. If you’ve spent years in braces as a young adult, that progress could be backtracked by the onset of wisdom teeth. Even if they aren’t painful, removing them can be a good way to preserve the alignment of your teeth (and avoid another round of braces later on).
Disadvantages to Wisdom Tooth Removal
You may not ever need to remove them. Wisdom tooth pain could come right away, years later, or never at all. It’s hard to predict whether your wisdom teeth will cause issues down the line, making it impossible to determine if preemptive surgery is medically necessary. A 2012 study by Cochrane Oral Health came up inconclusive as to whether it was worthwhile for asymptomatic wisdom teeth to be removed, further extending the gray area on whether it’s a beneficial precaution.
You could be scheduling a significant dental procedure. Depending on how your wisdom teeth are shaped, you could either be looking at a simple extraction or a surgery. Wisdom teeth with short, straight roots are relatively easy to remove, but teeth with long, curved roots may require surgery even without symptoms. If you aren’t experiencing any adverse symptoms, you could be elected for a significant procedure and recovery time.
Wisdom Tooth Removal at Blue Island Smiles
Deciding to remove wisdom teeth before you start experiencing symptoms is completely up to you. No matter what you choose, Blue Island Smiles is here to help! Give us a call or schedule a consultation today. We’ll sit down with you and weigh your options—including the pros and cons—to help you make the best decision for your oral health.