ZocdocAnswersHow do I know when my wisdom teeth should be removed?

Question

How do I know when my wisdom teeth should be removed?

I am 23 and I have a lot of friends who had their wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 16 and 21. My wisdom teeth are already in the process of growing, but they aren?t causing me any pain or discomfort at all. Is it really necessary to go through all that pain and spend all that money to have them removed? I feel like I?m getting too old to still have them, as everybody else I know had them removed early on. I did have a few teeth removed as a child and I?m wondering if that might play a role.

Answer

It sounds like in your situation the best thing to do is see your dentist for a consultation (maybe in conjunction with an annual tooth cleaning!). Some people do have room in their jaw for wisdom teeth, and you might be one of those people. There is no hard and fast rule that wisdom teeth must be removed, but in the majority of cases, people do not have enough room in their jaw for those teeth to come in without causing overcrowding and problems with an aligned bite. In addition, it is typically quite unusual for wisdom teeth to erupt straight or in alignment with the other teeth. In many cases, they might come in crooked or at an angle which can be very disruptive to the other teeth. This is why most people do have them removed. However, although less common, it is not unheard of for wisdom teeth to erupt slightly later or for some fortunate people to have room in their jaw to accommodate them (if they come in properly). Therefore, the best way to figure this out is scheduling an appointment to your dentist, who will be able to examine you, likely with x-rays to make sure the roots of the wisdom teeth aren't causing problems. Good luck!

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