When It's No Longer Wise to Hold On to Wisdom Teeth

Mar 06, 2024
When It's No Longer Wise to Hold On to Wisdom Teeth
In the best case scenario, wisdom teeth come in and take their spots at the back of your mouth without incident. For many, however, this is far from the case, as these late arrivals wreak a bit of havoc.

By the time a child reaches their preteen years, 28 adult teeth should be firmly in place. Then, between the ages of 17 and 25, a third set of molars may come in at the back ends of each row of teeth. 

They’re called wisdom teeth due to their late arrival, when one is supposedly wiser. Not everyone gets these latecomers, but those who do may encounter problems, making removal the best option. In fact, about 5 million Americans get their wisdom teeth removed each year, and this procedure accounts for nearly half of all oral surgeries.

To help you figure out whether it’s no longer wise to hold on to wisdom teeth, the team here at Silverlake Smiles, led by Dr. Juliet Ebrahimian, pulled together a few points to consider. 

Wisdom teeth — three’s a crowd

There may have been a time when humans relied more on the third set of molars at the back of the mouth, but today’s humans don’t need these extra teeth.

In reality, human jaws have shrunk over time thanks to modern eating habits — less tearing and grinding. So, when wisdom teeth come in, they may crowd and displace your existing teeth which makes removing the late arrivals a good idea.

Impaction — when wisdom teeth don’t show up 

As evolution phases out wisdom teeth, the transitional stage can be challenging. For example, many of our patients have us remove wisdom teeth because they don’t erupt or only partially erupt and become impacted in the jaw. 

When this occurs, you can develop infections in your gums or cysts that are painful and threaten neighboring teeth.

Wisdom teeth removal — a matter of hygiene

Another reason why our patients opt for wisdom teeth removal is to prevent future problems with hard-to-reach teeth. Getting back to clean and floss around your third molars can be tricky, which leaves them more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.

So, to eliminate this potential problem, we remove the wisdom teeth before these issues arise.

Getting wisdom teeth removed

If you decide that wisdom teeth are more of a liability than an asset, we can help. We’ve performed scores of wisdom teeth removal procedures, with great success, and we can do the same for you.

Rest assured, the procedure itself isn’t painful, and you won’t feel a thing. You may experience some soreness for a few days afterward, but we provide you with complete aftercare instructions to help you recover quickly.

If you’re not sure whether you should have your wisdom teeth removed, it’s a good idea to come see us for a consultation. To get started, please contact us at our Los Angeles office, which serves the Silver Lake neighborhood and areas of Los Feliz, Atwater Village, Frogtown, and Echo Park.