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Do Your Teenager’s Wisdom Teeth Really Have to Come Out?

November 7, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — altitudeofs @ 8:08 am
Dentist examining X-ray before wisdom teeth removal in Denver

Teenagers and young adults go through many rites of passage: getting a driver’s license, graduating from high school, heading off to college or starting their first job. However, there is one common rite of passage that is less glamorous than the others – getting their wisdom teeth removed! Approximately 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted from 5 million people each year in the United States, according to research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Should your teenage son or daughter be next? Keep reading to learn about wisdom teeth removal in Denver and when it’s recommended.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars on each side of the jaws. Unlike most permanent teeth, which grow in when we are still quite young, wisdom teeth typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. In many cases, these late arriving teeth can be a source of major trouble.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

By the time wisdom teeth arrive, there typically is not a lot of space left in the mouth to accommodate them. For this reason, wisdom teeth often grow in at a sideways angle, become trapped beneath the gums or only partially erupt through the gums. Wisdom teeth that have trouble growing in straight are called “impacted”. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of serious problems, such as:

  • Painful crowding
  • Bite alignment problems
  • Sinus issues
  • Higher risks of oral infections
  • Facial swelling
  • Gum inflammation

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Need to Be Removed?

If your teenager’s wisdom teeth erupt in an upright and functional position and do not cause any pain, then they may not need to have them removed. However, you should not wait until your son or daughter starts complaining about jaw pain to take them to their dentist. Teeth removed before age 20 have less developed roots and fewer complications. For this reason, the American Dental Association recommends scheduling a wisdom teeth evaluation for adolescents between ages 16 and 19.  

Wisdom Teeth Removal in Denver: What to Expect

If your child’s dentist does recommend wisdom teeth removal, there are a few things you should know.

First, plan on driving your son or daughter to and from their oral surgery in Denver. Local anesthesia or sedatives are typically used to ensure the procedure is painless. It is unsafe for an individual to drive while the aftereffects of sedation or anesthesia are still wearing off.  

In addition, you should be aware that some slight swelling is not uncommon after wisdom teeth removal. However, the dentist should provide clear aftercare advice and prescription painkillers if needed.

Remember, this common oral surgery is performed on millions of teenagers and young adults each year in the U.S. You can play it safe and potentially save your son or daughter from future dental pain and other problems by scheduling a wisdom tooth consultation before the end of the year.

About the Author

An experienced oral surgeon, Dr. Brian Fangman excels at removing tricky wisdom teeth before they can cause too much trouble. He leads that talented team at Altitude Oral Maxillofacial Implant Center, which has four convenient locations in the Denver area. To schedule wisdom tooth removal surgery or to learn more, visit the Altitude Oral Maxillofacial Implant Center website or call Dr. Fangman at 720-328-4990.

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