why remove wisdom teeth in older adults
Can You Be Too Old To Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed? Ideally, you should have your wisdom teeth removed before your mid-20s. But if you are an adult and thinking about having your wisdom teeth removed, don't fret. It is possible to remove wisdom teeth at any age. Why Dentists Recommend Wisdom Teeth Removal At A Younger Age There are several that put older individuals at risk for complications from wisdom teeth extraction. Older adults' wisdom teeth roots are more fully formed. Their bone density is higher. They also heal more slowly. Many dentists believe the optimal age for wisdom teeth extraction is between 16 and 24. It's a good idea to wait until you're at least 18 to have the surgery to allow two-thirds of the root to develop. If the tooth is underdeveloped, it will prove much more difficult to manipulate during the surgery. Of course, everyone's teeth are unique. Your roots may not be two-thirds of the way developed until age 24. The upper end of the ideal range for wisdom teeth extraction is 24 as the risk for complications rises in subsequent years. Adults 25 and older have a higher chance of
in the post-surgical recovery process. Some oral surgeons are adamant that the extraction process is more difficult when the patient is beyond the optimal age range of 16-24. What Risks Do Older Adults Face? Recent studies have determined that older individuals endure higher rates of complications during wisdom teeth extraction and recovery. Examples of such complications include dry sockets, nerve damage and root fracture.
A involving more than 4,000 patients who had wisdom teeth extracted determined the risk of complication for individuals over the age of 25 was 1. 5 times higher than that of younger patients. In general, the incidence of complications heightens with each year of age. However, leaving the wisdom teeth in place could prove more problematic than having them removed. If you donвt have them removed, you could like tooth decay, cysts and tumors and more. Want to know what to expect with your wisdom teeth extraction surgery? Download our free Wisdom Teeth Removal Timeline below. Source: Web exclusive: May 2011 What are wisdom teeth? You have three molars on each side of your upper and lower jaws, for a total of 12. The wisdom teeth are third in line, right at the back. You may not have all four wisdom teeth; according to Dr. Curtis Gregoire, assistant professor in the faculty of dentistry at the University of Dalhousie, about 30 percent of people are missing one or more. Why might I need to have my wisdom teeth removed? Often, wisdom teeth don t grow in properly. A tooth is impacted if it s prevented from reaching its normal position (say, by obstruction from tissue or another tooth). Impacted teeth can cause problems with chewing or periodontal problems and damage adjacent teeth. A tooth can be partially impacted it has broken through the surface of the gums but can t grow into a normal position. Dentists can determine which teeth won t grow in properly. Impacted wisdom teeth may hurt, and they can develop, infections or periodontal disease.
It s often when these problems arise (as well as during regular dental exams) that people realize they need to have their wisdom teeth extracted, says Dr. Gregoire. Some people never need surgery their wisdom teeth grow into proper position, or the teeth stay in the jawbone and don t cause problems. Others don t need surgery as young adults, but their wisdom teeth may cause problems later in life. When should I have my wisdom teeth removed? In general, it s best to have wisdom teeth taken out between ages 16 and 22, says Dr. Gregoire. Like other teeth, wisdom teeth develop in the jawbone. The crown of each tooth is formed first, and it s pushed up when the root of the tooth develops. In young adults, the formation of the root is not complete, so there are fewer complications and risks. What s the extraction procedure? You ll be sedated (typically with intravenous anaesthetic). Once you re comfortable, the dentist administers a local anaesthetic. The surgery takes 20 to 30 minutes. Afterward, you ll spend time in the recovery room. Ask a family member or friend to take you home. Recovery time depends on your age and the degree of tooth impaction; for younger patients, the swelling and discomfort may last three to five days. Your dental professional may prescribe pain medication. What are the risks of wisdom tooth removal? You may feel added discomfort if one of the blood clots that form in your tooth sockets post-surgery becomes dislodged this is called dry socket and is the most common complication ( are more prone to this).
And, as with any surgery, there s a risk of infection. The most serious potential problem with wisdom teeth extraction is nerve injury. Over time, the roots of your wisdom teeth will become fully developed and your jawbone denser. The older you get, the more difficult the surgery is. There s a nerve in the jawbone below the roots of the teeth, and the main risk is injury to that nerve, which can cause numbness in the lower lip, says Dr. Gregoire. Roots grow down toward the nerve, so that risk is somewhat higher if the tooth is impacted with a fully formed root. The risk is extremely low if the roots are not formed. Is there an age when it s too late to have wisdom tooth surgery? It s not uncommon for impacted teeth to become symptomatic when people are in their 30s, 40s or 50s, says Dr. Gregoire, who regularly sees older adults for wisdom tooth removal. There s no age limit, but as you get older, the surgery is more difficult, recovery is more difficult and the risk of complications is higher. If your dentist recommends surgery, don t wait. Dr. Gregoire often sees patients who have cavities in their impacted teeth and the adjacent teeth, which may also have to be pulled. I see cases like that every week, he says. People put it off and put it off, and they end up losing eight molars instead of four. Don t miss out! and get nutritious recipes, healthy weight-loss tips, easy ways to stay in shape and all the health news you need, delivered straight to your inbox.
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