If your wisdom teeth have started causing pain or creating other problems, having them removed is an option. While most people have these teeth removed in their twenties shortly after they come in, you haven’t missed the boat if you still have yours. So long as you’re healthy enough for surgery, you can have your wisdom teeth removed at any age. The process gets a bit more complicated as you age, but a Highland Park IL dentist can help you with wisdom tooth issues at any time.
Is Younger Better?
Many people believe that having your wisdom teeth removed when you’re younger is a bit easier, and they’re right. Younger bodies are more resilient and tend to heal more quickly than older ones. The age of the teeth themselves also plays a role. Newly erupted wisdom teeth tend to have small, short roots. These smaller roots usually haven’t had time to wrap around jaw bones or grow large enough to encroach on nerves and other anatomical structures. This makes it easier for a dentist in Highland Park IL to remove them. There is no age limit or cut off, however, and you can have the teeth removed whenever you like.
It’s important to remember that all surgeries carry some risk, including wisdom tooth removal. Your bones become more rigid and brittle as you age, so your dentist in Deerfield IL may need to remove some additional tissue along with your wisdom teeth and may create more surgical trauma while doing so. This lengthens your healing time a bit and may necessitate a few more days of over-the-counter pain medication than what you would have needed in your younger years. Longer and more fully developed wisdom tooth roots, too, can add to your healing time.
Older patients also experience an increased risk of nerve damage during wisdom tooth removal. As the roots of your wisdom teeth get longer, they grow closer to nerves in your jaw. This increases the risk of nerve injury or damage during tooth removal. It’s important to visit a skilled Highland Park IL dentist who can minimize this risk. Dry sockets, too, are more likely in older patients but proper aftercare at home greatly minimizes the risk of this issue.
Reasons to Extract
Knowing the risks of having your wisdom teeth removed later in life may give you pause and leave you wondering whether you should skip your visit to your dentist in Highland Park IL. There are, however, many compelling reasons to have your wisdom teeth removed. Crowded wisdom teeth may cause your other teeth to shift and move, interfering with your bite and causing headaches along with other issues. Wisdom teeth that break through your gums but fail to finish coming in leave you susceptible to bacteria and infection. An infection in your gums can reach your bloodstream and travel anywhere in your body, causing problems with vital organs like your heart or kidneys.
If you’re considering having your wisdom teeth removed after keeping them for many years, it’s probably because you or your dentist have spotted a problem with them. Don’t let age stop you from visiting your dentist in Deerfield IL and having the issue fixed. You deserve a healthy, pain-free smile at every age.