For many of us, our third molars (or “wisdom teeth”) can cause problems in our mouths as they emerge, especially if they are impacted, incorrectly positioned or begin crowding other teeth in the mouth. Wisdom teeth are frequently extracted as a preventative measure in young adults age 13-20 because they are easier to remove before the roots have taken hold. But what happens if they start causing problems into adulthood? What if you need to remove your wisdom teeth later in life?
The good news is that under the care of a good oral surgeon, adults of all ages may have their wisdom teeth removed with few complications, if any. However, there are a few additional considerations for having these teeth removed later in life. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect.
Longer Recovery Times
As an adult, your wisdom teeth have taken root, which means it may cause a bit more trauma in the jaw to remove them. As such, it may take you longer to recover than your younger counterparts, especially if the teeth are impacted. Your oral surgeon will give you a realistic time frame as to how to prepare.
Increased Risk of Infection
Adult wisdom tooth extraction is by its nature a bit more invasive than the same procedure in a young adult. As a result, your oral surgeon may monitor you more closely for the risk of infection. If you experience fever, swelling or prolonged pain in the days following the extraction, talk to your doctor.
Risk of Nerve Damage
Due to the deep roots of wisdom teeth, in some cases (not all), certain patients may have an increased risk of damage to nerves during the extraction process. If this is a particular risk factor with you, your surgeon will discuss the ramifications of the procedure and its risks so you can make an informed decision together.
Despite these potential complications, many oral surgeons may still recommend extracting your wisdom teeth later in life as an alternative to further pain and infection risks. The vast majority of older adults experience few or no complications from the procedure. However, due to the additional risk factors, it’s important to have this extraction performed by an established oral surgeon with years of successful experience. To learn more about what to expect with wisdom teeth extraction, call Riverside Oral & Facial Surgery today at 706-235-5570.