Many patients choose to pursue wisdom tooth extraction as a precaution against the complications that can arise from impacted wisdom teeth, like discomfort, cysts, infections and damage to surrounding teeth. However, some people understandably may be reluctant to consider a surgical procedure when their wisdom teeth are not causing any trouble. If you choose to keep your wisdom teeth, here are some of the considerations that you might take into account in making that decision.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict precisely when—if ever—your impacted wisdom teeth may start to cause troublesome symptoms. An oral surgeon can evaluate your case and give you an idea of how susceptible you might be to developing issues with your wisdom teeth at some point. However, if you delay extraction, you could experience significant oral health consequences as well as bothersome symptoms. For example, an abscess in an impacted wisdom tooth may not merely compromise your smile. Its bacteria could enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, creating a potentially serious systemic infection.
Additionally, the patient’s age makes a difference in the nature of the procedure as well as influencing the recovery process. It is easier for the oral surgeon to remove the wisdom teeth in patients who are younger than their mid-twenties because the roots are shorter and not as solidly anchored in the jaw. As a result, younger patients typically recuperate more quickly after wisdom tooth extraction. Older patients can still be candidates for wisdom tooth extraction, but the procedure is more complex and the recovery period longer if you decide to hold off on extraction initially.
Ultimately, you have to make the choice that is best for your particular situation, but we strongly encourage you to have an evaluation if your wisdom teeth appear to be impacted. Even if you eventually decide against extraction, it’s important to do so after considering all of the information that you can access. Call our office at Central Oklahoma Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates to schedule your appointment.