Wisdom Teeth in West Nyack
What are wisdom teeth?
The Third Molars
We each get three sets of molars during our lifetime, and you probably don’t remember the arrival of the first molars around the age of six. Your second set of molars came around the age of 12. You develop the third molars during the late teens or early twenties. A person becomes wiser as they transition into adulthood, so we refer to the third molars as “wisdom teeth.”
Extraction: The Why
Your mouth was designed to hold 28 teeth, and by the time your wisdom teeth start to grow, those 28 slots are already filled, making it difficult for an additional 4 teeth to grow in properly. As a result, 9 out of 10 people find themselves with at least one impacted wisdom tooth that requires extraction. Even if your wisdom teeth come in properly positioned, they could quite easily become infected and are at risk for cysts and tumors.
What does “impacted” mean?
Good question! Impacted wisdom teeth are not able to fully erupt through the gums. This is a very common condition when it comes to wisdom teeth, and it is the number one reason why wisdom teeth need to be removed. In fact, 90% of people get at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
Timing is Everything
If you’re wondering why you continue to hear about teens and young adults having their wisdom teeth pulled, it’s because there is an optimal opportunity between the ages of 17-25 when the tooth roots haven’t fully formed yet. Once the roots have developed, however, the risk of damaging nearby nerves, bones and teeth is significantly higher.
Does everyone need to get his or her wisdom teeth removed?
No, there are those very rare cases when patients don’t need to have their wisdom teeth removed. From time to time, Dr. Pavone sees a patient whose wisdom teeth appear to have fit nicely in the mouth and don’t need removal. However, these patients’ wisdom teeth are still prone to disease and must be monitored for life.
When is the best time to get wisdom teeth removed?
We recommend having your wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 17-25, before the roots have fully developed and entwined themselves in the nerves located in the jawbone. Waiting makes removal much more complicated. Sometimes removal may be necessary as well, and this is discussed with your referring doctor and Dr. Pavone.
Do all four teeth have to be pulled?
We assess each patient’s oral health thoroughly as we determine the best course of action for each unique case. Sometimes only one or two third molars need to be removed.
Wisdom Teeth Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.