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Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

Model of a mouth showing wisdom teeth.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

By the time we reach our teenage years, nearly all of our permanent teeth should be in place. Wisdom teeth are usually the last holdouts. Wisdom teeth are often extracted to avoid further problems, but not always. So how do you know if you can keep your wisdom teeth? This guide can help you determine whether your wisdom teeth need to come out.

Does Everyone Get Wisdom Teeth?

Most people get their wisdom teeth between the age of 17 and 25. However, some people are born without wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the most common congenitally missing teeth. Those born without wisdom teeth have it easy – there’s no need to worry about whether they need to be extracted! For the rest of us, it can be a more difficult question. Some people have enough space in their jaw so that wisdom teeth can erupt without any issues, while many others will experience problems if wisdom teeth are not removed.

What Problems Can Wisdom Teeth Cause?

Wisdom teeth can cause problems in several ways. Sometimes, wisdom teeth become impacted. It they don’t have enough room to fully develop or erupt, they become trapped in your gums or jawbone. Not only can this be painful, it can lead to infection and other issues. Even if wisdom teeth do not become impacted, they can negatively impact your mouth in other ways. They can cause overcrowding and increase the risk of decay and infection. Wisdom teeth can push other teeth out of alignment.

How Do I Know if I Can Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

At Prestige Family Dentistry, we take regular X-rays to check on the development of our patients’ wisdom teeth. This way, we can estimate when wisdom teeth will erupt and whether they’re likely to cause problems. In most cases, if we project that wisdom teeth will cause issues, we recommend removing them prior to eruption. Removal in advance is also usually easier, since the roots are not developed. It’s also easier to get your wisdom teeth removed when you are a teenager or young adult instead of later in life. To ask our team any questions or to schedule an appointment, call our Flower Mound, TX team today!

Prestige Family Dentistry