It’s a question that many people ask: what age is too old for wisdom teeth removal? The answer, it turns out, is not as clear-cut as you might think.
In fact, there are a number of factors to consider when it comes to wisdom teeth removal at an advanced age. In this blog post, we will explore those factors and help you make the best decision for your health!
What is a wisdom tooth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. They are so-named because they typically erupt during a time in life when people are considered to be “wiser” than they were as children.
While wisdom teeth used to be considered a necessary part of the dental lineup, modern dentistry has led to their removal becoming increasingly common.
This is because wisdom teeth can often cause problems as they try to come in. They may become impacted, meaning they get stuck and can’t erupt fully, or they may come in at an angle that crowds or damages other teeth.
For these reasons, many dentists now recommend that wisdom teeth be removed before they have a chance to cause problems. You can talk to an expert about wisdom teeth removal in Sydney at Putney Dental Care.
What is the best age for wisdom teeth removal?
There is no definitive answer to this question. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) strongly recommends that “third molars
be evaluated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon by the time a patient is a young adult in order to assess the presence of third molars, disease status, and to suggest management options ranging from removal to a monitored retention plan to ensure optimal patient-specific outcomes.”
This means it’s recommended that wisdom teeth be removed “before they cause problems,” but the AAOMS does not give a specific age at which this should happen.
Many dentists recommend that wisdom teeth be removed as soon as they start to come in, usually around age 18. Others may wait until a person is in their early twenties, when wisdom teeth are more fully developed and easier to remove.
There is also no wrong time to have wisdom teeth removed. If you have wisdom teeth that are causing problems, such as pain, crowding, or infection, your dentist may recommend removing them even if you are older than 20.
What age is too old for wisdom teeth removal?
There is no definitive answer to this question either. As we mentioned above, the AAOMS recommends that wisdom teeth be removed before they cause problems, but they do not give a specific age at which this should happen.
Many dentists remove wisdom teeth even after patients hit 50 years of age, providing the procedure is still considered safe, effective, and needed.
In general, wisdom teeth removal becomes more complicated and riskier the older a person gets, so it is important to weigh the risks and benefits of the procedure before making a decision.
What are the risks of waiting to remove wisdom teeth?
There are a few risks associated with waiting to remove wisdom teeth, or with removing them at an advanced age. These risks include:
- Complications from surgery: The older you are, the higher your risk of complications from any kind of surgery. This includes things like bleeding, infection, and nerve damage. In case of wisdom teeth removal, the older you are, the harder your bones will be. This means the surgeon will have to work harder to remove the teeth, which could lead to complications.
- Anaesthesia risks: Any time you undergo surgery, there is a risk of complications from anaesthesia. This risk increases with age.
- Recovery time: It generally takes longer for older adults to recover from wisdom teeth removal than it does for younger people. This is because older adults generally have slower healing times and may be more susceptible to complications like infection.
What are the benefits of waiting to remove wisdom teeth?
There are many risks associated with waiting to remove wisdom teeth but there’s one important benefit as well. And that is you get to avoid surgery. Keep in mind that for some people, wisdom teeth cause no problems at all. And there’s no scientific benefit of removing wisdom teeth that aren’t causing complications.
So if you wait to remove your wisdom teeth until you’re older, you may be able to avoid surgery altogether.
However, this might be a risky approach, especially when done without consulting a dentist. So it’s always best to speak with your dentist about the best course of action for you.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth removal is typically done by an oral surgeon. The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthesia, which numbs the area around the teeth. In some cases, sedation may also be used to help a person relax during the procedure.
The surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the teeth. They will then remove the teeth. In some cases, the surgeon may need to cut the teeth into smaller pieces to make them easier to remove.
Once the teeth have been removed, the surgeon will close the incisions with stitches. The whole procedure usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
Keep in mind that in some cases, wisdom teeth may not be able to be removed. This can happen if the teeth are too close to a nerve or if the patient has a bleeding disorder or high blood sugar. In these cases, your dentist may recommend monitoring the teeth or taking steps to prevent complications.
What is the recovery time for wisdom teeth removal?
Recovery time after wisdom teeth removal varies from person to person. In most cases, people can expect to feel some pain and swelling for a few days after the procedure. It’s important to take pain medication as prescribed and to ice the area to help reduce swelling.
Most people can return to their normal activities within a few days. However, it’s important to avoid strenuous activity for at least a week to give the area time to heal.
It’s also important to keep the area clean. Be sure to resume brushing and flossing 24 hours after the surgery (but be gentle around the surgical wound).
So as you can see, there is really no maximum age for wisdom teeth removal. But in general, the procedure becomes riskier as you get older, so most dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal during teenage years.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to you and your dentist. Be sure to consult with your dentist about the best course of action for you.
For more helpful information regarding dental health, check out our post on Dental Health In Your 50s, 60s, 70s: What You Should Know.