Wisdom Teeth Removal and Older Adults

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If you are an older adult with wisdom teeth issues, you shouldn't be afraid to have them removed if needed. Though most dentists prefer to remove them while people are young, you can still have the procedure even if you are older. However, when you are older, you may have a more difficult experience with wisdom teeth removal. Here are some reasons for wisdom teeth removal in older adults and what to expect.

What are wisdom teeth and why do people get them?

There is nothing special about wisdom teeth. They are basically your third and final molar. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt if they erupt at all. Most people have them by the time they are 25 years old. Some wisdom teeth never erupt above the gum line.

Why do dentists remove wisdom teeth when young?

The modern human jaw is much smaller than in the past. Sometimes, it cannot accommodate the third molar, so its eruption can cause problems. Younger patients have less bone density, and the roots are not fully formed. Therefore, wisdom teeth are easier to extract.

Why do dentists remove wisdom teeth in older adults?

If you've kept your wisdom teeth, then you will likely not need them removed until they cause a problem. Many dentists will remove them if they need extensive restoration, like a root canal or crown. You may also need them removed if they crash into your other teeth. However, since you have full-formed roots possibly situated near a nerve, the extraction is more complicated.

What should one expect during wisdom teeth removal?

You will receive anaesthesia during the procedure. It can be local, sedation or general, depending on your comfort. The surgeon will cut into the gums and any bone tissue that blocks the tooth. They may also cut up the tooth and remove the pieces. In the end, the surgeon stitches up or seals the wound.

What kinds of complications can older adults expect?

Older adults may take longer to heal from wisdom tooth extraction compared to their younger counterparts. You will need to eat soft food and rest for a few days to allow the healing process to take effect. You may also need to take anti-inflammatory pain killers to reduce pain and swelling.

If you retained your wisdom teeth but have had problems, you can have them removed at any age. Don't let any infected or damaged tooth stay in your mouth. If you don't treat the problem, you could end up with serious complications. See your dentist regularly to catch problems early. If the dentist says you have wisdom teeth that are unsavable, have them removed.