Keeping Wisdom Teeth

When do I get to keep my wisdom teeth?

Keeping Wisdom Teeth
You might want to consider keeping your wisdom teeth after age 40

Keeping your wisdom teeth indefinitely is only possible if your jaw is large enough to fully accommodate your wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth must be able to comfortably fit themselves within your mouth without getting stuck underneath your gums. You must also have proper access to be able to brush and clean them. Consult a dentist or oral surgeon to determine whether keeping wisdom teeth is an option.

There must be enough room for wisdom teeth in your jaws

If you have sufficient room for the wisdom teeth to fully erupt in your jaws, then there might be a chance that you get to keep them. Note that the wisdom teeth must be able to fully come out and not get trapped underneath your gums. You must also have access to properly clean them so they don’t develop a cavity or other problems.

Consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to see if you qualify to keep your wisdom teeth. Keep in mind that this can only happen if your jaw is large enough to fully accommodate your wisdom teeth. The majority of the population doesn’t have enough room in their mouth for this to happen. Experienced dentists and oral surgeons can make an educated guess as to whether keeping wisdom teeth is a good option for you even when they haven’t came out yet. But they don’t always get it right, so be careful and request a second opinion whenever doubtful.

Risks of removing wisdom teeth increases with age

You should seriously consider having problematic wisdom teeth removed when in your teens and twenties. However, once you are past your thirties, the risks of removing these teeth gradually starts to outweigh its benefits. There is more and more things that can go wrong during a wisdom surgery as you get older. Additionally, recovery periods become longer and more painful, and the chances of your wisdom teeth breaking also goes up.

If you haven’t bothered removing your wisdom teeth and you are above 40, then consider keeping wisdom teeth. That is unless they cause you pain or develop an infection. However, removing them as a preventive measure makes less and less sense once you are middle-aged. So unless your wisdom teeth start to become problematic, or if your periodontist or orthodontist specifically requests that you have them removed, then it might be best to just leave them alone.

How much does removing wisdom teeth cost?

Wisdom teeth removal surgery costs much more than removing regular teeth does. This is due to level of difficulty associated with removing your wisdom teeth. Typically the more bone is covering a wisdom tooth, the more costly its removal:

  • Fully erupted wisdom teeth, the ones which are all sticking out all the way, are the least expensive wisdoms to remove.
  • Wisdom teeth which have some of their head showing and some of it is covered with bone (partially impacted) are more expensive to remove.
  • Wisdom teeth which are fully embedded within your jaws (fully impacted) are the most difficult ones to remove. They also happen to be the most expensive wisdom teeth to remove.

Additionally, since most people who have wisdom teeth tend to have four of them, this means that you need to multiply the fee by four (or however many wisdom teeth you have in your mouth). Of course there may also be fees for your consultation, X-rays and anesthesia or sedation. These can all really add up to make wisdom teeth removal quite an expensive surgery.

Does dental insurance cover wisdom teeth removal surgery?

The good news is that most dental insurances do cover a portion or all of your wisdom teeth removal procedure. If you have dental insurance and need your wisdom teeth out, then be sure to set aside one year of your dental benefits to address this issue. It’s always best to take advantage of your dental insurance and remove your wisdom teeth while you still have coverage.

If you don’t have dental insurance, then you must either pay for the treatment in case or obtain financing. As a last resort, consider taking your wisdom teeth out one at a time, starting with the most painful one first and gradually working your way through all of them.

Is it true that removing or keeping wisdom teeth is typically done in pairs?

Opposing wisdom tooth
If you remove your wisdom tooth you must also remove the opposing one

Typically wisdom teeth are removed in pairs. The reason for this is that often times people either have or don’t have enough room for these additional teeth in their mouth. Some people have jaws large enough to accommodate four more teeth. Others have a smaller jaw and can barely fit the teeth they already have, let alone four more! As a result you typically either need to remove all or can keep all of your wisdom teeth.

Additionally, it’s always best to remove your wisdom teeth in pairs. Basically, if you remove one wisdom tooth then you should also remove the opposing one, that is the one located across from it in your opposite jaw. Once a wisdom tooth has been removed, the opposite wisdom starts to slowly move downward into the gap created by removing your wisdom tooth. This phenomenon is referred to as supraeruption and it always happens slowly over the years. A few years later, this opposing wisdom tooth has moved so far from its original position that it now starts to create problems. It begins to trap food, causes gum swelling and can even start hitting on your opposite jaw leading to pain and infection. Consequently, it’s always best to remove your wisdom teeth in pairs to prevent these issues from happening later on.

NEXT >> What are the steps involved in wisdom teeth removal surgery?

What are the instructions I need to follow after removing my wisdom teeth?

What are potential wisdom teeth problems which occur after surgery?

What are wisdom teeth (third molars)?

When do I need to remove my wisdom teeth?

Does it hurt to have my wisdom teeth removed?

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