Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars at the very back of your mouth. They are usually the last molars to come in and typically appear between the ages of 17 and 21 years old. Some people keep their wisdom teeth their entire lives, while others have them removed.
Reasons for removing wisdom teeth include:
- Cause of pain or infection
- Crowding other teeth
- Getting stuck (impacted) and can't break through the gums
- Growing at an angle
Wisdom teeth should be checked between the ages of 16-19 years old. Removal before the age of 20 may be better tolerated because the bones and roots of the teeth aren't yet fully formed and healing tends to be quicker when young.
At the extraction, a local or general anesthetic is administered, depending on whether one or all the wisdom teeth are to be removed at the same time. The dentist then makes an incision in the gums and extracts the tooth (or teeth). The gums are stitched back together and allowed to heal.