Reasons to Remove Wisdom Teeth
Your oral surgeon likely wouldn’t recommend removing your wisdom teeth later in life unless they are causing problems. If they didn’t erupt properly, they might exert pressure on the adjacent teeth and cause misalignments. Or, impaction might lead to an abscess, which is a pocket of infected pus. Another reason to remove your wisdom teeth is to create enough space to maintain good oral hygiene. It’s difficult to brush and floss thoroughly if there is very little space between the molars.
Risks of Surgery Later in Life
In the hands of a skilled oral surgeon, wisdom tooth extraction isn’t terribly risky. However, the risk does increase slightly with age. This is because older adults have fully formed molar roots. Fully formed roots are more difficult to remove. If they’re located close to a nerve, there is a risk of nerve damage. Adults also face a longer recovery time because of this, especially if the teeth were impacted.
Steps to Take to Prepare
Another difference between wisdom tooth extraction in early adulthood compared to extraction later in life is that older adults are more likely to have other health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. Tell the oral surgeon about all of your medical conditions, as well as your medications and supplements. Your surgeon may ask you to discontinue certain medications temporarily, such as blood-thinners.
Considerations for Your Recovery
You’ll need someone to drive you home after your procedure. The recovery for adults can take a little longer, so take a few days off work. This is particularly important if you have a customer-facing job, as your face will swell up for a while.