Understanding When Wisdom Teeth Should Be Removed

Published On: March 18, 2024

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the back of the mouth. They typically appear during the late teens or early twenties, marking the transition into adulthood. However, wisdom teeth can often cause problems, leading to a common question among dental patients: When should wisdom teeth be removed? In this article, we will delve into the topic and provide you with a comprehensive guide to understanding the timing and necessity of wisdom teeth removal.

The Purpose and Function of Wisdom Teeth

To comprehend the significance of wisdom teeth removal, it is essential to understand the purpose and function of these molars. Wisdom teeth were once vital for our ancestors, who consumed a diet consisting of rougher foods like roots and meats. Their extra set of molars helped with chewing and grinding down this tough diet. However, over time, our diet has evolved, and modern jaws have become smaller, often resulting in insufficient space for wisdom teeth to grow properly.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth and Their Consequences

One of the main reasons wisdom teeth can cause problems is because they often become impacted. This happens when there is not enough room in the jaw for the teeth to fully emerge or grow at the correct angle. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to various complications, including infection, cyst formation, damage to neighboring teeth, and misalignment of the bite. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth may include pain, swelling, difficulty opening the mouth, and unpleasant breath.

Timing of Wisdom Teeth Removal

The timing of wisdom teeth removal is crucial to prevent potential complications. Traditionally, dentists often recommended preemptive removal during the late teens or early twenties, before the wisdom teeth had fully formed. The logic behind this approach was that younger patients tend to have less dense bone and quicker healing capacity. Additionally, the roots of the wisdom teeth are not fully developed at this stage, making the extraction process easier and less invasive.

Individual Factors to Consider

While there was a time when preemptive removal was the norm, it is important to note that each case is unique and should be evaluated individually. Factors such as the position, alignment, and health of the wisdom teeth, as well as the patient’s overall oral health, should be taken into consideration. Some individuals may never experience any issues with their wisdom teeth and may not require removal at all. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays can help dentists determine the best course of action.

Indications for Wisdom Teeth Removal

While some patients may not require wisdom teeth removal, certain indications suggest extraction is necessary. These may include recurrent infections, pain, damage to adjacent teeth, cyst formation, gum disease, and orthodontic concerns. Addressing these signs promptly can prevent further complications and preserve the patient’s oral health.


The decision of when wisdom teeth should be removed depends on various factors, including the individual’s specific case and indications for removal. It is crucial to consult with a dental professional who can assess your situation and provide personalized guidance. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to your wisdom teeth or have concerns about their development, consult with the experts at Renova Smiles. Their experienced team can provide you with the necessary care and support, ensuring your oral health remains optimal for a lifetime.