90% of people today get their wisdom teeth removed and it seems that wisdom teeth removal is just a “rite of passage”. But is it true that all wisdom teeth have to be removed?
Most of us have 4 wisdom teeth, although some people are born without wisdom teeth and some have extras. Officially known as third molars, wisdom teeth are visible on x-rays between approximately 10-12 years of age and should be checked around the age of 16.
The number one reason that wisdom teeth need to be removed is because there isn’t enough room in the mouth. This usually causes them wisdom teeth to remain fully or partially unerupted.
If the wisdom teeth remain trapped deep in the bone, they are referred to as impacted and, most of the time, require extraction. If they are visible in the mouth but don’t have enough room to come through all the way, they are classified as partially impacted. Partially impacted wisdom teeth almost always need to be removed because they cannot be cared for properly and they are more susceptible to decay and gum disease. In both of these cases, Dr Mehta will usually refer you to an Oral Surgeon for these extractions to be carried out.
So when should you keep your wisdom teeth? If they have plenty of room, are healthy and are not causing the rest of your teeth to become crooked, then wisdom teeth should be kept.