Am I Too Old for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

African American man holding the side of his face portraying the need wisdom teeth removal in adults

I’ve had some lower left jaw pain for the past two months, and last week it got so bad that I scheduled an emergency appointment with my dentist. I could not tell where the pain was coming from, but after an exam and x-ray, my dentist said that the issue was with my wisdom tooth. I am 44 years old, and she recommends removing all my wisdom teeth because I may have complications with the others later. Is this necessary? Thank you. Jason from New Mexico


Dr. Sirin would need to review your x-rays to see the condition of your other wisdom teeth. But we will give you some guidelines on wisdom teeth removal for adults.

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Necessary for Mature Adults?

If you are a mature adult and your wisdom teeth have not erupted, the risk of wisdom teeth complications increases as we age. A dentist should have recommended removing them when you are in your early 20s.

Three Advantages of Wisdom Teeth Removal in Your 20s

Wisdom teeth removal is easier when you are in your 20s for these reasons:

  1. Your tooth roots are not fully formed.
  2. The Jawbone is less rigid than when you are older.
  3. Tooth removal and recovery are more manageable.

Are You Too Old for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Although removing wisdom teeth when you are younger is easier, it is wise to remove all of them if you have complications at any age.

  • It completes treatment one surgery instead of four.
  • You can avoid a crisis or dental emergency.
  • Your upper wisdom teeth are easier to extract than lower teeth.
  • Your discomfort will not increase much, and your healing time will be the same. Discomfort decreases during the first week, and your gums heal in two to three weeks.

When Don’t You Need Wisdom Teeth Removed?

You probably do not need wisdom teeth removed when all the following is true:

  • You are symptom free.
  • The position of the teeth is not affecting other teeth.
  • No teeth show signs of infection.
  • The location of the teeth is not affecting your oral hygiene or oral health.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons emphasizes that pain-free wisdom teeth are not necessarily disease free. You can avoid future untimely issues with your wisdom teeth by getting them all removed during one surgery.

Dr. Steven Sirin, an Elgin, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post. Dr. Sirin and his team cater to patients with dental anxiety.

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