Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

May 16, 2008

Am I too old to have my wisdom teeth out?

Filed under: Wisdom teeth — mesasmiles @ 7:39 pm

Dr. Hall,
I am a 31-year-old woman and my lower right wisdom tooth started to bother me a few days ago. I made an appointment with an oral surgeon for a consult. I was wondering what are the risk of extraction surgery for my age? Can my jaw bone get damaged or even break? I had my upper left wisdom tooth removed in emergency about 4 years ago but i was never told that the others needed to be removed. I hope I am not ” too old ” to get this done. And my last questions is can they remove all 3 remaining teeth at the same time? Thanks in advance for your help
Fran in Virginia

No, I wouldn’t say you’re too old at all to have the rest of your wisdom teeth out. And, if the wisdom tooth is bothering you, that means it’s probably infected, and you don’t have much choice anyway. An infected wisdom tooth can become life-threatening if it isn’t taken care of, so I wouldn’t put off getting it taken care of.

Yes, it would have been better to have had them out at age 18-25, but the chances for complications still aren’t a lot. I didn’t start to get concerned until people were over 40. You’re very unlikely to have your jawbone get damaged or break. Now they will give you a scary consent form to sign with a list of absolutely every possible thing that could go wrong, but this is because they have to protect themselves in today’s legal climate. The chances of any of these bad things happening are pretty remote.

And yes, I would have the rest of them all out at the same time. It’s so much easier that way, and then you have them done. Don’t wait any longer–it doesn’t get any easier. The next time one of these bothers you, you may be over 40 and then the chances for complications will be that much worse.

Dr. Hall

Related links:
Wisdom teeth removal
Dry socket
Tooth infection

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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