My lower left wisdom tooth is beginning to hurt, and I am 53 years old. I scheduled an appointment with my dentist for an exam. I know if the tooth is impacted that she will refer me to an oral surgeon. Is age 53 high risk for wisdom tooth extraction. Is there a risk of jawbone damage or breaking? Six years ago, a surgeon removed my right upper and lower wisdom teeth. I regret declining to have them all removed. I want this all behind me because I am scheduled to begin Invisalign treatment in June. Thank you for your reply. Sunshine from TN
42 is not too old to have your wisdom teeth removed. Although extractions earlier in life have a lower risk of complications, if the tooth is getting painful, it is probably infected. And removing the tooth is your only option. Delaying treatment for an infected tooth will create more long-term problems.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If your teeth are impacted or the roots are deep, it is best for an oral surgeon to perform the extractions. But is unlikely that you will have any jawbone damage or breaks. Of course, any surgeon will ask you to sign a consent form that lists every possible risk. But surgeons must protect themselves legally. Your oral surgeon will explain the risks based on your case.
Remove Wisdom Teeth in Pairs
Although your lower left wisdom tooth is hurting, it is best to remove the upper left one also. It will eliminate the chance of complications in the upper tooth later. And leaving the upper tooth creates an uneven bite that can lead to complications with other teeth.
Risks of Not Removing Wisdom Teeth
If you decide not to remove your remaining wisdom teeth, be aware of the risks. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons list the following risks of
- Damage to neighboring teeth
- Cysts, abscesses, or tumors
- Cavities your dentist cannot restore
- Infection or periodontal disease
Be sure to keep your exam appointment with your dentist so you can get the treatment you need. Delayed wisdom tooth extraction can lead to a flare-up that interrupts your Invisalign treatment.
Rekha Reddy, DDS, of Dallas, TX, sponsors this post.