Are You too Old for Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Are you one of the people who made it well into adulthood without having to worry about your wisdom teeth? Do you suddenly have pain or swelling from what seems like where your wisdom tooth would be? It could be caused by an impacted tooth, infection, or even a cyst.

Getting wisdom teeth removed is something that typically occurs during the teen or early college years. But that doesn’t stop your third molars from developing. The truth is that a wisdom tooth usually isn’t completely formed until you’re closer to somewhere around 30 years of age. 

Should I Get My Wisdom Tooth Extracted?

Your wisdom teeth are typically what we refer to as a non-functional tooth. They’re located so far back in your mouth and may not even have a biting partner. Essentially, you don’t need them to have a balanced diet or to speak clearly.


The bad news is that erupted, partially impacted, and fully impacted wisdom teeth are highly prone to negative side effects. Their location makes oral hygiene practically impossible. As a result, they easily develop tooth decay and gum disease. Eruption cysts are also common inside of the bone.

It’s not just a wisdom tooth that deserves your attention. The healthy teeth adjacent to them are also in jeopardy. So instead of trying to treat active disease in wisdom teeth (to preserve them) it’s better overall (for the rest of your teeth) to just have them taken out.

We recommend getting your wisdom teeth extracted if:

  • You’re in pain
  • The tooth is partially erupted
  • You have a cavity on that tooth
  • Gum disease is starting to develop
  • The molar is wedged into its neighbor
  • Bruxism or TMJ pain are side effects
  • There is overall tooth crowding, due to pressure

Again, it’s not considered the standard of care to try and restore a diseased wisdom tooth. Why? Because it’s likely that the infection will recur again later on. Therapeutic tooth removal can benefit the health of neighboring teeth and thus your smile as a whole. 

Adult Wisdom Tooth Removal | Newport Beach

You’re never too old to need a wisdom tooth extracted. Even in your 30s or 40s (or beyond), an impacted wisdom tooth may flare up out of the blue.

Fortunately, safe and effective sedation dentistry can keep you comfortable throughout the process. Depending on your comfort level, you can enjoy a lighter analgesia (where you’re still conscious but feel as if you’ve had a few glasses of wine) or practically napping through the entire thing. Each sedation option is extremely safe and effective. That being said, it’s important to go ahead and have someone accompany you to the appointment so that they can drive you home afterward.

Wisdom Tooth Consultations

The Center for Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry offers adult wisdom tooth extraction exams for all ages. If you feel like something is “off” or signs of wisdom tooth complications are developing, call us right away. Our Newport Beach dentist is happy to assist you!

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