How Dentists Predict That Your Teenager Will Need His/Her Wisdom Teeth Removed

Posted on: 18 July 2016


If you have recently been informed by your family dentist that your teen's wisdom teeth will need to be removed, you may be wondering how it is your dentist would know that when your teen's wisdom teeth have not erupted yet. There are actually several indicators that a dentist looks at, which help him or her predict a future visit with a wisdom teeth oral surgeon. Here are just a few of the indicators that you can ask to see proof of when you next speak to your family dentist.

A Look at Your Adolescent's X-rays

The recent x-rays of your teenager's mouth will show the tooth buds and crowns of his/her wisdom teeth, right below the surface of their gums. When the dentist points out a possible impaction situation (i.e. a wisdom tooth that will try to push a nearby molar out of the way as it erupts only to get stuck under that molar), then your teenager will definitely need to have surgery to prevent tooth loss. The x-rays will also point out that your teen has no room to accommodate large wisdom teeth in his or her jaw, which will throw off his/her bite alignment and ability to chew.

Photographs of Your Teenager's Gums

If your teenager also suffers from mild gingivitis or less-than-perfect oral hygiene, then the wisdom teeth might make these issues worse. By pushing up through the gums, the wisdom teeth will cause additional inflammation and expose the gums to bacteria that could make gingivitis worse or cause an infection. When the wisdom teeth are surgically removed, then your teen will be on an antibiotic for a time after the surgery to prevent infection and will have to swish with a medicated rinse to keep the wounds and gums clean. This will help with the current hygiene problems he or she has. Your dentist will use current photos of your teen's gums to show the current state of gum health versus what it could develop into with the addition of erupting wisdom teeth.

A Family History of Wisdom Teeth Removed

If both you and your significant other (or your teen's biological parent) had to have your wisdom teeth removed for any reason, it almost guarantees that your teenager will have to have his/her wisdom teeth removed as well. A history of wisdom teeth removal in your family is a fairly good predictor of future generations needing their wisdom teeth removed as well. Inherited bone structure and oddly-formed or oddly-shaped wisdom teeth are inherited just like most other things, so your dentist takes the family history into consideration when making his/her predictions about your teen's wisdom teeth too.