Wisdom teeth are third molars—found at the very back of the mouth—that typically begin to erupt when your child is around 17 to 20 years old. If your child lacks adequate room for the third molars, or if the teeth are pressing on the second molars and causing pain, decay, or inflammation, we recommend extracting the third molars.

We recommend removing wisdom teeth in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the tooth’s roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier and shorten the recovery time.

Your child will be sedated during third molar extraction, in addition to having a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth.

Since the wisdom tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your child’s jawbone, the oral surgeon will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, they may “section” the wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.

Once your child’s wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. Most children are back to normal function in seven to ten days. We will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.