Do I Really Need My Wisdom Teeth Out?

Published: September 17, 2012
Dear Do I Really Need My Wisdom Teeth Out?,

My dentist says that my wisdom teeth need to come out, but I'm not in any pain or anything. Do I really need to have them out?

Dear Do I Really Need My Wisdom Teeth Out?,

Wisdom teeth (also referred to as third molars) are the last teeth to develop, usually coming in for people between 17 and 25 years of age.

It is a misconception that only people experiencing pain should have their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth can come in normally, a person might not have any pain, and yet they could still be prone to disease and need to be removed.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) recommends that wisdom teeth be evaluated by dental professionals by the time a patient is a young adult in order to assess the presence of wisdom teeth, disease status, and to determine if the teeth need to be extracted or managed in any other way.

In general, dental and medical professionals agree that wisdom teeth should be removed in the following instances:

  • infections and/or periodontal disease
  • cavities that cannot be restored
  • pathologies such as cysts, and tumors
  • damage to neighboring teeth


Wisdom teeth generally do not require extraction if they meet all of the following conditions:

  • they have come in normally
  • they are functional and painless
  • they are cavity-free and in a hygienic environment with healthy gum tissue
  • they are disease-free


However, even though they might not need to be removed, wisdom teeth still require regular, professional cleaning, annual check-ups and periodic radiographs to monitor for any changes.

If your dentist has recommended your wisdom teeth be removed, FX recommends you schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon recommended by your dentist.