When should wisdom teeth be removed?

I am 56 years old and up until last week had all four wisdom teeth. Last week I had the two top wisdom teeth removed due to a broken filling. No problems with complications or dry socket, now a week later. My question is, should I seriously consider having the other two wisdom teeth removed, though I have never had any problems with them? My dentist advised having an oral surgeon do the removal if I elect to have them removed. Your thoughts…

Thank you in advance.
– Russell from Texas

Dear Russell,
There should be a reason for removing wisdom teeth, besides just that they’re wisdom teeth.

It sounds like your wisdom teeth were all normally erupted, and not impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth should be removed as early as possible – like by age 25 is best, because the potential for later complications with them is a significant risk.

There can, however, be problems with wisdom teeth that have erupted normally. They can be difficult to restore, so if they need extensive work, it may be advisable to have them out. They can complicate your home care by making your second molars more difficult to keep clean. In your case, if the upper wisdom teeth have been removed, the lower wisdom teeth could tend to super-erupt and end up hitting the gums of your upper jaw. If any of these are problems in your mouth, then it may be justified to have them extracted now.

All of these issues are matters that have to be sorted out by looking at your mouth. It’s a judgment call, and I would just refer you to the opinion of your own dentist on that.