The Ideal Wisdom Tooth Removal Age
* "Ideal" for most cases. Life being what it is, there are always exceptions to the "rule". This page (or any page on this website) is not designed to dispense medical advice specific to your case. That advice can only be given after an examination by a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon experienced at treating wisdom teeth patients.
There are HUGE advantages when wisdom teeth removal is intelligently timed. Thoughtful planning can make the wisdom tooth experience a far better one than you ever thought possible.
We have created a series of 3 short videos to show you, the parent of a teen:
The many problems that wisdom teeth can cause The surgical risks that increase when you allow wisdom teeth to finish growing Why removal of wisdom teeth during a specific, short-lived stage of their growth can make the surgical experience the easiest and the least risky it may ever be for your son or daughter. --> Note: Each video is 10 minutes in length. Part 1 starts off somewhat slowly, but makes important points. It will get more interesting within 4-5 min's!
The factor that is often ignored is TIMING because the removal of wisdom teeth can, in most cases, become more difficult over time.
Dr. Grellner has made it a point to try to educate both dentists and parents in the BEST time to remove wisdom teeth because the art starts with getting the TIMING right.
BEST = that stage when impacted wisdom tooth removal is least complicated and easiest to perform, least risky, quickest for recovery, best result for healing.
This information is not new. Most oral surgeons who have experienced and come to appreciate this phenomenon would likely agree with this timing. It is understood by many general dentists, yet parents of teens are either not getting the message or they are ignoring it, to their kids' detriment.
This is the reason we have created so much information that is directed primarily to parents of teens.
There is now another factor that is very important to consider with regard to the timing of the removal of the wisdom teeth:
There are stem cells contained in both the pulp of the wisdom tooth as well as the soft tissue follicle* that surrounds the top of the tooth.
(*The follicle is the tissue that created the tooth; it covers the top of the tooth until the tooth starts to come through the gum into the mouth, causing the follicle to breakdown.)
First, what are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are immature, unspecialized cells that are capable of turning into many different types of specialized cells. There are 2 basic types:
- Embryonic Stem Cells - which have the potential to turn into ANY of the body's 220 cell types, or
- Adult Stem Cells - which are used to maintain and repair the tissues in which they reside. Some produce blood cells, others produce hard and soft tissue cells like bone, muscle, connective tissue or fat.
Why should this matter to you? See how an explosion of research into the use of stem cells is creating a new field of medicine called Regenerative Medicine that is going to change our lives forever:
Click HERE to watch a CBS 60 MINUTES video with Morley Safer
(once the 60 MINUTES page opens, click on the video on the left where it says: PLAY CBS VIDEO).
Until recently, stem cells were only obtainable from embryonic tissue, umbilical cord, fat and the marrow of the hip.
Now it is possible to get:
Stem Cells From Teeth!
The stem cells are found in the dental pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth and roots) and are of the Adult stem cell type. Currently, research is working out what types of specialized cells might be created from these dental stem cells.
Recently there was research published to suggest that it may be possible to convert pulpal adult stem cells into pleuripotent cells similar to those of the embryonic type. This could expand the number of cell types they could potentially turn into! (click HERE for the original research abstract. Warning: it is very technical!)
It Gets Even Better. There is now available in our office a service to cryogenically preserve the stem cells in teeth for future use in Regenerative Medicine. How they would be used would, of course, depend on the outcome of the many research projects being conducted today.
Preserving stem cells from teeth avoids any potential moral issues with the use of embryonic tissues, the availability of umbilical cord blood & tissue (available for preservation only at birth) and the cost and risk of having to go to the hip later in life.
This service is an affordable and very convenient way to preserve tissues for their stem cells that would otherwise be discarded and perhaps never again be available.
Examples of teeth that are being preserved for their stem cells are healthy, live...
- Deciduous (baby/primary) teeth
- Adult teeth
- Premolar/bicuspid teeth being removed for orthodontic purposes
- Wisdom teeth being removed to prevent future problems
AND even more exciting is that if you time the removal of the wisdom teeth correctly** to be able to harvest the dental follicle that surrounds the crown of the developing wisdom tooth, you can obtain tissue even richer with stem cells than the pulp of the wisdom teeth themselves!
** To obtain dental follicle, the wisdom tooth must be removed BEFORE it begins to come through the gum tissue, which is usually when the tooth is still in it's growth phase. As mentioned on the Wisdom Teeth? page, it is best to start looking at the wisdom teeth around age 15.
Though the quality and quantity of stem cells associated with the wisdom teeth may be even better well before the root begins to form, this might be as early as age 12, a time when the child is generally not emotionally mature enough to handle the removal of the wisdom teeth. My recommendation is to wait until at least 15.
Another key to preserving dental stem cells is to get YOUNG cells. Stem cells age as our body ages so if we wait to harvest stem cells when we need them, they may be much older and less robust than those in teeth removed at a much younger age.
For more information on which teeth are eligible for preservation, click HERE
For more information on Stem Cells and the StemSave Service, click HERE
*To Enroll in the StemSave Service* click below:
Call to reserve a time for Dr. Grellner to evaluate your son's or daughter's wisdom teeth for preservation of their stem cells: (813) 972-3478