In most people, the third set of molars, generally called “wisdom teeth,” start coming in around age 17-25. Sometimes these can cause problems while on the other hand may last a lifetime. The extraction of one or more third molars is a relatively common procedure, performed on some 5 million patients every year. After a thorough examination and diagnostic tests such as x-rays, you may be told that you should have your wisdom teeth extracted. Here are some typical reasons why:
- Your jaw may be too small to accommodate all your teeth, leading to excessive crowding and the chance of your wisdom teeth becoming impacted — that is, unable to emerge from the gums, and potentially harmful to adjacent bone or teeth
- Your wisdom teeth may be erupting (coming in) in a crooked orientation, which can damage other teeth or anatomical structures in the jaw, and/or cause bite problems
- If your wisdom tooth does not fully erupt (emerge from the gums), it can increase the chance for bacterial infection
- A cyst (a closed, fluid-filled sac) may develop around the unerupted wisdom tooth, which can cause infection and injury to the adjacent bone or nerve tissue
Whether it is aimed at preventing future problems or needed to alleviate a condition you already have, the extraction of wisdom teeth can be an effective treatment. As with all treatment, our doctors are here to give all treatment options and discuss their recommendations in detail.