Oral Surgery

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, officially referred to as third molars, are usually the last teeth to develop. They are located in the very back of your mouth, next to your second (or twelve year) molars and near the entrance to your throat.

Third molars are usually completely developed between the ages of 15 and 18, a time traditionally associated with the onset of maturity and the attainment of “wisdom.”

By the age of eighteen, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth in the upper jaw` and 16 teeth in the lower jaw. Unfortunately, the average adult mouth is only large enough to accommodate 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth.

 

 

Why have them removed?

Wisdom teeth commonly do not have enough room to properly erupt into our mouth where they can become fully functional and cleansable teeth. This lack of space can result in a number of harmful effects on your overall dental health. When a tooth cannot erupt into proper alignment, we call it impacted, which simply means “stuck” in an improper position.

 

Learn more about the different types or degrees of impaction and about the problems third molars can cause.

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