Third molars, or wisdom teeth as they are commonly referred to, are the last teeth to develop somewhere in the late teen years and the farthest teeth back in the mouth. In cases where these teeth erupt normally and are cleansable, they are treated like any other molar and can last for a lifetime. However, when there is not enough room in the jaw or if the third molar’s path of eruption is blocked by other teeth, it is said to be ‘impacted’. Impacted wisdom teeth can be problematic in cases where adequate cleaning is impaired, often leading to inflammation or infection, and a painful condition know as ‘pericoronitis’.
In order to prevent a potentially painful future, your Dentist may recommend extraction of wisdom teeth even when they are not bothering you. He or she can usually visualize if the third molars will erupt ideally by use of a panoramic X-ray at the appropriate time.
If the wisdom teeth are thought to be potential problem, you may be referred to an Oral Surgeon, who will give you a further opinion regarding the extraction option.
For more information about wisdom teeth, you can visit WebMD.
As always, we at Cody Dental feel these specific decisions about your or your child’s health should be made after a thorough discussion between the doctor and patient.
Call today for an appointment: