Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars found at the very back of the mouth. Most people get them during their late teens or early twenties. They are a valuable asset when they grow healthy and properly positioned but they may require removal when they get misaligned or impacted.
When misaligned, wisdom teeth can grow inwards, sideways and at times position themselves horizontally. This eventually crowds and damages the other teeth, the jaw and to some extent, the nerves. Those that grow leaning towards other molars may make these teeth vulnerable to decay by harboring food particles and dental plaque. Impacted teeth are those that remain partially or completely entrapped within the gums or within the jawbones. A wisdom tooth that only partially erupts through the gums leaves an opening for bacteria to enter and multiply and cause infections.
During your consultation and check up, we will examine the positioning of your wisdom teeth. X-rays can evaluate the alignment of your teeth also. We may advise extractions even before they completely erupt to save you from the painful consequences of their improper eruption. This can help avoid a more complicated and painful extraction in the future. As a rule, wisdom teeth are removed at the earliest possible time, usually in the late teens, when the roots of the teeth have not completely formed.