The third and final set of molars are more commonly known as “Wisdom Teeth”.  They generally begin their appearance in the late teens to early 20’s, and are more often than not, come in misaligned.

Misaligned Wisdom Teeth

When misaligned, they may be angled towards or away from the second molar, angled inward or outward, or even laying horizontal.  This crude alignment causes overcrowding of your teeth and can damage nerves or your jawbone.

Other Wisdom Teeth Problems

Wisdom Teeth can also be impacted, meaning that they don’t fully emerge from the gums.  This can cause a opening for bacteria to enter and create infection, followed by pain, swelling and jaw stiffness.  Because they are not fully emerged, they are also harder to brush or floss, which makes one more prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

Is the Removal of Wisdom Teeth Necessary?

Most often, yes.  In most cases, jaws are not large enough to account for the extra set of molars, and the dental problems listed below are just the beginning of the health problems that can follow.

When to Remove Wisdom Teeth

The best time to remove wisdom teeth is always dependent upon your specific scenario and your doctor’s recommendation, but a general answer would be “before the root is fully formed”.  If the root becomes fully developed, it is more difficult to do an extraction and recovery time may be longer.

Consulting Your Local Dentist

If you are having pain or feel like you may have wisdom teeth coming in, it is best to schedule an appointment with your local dentist to evaluate and discuss your options.  Once they determine that you do have a wisdom tooth (or teeth) coming in, you should be able to discuss the recommendations for removal.  Some of the questions you may want to ask include:

  1. Do all of my wisdom teeth need to be removed?
  2. What will happen if I do not remove my wisdom teeth?
  3. What type of anesthesia will you be using?
  4. What are the possible complications from having this procedure?
  5. How long will I need to be out of school and/or work?
  6. Will I need to be on any medications?

You may also have other questions, so it is best to write a list of them to take to your dental visit.  Although these procedures are done regularly, as with any other medical procedure, you want to feel comfortable with the doctor or surgeon performing it and know that all your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.