Third molars, or wisdom teeth, often come in at the end of adolescence or in one’s early 20s. As they no longer serve a functional purpose, having all four of them is rare. Frequently, there are two or three only, and sometimes there are none.
Why remove wisdom teeth?
As long as the third molars don’t cause any pain or problems, there is no need to extract them. However, the dental arch is often too narrow to properly accommodate them—they become misaligned or partially- or fully-impacted in the jawbone, leading to:
- Swelling of or abscess in adjoining tissue
- Biting the inside of one’s cheeks
Digital x-rays can help monitor the progress of wisdom teeth and, if necessary, indicate that a preventive extraction is needed.