3RD Molars / Wisdom Teeth

May 1st, 2015 - By steve.mccormack


3rd molars [wisdom teeth] usually develop and erupt around age 18.    It is at this time that a special X-Ray is often times taken … called a panoramic x-ray.     At our office then we decide if the 3rd molars should be extracted.

Typical reasons for removing 3rd molars are:

  • There is not enough room for full eruption into the correct position.
  • They are impinging on the neighboring molars.
  • They may increase the odds of further crowding of your other teeth.
  • They develop very sore or infected gums if they are only partially through the gum … and cannot fully erupt into position.
  • If they are partly erupted they are very hard to clean and much more prone to decay and gum disease.
  • Without the 3rd molars it is easier to clean the 2nd molars in front of them … further reducing the risks of cavities and gum disease on these teeth.
  • Unerupted 3rd molars sometimes develop cysts around them, which requires their removal.

At a young age the wisdom teeth are easier to remove, since often times the roots have not fully formed.  Also, teenagers heal more easily and thoroughly than older adults.

Note the 4 wisdom teeth … all impacted under the gum and jaw bone.



Note all four 3rd molars …  2 are erupted almost completely and 2 are impacted completely.  Also, the one on the lower left side of the x ray has a cyst around it.

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