How much wisdom do you have about wisdom teeth?
Many of our patients here at The Super Dentists have questions about wisdom teeth. Our pediatric dentistry performs wisdom teeth extractions all the time, while our parent dentistry also assists with wisdom teeth services for adults.
Do all people get wisdom teeth? What happens if they come in? Is there a “best” time to get them removed? There are so many questions – and we have the answers!
What are Wisdom Teeth? When Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?
Wisdom teeth are also called the “third molars.” They are the ultimate late arrivals to the tooth party in your mouth: unlike most teeth, which surface during early childhood, wisdom teeth come in during your late teens or early twenties.
In contrast to other teeth, wisdom teeth typically come in when all available space is already taken. The mouth is a “first come, first serve” real estate market – space is always at a premium, particularly for the molars in the rear of the mouth.
That means that when wisdom teeth come in, they’re usually misaligned, causing alignment problems for nearby teeth. What’s more, wisdom teeth can also be “impacted.” This means that they are only partially through the soft tissue of the gums, creating a risk for infections and bacteria. Dentists often remove wisdom teeth due to these alignment and infection issues.
Many people opt to have their wisdom teeth removed during their teenage years, while others have them taken out in early adulthood. Wisdom teeth are usually removed between the mid-teens and early twenties, though exceptional circumstances like early impacted teeth early or severe misalignment may shift that timeline.
What Happens If You Never Get Your Wisdom Teeth Pulled Out?
If you need to remove your wisdom teeth and don’t, your bite may become misaligned. Severe mouth pain is another possible result. Plus, the risk of infection also increases, especially if your wisdom teeth are impacted.
However, some people have enough room in their mouth to accommodate the late arrival third molars and never have to have them removed.
So what happens depends on an individual’s teeth alignment and configuration and whether their wisdom teeth are impacted. If there’s no effect on existing teeth alignment and the wisdom teeth aren’t impacted, there is no pressing need to have wisdom teeth taken out.
Do All People Get Wisdom Teeth?
Here’s one of the more curious facts about wisdom teeth: contrary to popular belief, not everyone has them. A recent study concluded that up to around one-third of the population never develops wisdom teeth in the first place. Another research project (using a much smaller sample size) put the rate at approximately 25%.
Facts About Wisdom Teeth
Want to get “wise” about wisdom teeth? Check out the following list of interesting facts about wisdom teeth.
- Wisdom teeth are a remnant of evolutionary development. Our ancient ancestors needed extra molars to tear and chew food. Now that we have prepared meals and processed foods, we no longer need third molars.
- Not everyone has the same number of wisdom teeth. The number of wisdom teeth ranges from 0 to 4. Some have none; others have all 4.
- Some people get their wisdom teeth early – or unbelievably late. Some wisdom teeth arrive in early to late childhood. But the strangest case of late-arriving wisdom teeth occurred in 2007. Robert Gray had a wisdom tooth discovered during a routine dental cleaning – at 94 years old!
- About 90% of the population has had at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
- After extraction, some people keep their wisdom teeth as a token of good luck.
For Wisdom Teeth Removal to Other Pediatric Dental Service, Visit The Super Dentists Today!
With 6 offices across the San Diego metro area, The Super Dentists is the preferred pediatric, teen, andparent dentistry practice throughout the region. Our unique approach to dental care has made us the largest, most trusted and top awarded dental network in Southern California. Come and see why 1 in 5 kids in San Diego is a Super Dentists kid! Book your visit today – we look forward to seeing you soon.