What are Wisdom Teeth?
The final set of molars, commonly known as the wisdom teeth, are perhaps the least predictable and most troublesome teeth in the human jaw. Largely due to their cramped position in the farthest corners of the mouth, these molars tend to present a number of complications and a great deal of discomfort for most teens and young adults.
With adequate space, the wisdom teeth can provide powerful chewing forces along with the other molars. Without enough space, these molars tend to grow into unnatural positions, creating oral health problems that are best resolved by having the wisdom teeth extracted.
Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis
Not every wisdom tooth is unhealthy, and only a dental expert can determine if an extraction is necessary. Most teens and young adults will have as many as 4 wisdom teeth, and each tooth must be evaluated individually to determine if it poses a risk to your health.
During a clinical examination, and with the help of diagnostic x-ray imaging, the wisdom teeth can be evaluated. Existing dental problems can be identified, and the potential for future problems can be assessed. Wisdom teeth that are most likely to require removal are those which are trapped beneath the jawbone, those which are contributing to periodontal disease or tooth decay, and those which are pressed against the neighboring teeth.
Wisdom teeth which are poorly positioned can become a constant source of inflammation, infection, and pain. Identifying and removing these teeth during the later teenage years or the young adult years will reduce or eliminate the possibility of these problems.