Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common dental procedure, that is usually performed around the teenage years or early twenties.

Wisdom teeth is the term that most people use, when referring the the third molars. These are the permanent teeth that are located in the back of the mouth. These permanent teeth appear or erupt, usually between the ages of 17 and 25 years old. In some cases, they may appear outside of this time frame.

Red arrows showing fully erupted teeth


Some people may never have their wisdom teeth develop, this is known as having congenitally missing teeth. While it normally occurs with wisdom teeth, it can also occur with other teeth in the mouth. It may affect only one tooth or more than one.

Wisdom Teeth Eruption

In the image above, it shows all four of the wisdom teeth, erupted or appearing in the mouth, in a relatively straight position. Notice that the wisdom teeth appear to be roughly the same height as the tooth near to it. This indicates that it has erupted fully into the mouth, with no complications.

Impacted & unerupted wisdom teeth


In this image, the upper red arrows show wisdom teeth that have not fully erupted into the mouth. Notice that they have not erupted, so that they are at the same height as the nearby teeth. The tooth located on the top left, is shown to be erupting into the tooth that is near to it. This will negatively affect that tooth and possibly cause an infection, requiring both teeth to be removed in some cases.

The bottom two arrows show wisdom teeth that are impacted. These teeth will most likely never erupt into the mouth. Instead they may stay completely under the gums or protrude slightly above the gums. In either scenario, these two teeth may negatively impact the teeth nearest to them. They may continue to erupt sideways and damage the nearest tooth or cause a dental infection.

When Should I See My Dentist?

Sometimes the position of the wisdom teeth, may make it easier for food to become stuck between teeth or under the gums. If food is left under the gums for a period of time, dental infection may occur, along with gingivitis and periodontitis. Wisdom teeth can be much harder to keep clean as well, due to the difficulty of accessing them properly with a toothbrush and floss.

Once dental infection occurs, swelling and pain of the affected area may be present. In cases like these, wisdom teeth extraction is necessary to prevent further damage and to stop the pain. If you have a hard time keeping your wisdom teeth clean, or if you experience frequent pain and swelling in that area, you should visit your dentist.

Most dental offices offer a range of anesthetic and sedation treatment options to help make the experience as comfortable as possible.

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