When most people think of wisdom teeth, they think of impaction, which is a common problem that affects many patients after their third molars start to develop. Perhaps because of their well-known reputation, though, patients often have even more questions when they learn their wisdom teeth are developing, but they haven’t experienced any problems with them. This may or may not be a good sign; some patients never experience wisdom tooth problems, while others can take a while to start experiencing symptoms.

Why are they there?

The reason wisdom teeth, or third molars, are often problematic is because they don’t always have enough room to develop and erupt properly. The existing teeth that have already filled out your dental ridges may have left little space at the end of those ridges by the time wisdom teeth develop (usually between the ages of 17-25). This can often lead to the question, why do we develop wisdom teeth in the first place if we don’t have the room for them? The simplest answer is that they’re remnants from our ancestors, who had larger jaws to accommodate them. Today, more people are going their entire lives without ever developing a single third molar.

Could I have prevented their impaction?

Given the nature of wisdom teeth and our oral structures today, there’s little you can do to prevent the impaction of your third molars if they do develop. Unlike your other teeth, solutions to common spacing problems like space maintainers may not work to give the third molars room. Because your oral health doesn’t rely on the extra set of molars anymore, we might recommend extracting wisdom teeth before they start to cause problems to avoid any damage they can cause if they become impacted.

Should I remove them if they seem fine?

While it’s true that many people can fully develop their wisdom teeth without any trouble, there’s no certain way to know if they’ll remain problem-free for life. Through a comprehensive diagnostic exam and the use of digital imaging equipment, we can determine the angle and position of your third molars as they’re still developing and help you determine if they might be problematic. Depending on the results of your exam and your own personal preferences, we’ll help you decide if you should remove the wisdom teeth before they have a chance to cause problems.

Learn more by scheduling an appointment

Wisdom teeth often come with a lot of questions, especially when they become impacted and start causing a variety of other problems. To learn more, or to schedule your consultation, call the Texas Institute of OFI Surgery in Midlothian, TX, today at 469-649-8259. We also serve patients who live in Dallas, Mansfield, Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Desoto, Red Oak, Waxahachie, Ft. Worth, and all surrounding communities.