What to Know About Wisdom Teeth

Have you already had your wisdom teeth out? Are you one of the lucky few who never developed wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth can induce dread in people who don’t otherwise have dental anxiety because they’ve only heard about getting them removed.

Dr. Brenda Paulen is a Sandy Springs, GA dentist with a mission to educate patients on how to achieve and maintain excellent oral health. Learn more about your wisdom teeth and how you can live a perfectly healthy life with or without them.

1. They Have A Formal Name

Wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth and are the last teeth to erupt. Many people see them between the ages of 17-25, though some people may not have them until well into adulthood.

They are clinically called “third molars” because they are the same type of teeth as the first two sets of molars that develop in childhood and adolescence. We colloquially call them “wisdom” teeth because the saying goes that young adulthood is when people leave the home to search for wisdom. At least, that’s what the old wives’ tale says!

2. Not Everyone Has Them

Wisdom teeth are visible on a dental X-ray well before they erupt, but there are some people who never get them. If there is no sign of them below the gum line by your mid-twenties, you may not have them at all. An X-ray can also help your dentist predict how they will erupt and whether you may experience problems.

In some cases, despite no evidence of them erupting in young adulthood, wisdom teeth can come in much later in life. Ask your dentist if your wisdom teeth are still waiting below the surface — you may be surprised.

3. They Don’t Always Come In At the Same Time

Wisdom teeth don’t always erupt at the same time. In fact, all four may erupt together, but it’s also possible for the top row to erupt before the bottom, or vice versa, or even for one set to come in while the other doesn’t!

Not all four will definitely cause problems, either. Those horror stories you may have heard have to do with the teeth not having enough room to maneuver in the back of the mouth and becoming impacted, but this isn’t characteristic of all wisdom teeth cases.

Wisdom Teeth Treatment in Sandy Springs, GA

The most important thing to remember is that wisdom teeth don’t always require removal, and you can live a healthy, pain-free life with or without them. Your dentist is your best resource when it comes to determining whether your wisdom teeth need to be removed. Proudsmiles is proud to offer conservative treatments after a thorough examination. Call us at (404) 418-7734 or schedule an appointment online to learn more.