People ask us all the time “Why do wisdom teeth come in so late?” Your wisdom teeth are your very back molars, and are the last to erupt. In some cases, the wisdom teeth fail to erupt because there is not enough room in the mouth for them. In other cases, they may simply not develop at all. Many adults have their wisdom teeth removed in order to avoid potential complications.
It is very easy to check to see if your wisdom teeth have come in yet. Examine your permanent molars and see if you have more than two molars on each side. If you do, chances are you have your wisdom teeth. If you are older than 25 and your wisdom teeth have not yet erupted, you need to come into our office and have a digital dental x-ray done. This will ensure that your wisdom teeth developed properly and are at the correct angle.
Not all wisdom teeth will need to be extracted. If your wisdom teeth fully erupted properly and do not cause problems with your other teeth, your wisdom teeth may be left in. However, if your wisdom teeth failed to erupt, only partially erupted, or are placing undue pressure on the other permanent teeth, they will need to be removed. Failing to do so can lead to infection, swelling, misaligned teeth, and a number of other dental issues.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a very common procedure, and is generally safe. In some cases patients may develop a painful complication known as dry socket, but this is rare in patients who follow their dentist’s instructions during the healing period.