Wisdom teeth got their name because they usually appear during
a person’s “age of wisdom,” which is during
the late teens or early twenties although in some cases they
appear earlier or in later years, or maybe not appear at all.
Wisdom teeth usually emerge from the gums between the ages 16-24.
Wisdom teeth or the third molars are the big grinding teeth
at the back of the oral cavity and are the last of the molar
teeth. Other people have up to four wisdom teeth, one in every
corner of the oral cavity, upper right, upper left, lower right
and lower left while some people never develop wisdom teeth at
Impacted wisdom teeth
Impacted is the term used when a wisdom tooth is blocked from
developing or coming into the mouth normally. When there is no
room in the dental arc and the eruption is prevented by the gum,
bone, another tooth or all three, the wisdom tooth becomes impacted.
One major reason of wisdom tooth impaction is the insufficient
jawbone room behind the person’s second molar for the new
tooth. It is thought that the coarse character of Stone Age man’s
diet resulted to producing extensive tooth wear, not only on
the chewing surface but the sides of the teeth where adjacent
teeth lean next to each other. The net effect of the wear reduced
the combined length of the teeth as a set; as a result enough
jawbone space is created to have a room for the wisdom teeth
as it erupts. In contrast, the very sophisticated diet of modern
man does not often cause an important value of this tooth wear
A tooth is partially impacted when it develops in crooked and
not completely breaks through the gum. In some cases it remains
totally impacted when it fails to break through at all. Oftentimes,
the jaws are not big enough to accommodate all the four wisdom
Types of impacted wisdom tooth conditions
Dentists are using precise terms in describing the positions
of the wisdom teeth. Wisdom tooth that is impacted mesially is
a common type of impacted wisdom tooth. If the wisdom tooth is
sloping forward and toward the front of the mouth it is termed “mesial”.
Aside from that, the mesially, vertically, horizontally, and
distally impacted wisdom teeth can also be into soft tissue or
bony impactions. If the wisdom tooth is fully enclosed in the
jaw bone, it is a bony impaction. If the upper portion of a wisdom
tooth, which has break through the bone but not erupted fully
through the gums is termed as soft tissue impaction.
Problems with impacted teeth
Many complications may occur with the eruption of wisdom teeth
showing some or no symptoms, so you may not be unaware of the
harm it has done. It is necessary to be aware that as the wisdom
teeth develop their roots grow longer and the jawbone denser.
Hence, the older a person gets the more tricky it is to extract
wisdom teeth and complications can be more acute. Furthermore,
as a person ages the chance of the symptoms showing up is greater.
Because of this, the dental surgeon may suggest the extraction
of wisdom teeth even if they are not yet resulting to obvious
problems, mostly for young adults.
It is harder to remove impacted wisdom teeth because they’re
usually growing at an awkward angle. For older individuals partly
or fully impacted wisdom teeth are more possible to cause serious
This states why the wisdom teeth are causing more problems than
any other teeth in the oral cavity. Due to lack of accommodation
in the mouth at least one wisdom tooth remains beneath the gums
for most people. Impacted wisdom teeth may be the reason for
pain, inflammation, infection or damage to the teeth adjacent
to them. The jaw may also be stiff and sore once the gum surrounding
the wisdom tooth is swollen.
Surgical removal of impacted teeth
Whether or not these teeth need to be removed is still a big
argument. It is usually recommended that teeth that remain fully
buried or un-erupted in a usual position are not likely to cause
damage. On the other hand, if these impacted teeth are in abnormal
position (can be determined by an x-ray examination) or are perceived
to potentially cause further damage, then surgery may be required.
The removal of wisdom teeth can be uncomplicated but also a
tricky surgical process and should be done by dental experts
with appropriate preparation and experience practicing such extractions.
After a careful assessment is done (usually includes x-rays)
your dentist must explain the exact reasons why your wisdom teeth
need to be removed.
Extraction of impacted teeth
The dentist should first have access to the wisdom tooth before
extraction. The type of surgery in terms of ease and difficulty
in extraction of the impacted tooth will be determined by the
pattern of development and the tooth’s position on the
Generally, removal will be and the succeeding treatment period
will be shorter and easier if the tooth is normally aligned and
it has erupted further through the gums. The dentist needs to
make an opening in the gums and them remove the part of the bone
that lies over the tooth if it is still underneath the gums and
is still fully encased in the bone.
The dentist needs to postpone the removal if there is an infection
in a wisdom tooth, such as pericoronitis until the infection
has gone. The infection will be treated with antibiotics and
will go ahead with the removal; hence both removal and the succeeding
healing process will go easily.
Another reason affecting the difficulty of wisdom tooth extraction
is the tooth’s anatomy. Wisdom teeth are multi-rooted.
Lower wisdom teeth normally have two roots while the upper wisdom
teeth oftentimes have three. The tooth’s roots form a bit
differently. Each wisdom tooth’s roots will be pretty different
and divided in some cases. In others, the roots may have merged
together or taken an irregular form while developing. These differences
in anatomy will influence the degree of complexity associated
with a particular wisdom tooth removal.
Appropriate age for extraction of wisdom teeth
Mostly, wisdom tooth removal can be done effectively and uneventfully
regardless the age. Age factors that usually affect the choice
for removal are:
It will be less likely for a patient to experience complications
if the extraction is done at an early age. Research shows that
a complication, linked with curing and the process itself that
happens in association with the wisdom tooth removal ascends
if the patient has passed their mid 20’s.
Another reason in relation to age is the development of the
root structure, preferably should have grown to two thirds of
its length. This should have developed by age 18 or so but may
differ from person to person. Hence, the average age when the
root formation is two thirds and the bone around the tooth is
not very dense is 18-24. Removal is easier during this period.
Furthermore, the curing and resiliency is faster in a younger
Your dentist must explain to you what you may experience during
the process and in the succeeding period where healing will take
place during the pre-extraction examination.