Wisdom teeth are an additional set of molars that begin to come in between the ages of 17 and 25. They are vestigial remnants that we have inherited from our ancient human ancestors. These teeth were very useful for ancient humans, as they were able to replace other molars that had worn down or fallen out by that age. Over time, humankind has evolved to no longer need these third molars, or wisdom teeth.
Unfortunately, it takes our DNA a bit of time to catch up, meaning that most people still have wisdom teeth come in as young adults. For some rare people, this is not a problem; the teeth come in and fit well with the other teeth. For most of us, however, wisdom teeth can be a big problem, causing pain and overcrowding to occur in the mouth.
We recommend that teenagers come in to our cosmetic dentistry practice between the ages of 15 and 17 to talk about their wisdom teeth. During this visit, we will take X-rays of their mouth to determine whether or not the wisdom teeth should eventually be removed. It is often better to remove the wisdom teeth early on, as complications can arise if they begin to come in.
If you have not been able to make it in to see your dentist in Norcross, Ga., by the time your wisdom teeth begin to erupt, we recommend that you schedule an appointment to see how the progress is going. This is crucial if you are experiencing pain or swelling near where your wisdom teeth are coming in.
Wisdom teeth removal is typically a simple outpatient procedure with a relatively short recovery time, but it is still a surgical procedure that you should discuss extensively with your dentist. Ultimately, your Berkeley Lake dentist should be the one to determine whether your wisdom teeth need to be removed.