Many people have horror stories about problems with wisdom teeth growing in, and a lot of people who don’t otherwise have dental anxiety are afraid of them. Luckily, Dr. Mark Sowell and the dental professionals at Sensational Smiles in Plano/Dallas, TX area are here to help relieve some of that anxiety by answering a few frequently-asked questions about wisdom teeth.
1. They Have A Formal Name
Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17-25, which is probably why they’re called “wisdom” teeth since this is often the age at which people start leaving the home to search for wisdom.
In the dental field, they are technically referred to as “third molars” because they are very similar to the first two sets of molars that we develop in childhood and adolescence. You might remember a little bit of discomfort in middle school when your second set of molars was positioning itself. The process involved in the third set of molars is the same, but this time there’s even less space for them to move around.
2. Not Everyone Has Them
There are some lucky people who were born without wisdom teeth! Your dentist can see them on a dental X-ray years before they start coming in, and if there’s no sign of them below the gum line by your mid-twenties, you may never get them at all. The X-ray may also be able to help your dentist predict how they will erupt and if there will be problems with impaction- — when an emerging tooth collides with an existing tooth, causing discomfort and sometimes damage.
In some cases, wisdom teeth may erupt many years after young adulthood. If you are in your 30’s and they haven’t come in yet, ask your dentist if your wisdom teeth are there, waiting to come out, or if you could have been born without them. You may be surprised!
3. They Don’t Always Come In At the Same Time
Wisdom teeth don’t always emerge at all the same time. Sometimes, all four may erupt together, but it’s also possible for the top row to grow in before the bottom, or vice versa, or even for one set to not come in at all!
Not all four will definitely cause problems with impaction, either. Those horror stories you might have heard have to do with the wisdom teeth not having room to erupt in the back of the mouth and becoming impacted, but this isn’t a definite for all wisdom teeth cases.
Are You Concerned About Wisdom Teeth?
If you’re concerned about how your wisdom teeth are coming in or if you’ll be getting them at all, consult with your local dentist. If you’re in the Plano, TX area, the team at Sensational Smiles, can discuss your concerns and recommend the most conservative treatment possible. Call (972) 382-6855 or schedule an appointment online today!