Wisdom teeth are located at the end of each dental arch and are also called third molars or eighth molars. They appear between the age of 18 and 24, the age of majority, which is where the name comes from, or they remain hidden or even happen not to develop at all.
It is now clear that wisdom teeth have become useless both for chewing and from an aesthetic point of view.
In fact, wisdom teeth are a legacy of ancient hominids who needed strong teeth and strong jaws to be able to chew raw meat. It is precisely the evolution for survival that led to the emergence of wisdom teeth, to make it easier for primitive men to chew particularly hard foods.
Nowadays, however, the diet consists of softer foods that do not require particularly vigorous chewing. It is for this reason that modern man’s jaws have adapted and evolved and have taken on smaller dimensions that prevent or even hinder the development of wisdom teeth.
The question we often hear from our patients is: but is it always necessary to extract wisdom teeth?
The extraction of one or more wisdom teeth is not always necessary. In fact, if they are perfectly aligned, wisdom teeth can remain in their natural space for a lifetime.
However, extraction is essential in the following situations:
- Wisdom teeth have decayed, in this case it is useless to treat and save a tooth that does not serve the purpose of chewing, and undergo an unnecessary intervention;
- Wisdom teeth are damaged by dental abscesses;
- Wisdom teeth are broken or chipped.
- Incomplete development of third molars can cause toothache and gum inflammation (pericoronitis);
- Wisdom teeth can become trapped in the gum, which undermines the health and stability of neighboring teeth. Wisdom teeth push, leading to malocclusion of the wisdom teeth, which become embedded in the bone and can predispose to the development of cysts, which can cause infection by weakening the supporting bone.
- If wisdom teeth grow horizontally, they push on the second molars, causing toothaches and making the neighboring teeth grow crooked;
- Wisdom teeth grow incorrectly, out of alignment with other teeth.
- Wisdom teeth are more than 4, it is a case of hyperdontia and causing malaocclusion.
In the dental office of Dr. Schmitz you will be treated seriously and will have an accurate diagnosis of the state of your mouth. If it is necessary to extract the wisdom teeth, which is very common, the dentists of our team will make the operation fast and painless.