The wisdom teeth are the farthest molar located at the back of each row of teeth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner, while some people may only have a few.
Wisdom teeth usually appear in the mouth during the late teens or early twenties. By this time, the other 28 permanent teeth are usually in place and many people lack space to accommodate this third set of molars. Wisdom teeth that are present in the bone or partly under the gums are called “impacted” teeth. When completely impacted in bone, as long as no symptoms are present, these teeth can be left alone. Wisdom teeth that are partly emerging into the mouth can pose problems as they are exposed to bacteria in the mouth and can get cavities. Partly visible wisdom teeth are usually covered by a loose flap of gum tissue that can harbor food and bacteria causing episodes of pain and inflammation. Lastly, wisdom teeth can produce pressure on the other existing teeth causing discomfort and unwanted tooth movement.
There are a variety of treatment options to keep you comfortable during wisdom tooth removal. Dr Mandelbaum Smith or another Cook’s Bay Dental associate dentist will present your particular case complexity to you and, together, you can choose a course of treatment.