Dental Blog

Myths vs. Facts of Wisdom Teeth

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to come in, typically around the age of 17-25. There are many misconceptions about these late arrivals. We’ve debunked a few right here:

Myth: Wisdom teeth must always be removed.

Fact: According to one study, more that 60% of wisdom teeth removals are not needed. Wisdom teeth only need to be removed if they are fully or partially impacted under the gum, or if they will cause damage to surrounding teeth, jawbone or nerves.

Myth: Everyone has four wisdom teeth.

Fact: Not everyone has all four. Some people only have two or three, and some don’t have any at all.

Myth: It is best to remove wisdom teeth when you’re young.

Fact: Many dentists recommend having wisdom teeth removed before they begin to cause problems. Removal is easier in younger people because the roots of the teeth are not fully developed and the bone is less dense. For older people, recovery time and healing may take longer.

Myth: You know you have wisdom teeth before they come in.

Fact: Without an x-ray, there is no way to tell if you have wisdom teeth, or if they will present a problem before they start to come in. X-rays are the only way to reveal them and determine if there may be problems.

Myth: It is best to remove wisdom teeth before orthodontic work.

Fact: This varies from case to case. The eruption of wisdom teeth may cause other teeth to move, but some studies show this is rare.

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