If you’re not normally afraid of the dentist, but you’re worried about your wisdom teeth, you’re not alone! Many adults who would otherwise be fine with the dentist dread the thought of having to deal with their wisdom teeth, especially around having to have them removed!
Facing that fear starts with getting informed! The talented and experienced team at Integrated Dental Arts in Greeley can help you understand your wisdom teeth.
1. They Have A Formal Name
They’re called wisdom teeth because they don’t come in until later in life, usually between the ages of 17-25. By this time, most of the adult teeth have already shifted into their permanent positions, including the first two sets of molars.
Wisdom teeth are clinically referred to as “third molars” because they are similar to the first two sets of molars that are finished developing by adolescence. The reason that many people have problems with their wisdom teeth is because they have limited space to erupt in the back of the mouth, and they have a hard time making room for themselves. Unlike other teeth which are more easily able to move around earlier in life, wisdom teeth have to try to move around more rigid teeth.
In some cases, not being able to move around can lead to infection because they may not erupt properly, but there are some people who never have any problems!
2. Not Everyone Has Them
Up to 35% of people may be lucky enough to have been born without wisdom teeth! Dentists can find wisdom teeth below the gumline on a dental X-ray before they’ve even begun to erupt. If there are no signs of them by your twenties, there’s a possibility that they may not be there at all! Some people have them come in many years or even decades later, or not at all.
The X-ray can also show how the wisdom teeth are positioned below the gumline, and may allow the dentist to predict if the teeth could cause problems in the future. Next time you see Dr. X, ask if your wisdom teeth are still 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
While wisdom teeth are “scheduled” to come in during the tail end of adolescence and the beginning of young adulthood, they may not all come in at the same time. All four may come in at the same time, but it’s possible that any of them can come on their own, or perhaps the two on the bottom and later the two on top. You could also only ever see one set while the other doesn’t come in!
There’s no guarantee that they’ll all cause problems, either. Depending on the size of your jaw and the amount of space available around your second molars, teeth may erupt differently. If there is plenty of room for them to grow in and they’re cleaned properly, you may never have problems, but if one or two become impacted because there isn’t enough room, that may be a reason to have them removed.
If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to contact Integrated Dental Arts to find the most conservative, comfortable treatment possible by scheduling an appointment online or calling 970.281.5972.