Any tooth has the potential to become impacted - that is, emerge in some oddball direction that crowds other teeth. But the most famous culprits are third molars, the last-to-emerge wisdom teeth.
Not many mouths can accommodate an impacted wisdom tooth, let alone, teeth. They often wind up pressing against their neighbors, ultimately pressuring the rest of the teeth to disrupt their alignment.
That’s not a wise thing to let happen.
Wisdom teeth get your attention when they cause pain and swelling. Routine X-rays, beginning around age 12, alert your dentist to potential problems before a wisdom tooth starts getting disruptive. X-rays can let you know whether those mighty molars must go with oral surgery.