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Wisdom Tooth Development: Will They Fit in Your Mouth?

Oral Surgeon

Wisdom tooth pain sometimes accompanies the development of these teeth, but not always. Some people's wisdom teeth fit comfortably in their mouths, while other people just don't have room for extra teeth.

Wisdom teeth are the third molars, and they are the last teeth to come in, usually during a person's late teens. Around this time, a dentist should do a dental exam and also take x-rays. The wisdom tooth dentist can then suggest the best course.

If the molars are coming in straight, there's room for them, and the patient is not experiencing any pain or discomfort, then the dentist will likely recommend a wait-and-see approach, conducting regular exams to ensure no problems are developing.

But if the teeth aren't coming in straight, if they're butting up against other teeth, if there's not enough space for them, if the patient is experiencing mouth or tooth pain -- then the dentist will suggest wisdom tooth removal.

Highly impacted teeth may require fairly intense wisdom tooth surgery. The older a person is, the more difficult this procedure will be, so it's not a good idea to postpone treating tooth impaction.

But wisdom tooth extraction can be relatively quick and easy for most other patients. In addition, some patients may not need all four teeth removed. Some people don't even develop all four molars.