Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are actually the 3rd molars. They develop inside the bone (as all other teeth do) beginning at age 9. These teeth are the last to form and the farthest back.

If you're genetically lucky, the jaws are long enough to accommodate the wisdom teeth in a proper erupted position. In this position, if they can be kept clean, they may be used.

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Most often, the jaw is not long enough and the wisdom teeth form within the curvature of the jaw. This is referred to as impacted (trapped) inside the jaw bone.

There are several possible problems that may be associated with wisdom teeth.

If a wisdom tooth becomes partially exposed thru the gums, bacteria will fill the space around the crown of the tooth. Since this is an area that you can not cleanse, an infection will begin.

Sometimes, the infection will become so intense, that the bone itself becomes infected.

It is possible that the wisdom tooth may cause destruction of the molar just in front of it.

For these reasons, most often, I advise patients to have their wisdom teeth removed. Teeth all form the crown first and then the roots form and grow to length. For this reason I recommend that the wisdom teeth be removed sooner rather than later (before the roots fully form).

Most people believe that the wisdom teeth will push the other teeth forward (especially on the lower) and cause crowding to occur in the front teeth. I do not believe this is the case, rather, I believe that the crowding that occurs is due to other factors.

[Wisdom Teeth] [Orthognatic Surgery]  [Fractures] [Chin]
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Dr. Maury Hafernik
11645 Angus Road, Suite 10
Austin, Texas 78759
P: (512) 345-5552

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