The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons estimate that 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed. Many people do not have enough room in their mouth to allow wisdom teeth to erupt, or come into position, like other adult teeth. These “impacted” wisdom teeth can cause problems to adjacent teeth, surrounding bone and tissue of the jaw, and nerves. Difficult to treat cavities and gum disease can occur on teeth next to impacted wisdom teeth. While not everyone will need his/her wisdom teeth removed, your dentist will be able to aid you to determine if your wisdom teeth could pose a problem.
How many wisdom teeth do I have and if they need to be removed when should it be done?
A special x-ray called a panoramic radiograph is often used to see how many wisdom teeth a person has, their location, and how a surgeon can effectively remove them. While a person may have four wisdom teeth, another may not have any and others can have many more.
Many problems associated with holding on to wisdom teeth don’t immediately cause pain, and a person will not be able to notice these issues as they develop. Wisdom teeth are often most easily removed during a certain period of their root development, so this age is not the same for everyone. As roots continue to develop and a person gets older, the complications associated with removal are more likely. For that reason, oral surgeons generally recommend wisdom teeth removal during the teenage and young adult years. However, there are often reasons to remove wisdom teeth later in life and your dentist can help aid you in this process.
- from Dr. Jernberg