Wisdom Teeth/Impacted Teeth

By: J. Shahangian, DDS, MS- San Diego Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Wisdom Teeth/Impacted Teeth
Your child’s “wisdom teeth” are no different from the rest of the teeth except that this set of teeth erupts around the ages of 18-20.  Molars are the third set of teeth, and are called “wisdom teeth” because they do not grow in until adolescence, when your child transitions to adulthood.

Usually, there are three permanent molars that grow into the four quadrants of your child’s mouth.  The four quadrants of the mouth include the lower, upper, left, and right sides of the mouth.  Around the age of six, the first set of permanent molars grows in.  Later, around age 12, your child will grow the second set of permanent molars.

There are many complications that arise due the wisdom teeth.  These complications include lack of: proper bite relationship, growth, and the development of unhealthy gum tissue around the wisdom teeth.  Most of the time wisdom teeth erupt incorrectly.  This causes the teeth to become impacted; in order to fix this problem, the wisdom teeth must be extracted.

Bring your child into my office so that I can take an X-ray of your child’s mouth and assess whether your child’s wisdom teeth will grow in properly or whether they are impacted.  If wisdom teeth are impacted, I will have to extract the tooth to prevent complications such as: infection, gum disease, adjacent tooth resorption, cysts, and tumors.

The reason why I recommend extracting the tooth is to prevent potential problems later in life.  Although wisdom teeth are like other teeth, your child will still have functional and normal bite after they have been extracted.

Symptoms of impacted teeth/wisdom teeth

  • Swelling the gums in the far back of the mouth
  •  Infection of the mouth
  • Facial swelling
  • Overall Pain

In most cases, wisdom teeth are extracted after the majority of the roots have grown (usually ¾ of the roots).  This takes time, so usually wisdom teeth are extracted during adolescence.[1]


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