The third permanent molars gained the moniker "wisdom teeth" as they tend to erupt during the late teenage years, which some may consider as an age of wisdom.
Anthropologists believe wisdom teeth developed due to human ancestors' diet of coarse, rough food like leaves, roots, nuts and meats that caused wear on teeth.
There are usually upto 4 wisdom teeth: two upper and two lower teeth - one in each corner of the mouth.
In some cases, people may have no wisdom teeth while others have extras.
As a general rule, wisdom teeth erupt most commonly between age 17 and 21. Eruption may commence as early as age 13 in some and typically occurs before the age of 25. If they have not erupted by age 25, there is a possibility they will not erupt.
Aristotle noted: "The last teeth to come in man are molars called 'wisdom-teeth', which come at the age of twenty years, in the case of both sexes...causing great pain in their coming.".
In some individuals, the third molars may erupt with no problems whatsoever.
In other cases, the third molars do not erupt at all and also pose no problems or discomfort.
However, sometimes, the third molars may erupt and cause pain, gum trauma, decay and resorption of the adjacent teeth.
At Smile Hawthorn, we assess the position of the wisdom teeth, determine the need to remove them and discuss the procedure and risks involved if removal is required.
It is good to have your wisdom teeth checked routinely (if you have them).
Plan ahead: Wisdom teeth cannot always be removed in an emergency situation as they sometimes require an oral surgeon to remove them. Planning ahead gives you time to organise removal as well as time off school/work.
Time off: Depending on the teeth and the process required to remove them, you may be able to return to work/school/uni the next day or you may be recommended to rest for a few days.
The information contained on this website is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek advice from a dental professional.
Smile Hawthorn is a modern family dental and orthodontic practice that provides comprehensive dental and specialist orthodontic services to the community.
560 Glenferrie Road,Hawthorn, VIC 3122
03 9939 8006