Spring Break is fast approaching and for many teens, this is the ideal time to have their wisdom teeth removed. Most people know wisdom tooth surgery as a rite of passage and excuse to eat ice cream. There is a lot more to them that that. Here are some fun facts about your third molars:
- Wisdom teeth got their nickname from the age when they typically grow in. Wisdom teeth don’t actually grow out until the dental arch becomes larger, around 17-25, this time is referred to as the “age of wisdom.”
- According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), an estimated 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed. This can be because the teeth are impacted and difficult to properly clean.
- Thirty-five percent of the population is born without wisdom teeth. Researchers debate whether this is evolution or culture. Modern humans no longer need these teeth for survival. Some researchers have looked into the link between how different cultures use their jaws. In parts of East Asia, for example, it is common to find people without wisdom teeth.
- Nine out of ten people have at least 1 impacted wisdom tooth. A tooth becomes impacted when there is not enough room for the tooth to enter the mouth in full function. If left alone, this could cause damage to neighboring teeth or cause infection.
Albany Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery believes that the decision to remove your wisdom teeth is one that should be made with you, your family, and your dentist or oral surgeon. Please give our office a call to answer any questions you may have about your wisdom teeth or to schedule an appointment.