Questions and Answers about Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth FAQ:

Question: Do wisdom teeth make my lower teeth get crooked?

A: We used to think this was the case but new evidence shows that the third molars do not affect the position of the lower teeth. A lot of dentists will still tell patients that the wisdom teeth make the other teeth crooked but the newest research does not support that. Patients without wisdom teeth have crowding of their lower teeth just as often as people with wisdom teeth. Researchers have placed sensors to measure how much force your wisdom teeth push with and it was found to be negligible. The reason that lower teeth can become crooked is because the jaw shrinks slightly as we age and teeth have a built-in desire to move toward the midline of your mouth.

Question: Is it better to get my wisdom teeth taken out when I am young?

A: In general, around age 16-21 is a time to have your wisdom teeth taken out. At that point your roots are likely not fully formed so the teeth are easier to remove and you will heal well. Studies have shown that after the age of 25, the bone seems to not fill in as well for complete healing in some cases.

Question: Do all wisdom teeth need to be removed?

A: No. If your wisdom teeth are fully erupted and you can keep them clean, you don’t need your wisdom teeth removed. Also, if your teeth are completely embedded in solid jawbone you don’t necessarily need to have them removed. You will have a slightly higher chance for a cyst/tumor formation around your wisdom tooth but the risk is very small.