The third molar, most commonly referred to as a wisdom tooth, is the third set of molars that are located in the very back of the mouth.
A third molar that grows in correctly and does not create overcrowding inside the mouth can be helpful with chewing and is overall healthy. However, a third molar that grows in incorrectly can damage other teeth and cause oral health concerns.
Third molar information
It is helpful to have a full understanding about what the third molar is, when it is problematic and when it is okay to let it grow in naturally.
The following is everything you need to know about the third molar, including where it is located, potential complications and treatment options.
Where is the third molar located?
The third molar is located in the most posterior section of the mouth in each quadrant, which includes the upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right.
Third molars are the last teeth to come through, and they most commonly surface between the age of 17 to 21, which is why they are often referred to as “wisdom teeth.” Unfortunately, the third molar does not always come in correctly and can subsequently cause damage to the gums and other teeth.
When to have the third molar removed
There are three main occurrences when a third molar may need to be removed, which are:
- The third molar becomes impacted
- The third molar may lead to an infection
- The third molar leads to overcrowding
On many occasions, the third molar may grow in when the mouth simply does not have enough extra space to support an additional tooth or all four teeth. In some cases, there may be enough space for the third molar to grow in, but it surfaces horizontally instead of vertically, which can place pressure on other teeth and cause them to shift.
When not to have the third molar removed
Individuals with an ample amount of space in their mouth and third molars that grow in straight typically do not need to have the third molar removed. In fact, they may actually be able to benefit from four additional teeth.
However, it is important to keep an eye on the third molar, even if there are no signs of them being problematic to oral health. In some cases, it may take time before complications of the third molar begin to arise.
Treatment options for the third molar
There are two treatment options for the third molar, which are either to have the third molar removed or to not have it removed.
If removing the third molar is necessary, the procedure is surgical and requires the use of anesthetics. While it is a fairly simple procedure for most oral surgeons, there is likely to be a good amount of discomfort for up to a week (sometimes longer) following the surgery.
If extraction of the third molar is not needed initially, it is still important to keep an eye on the third molar and seek treatment if any complications develop in the future.
Go to https://advanceddentalofnewwindsor.com for third molar information or call Advanced Dental at (845) 228-8048.
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