Unfortunately our jaws are not large enough for our wisdom teeth (also known as 3rd molars). According to some studies up to 90% of us do not have large enough jaw bones to have our wisdom teeth to erupt properly into functioning occlusion.
At Spokane Family Dental, we evaluate wisdom teeth using panoramic x-rays. We evaluate proper eruption, space, anatomy, and any pathology developing by the use of these x rays. On the image below, the white arrows point to the lower wisdom teeth. Generally, all wisdom teeth are removed at the same time. This ensures the need for one surgery and only one time to recover.
During recovery, often one tooth site will have lingering pain so if you take out all four at the same time you can ensure only one tooth causing you discomfort.
Dr. Ryan Bushman, DMD does not believe everyone needs their wisdom teeth out. Some patients have enough room and removing their wisdom teeth is not indicated. A quick exam and panoramic x-ray will allow us to evaluate if proper eruption is possible and if space is sufficient.
Below are some possible complications if wisdom teeth are left without removing them.