The third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth. This generally occurs between the ages of 17 and 25.
As they are the last teeth to erupt, they are often “trapped” within the bone and have no space to accommodate within the dental arch. This increases the possibility of major infections around these parts and cavities in neighboring parts.
Wisdom teeth are recommended to be removed before complications occur, but the more time passes, the circumstances can become more painful and difficult to treat. For this reason, it is recommended to extract them at an early age or young adults. If the patient is older, its extraction or removal becomes more difficult and there are greater complications associated, since as a third molar develops its roots become longer and the bone that surrounds it becomes more dense or hardened.
Before performing the extraction or surgery to remove them, the general dentist or the maxillofacial surgeon will order a panoramic X-ray to be able to carefully analyze the position of the tooth in response to nearby anatomical structures and thus avoid complications or damage during the procedure. This X-ray will also help to determine if the four third molars (two on the top and two on the bottom) are present, as it is common for not all of them to develop or to be absent altogether.