When a child's permanent teeth start to erupt and appear in the mouth, there's usually some pushing going on to make room for the adult teeth. However sometimes these erupting teeth can be problematic, especially with the 3rd molars - our wisdom teeth - having the worst reputation for that.
When properly positioned they can be a valuable asset to us. When the jaw is not large enough to accommodate these teeth, they usually need to be removed before they become a bigger problem.
Wisdom teeth that are impacted have not yet broken through the gum tissue and may need to be extracted by an oral surgeon. Teeth that are partially erupted have started coming in, which can cause pain and discomfort. Wisdom teeth that have fully come in are referred to as non-impacted or erupted.
At Greater Louisville Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, we recommend a routine evaluation and exam around age 12. This gives us early warning of problems and whether they need to be extracted.