Why are Wisdom Teeth/3rd Molars most often Extracted by Dentists

Wisdom Tooth or the 3rd Molar is the most commonly Extracted tooth due to pathological reasons by Dentists. Wisdom Teeth or 3rd molar teeth are being considered as vestigial parts of the human body as with evolution over decades it is seen that in some people 3rd molars are completely absent not even tooth buds are seen, and in others the jaw size decreasing constantly is the main reason for the lack of space for the 3rd molars to erupt into Occlusion and leading to Impaction.

There are various Steps in Local Examination to diagnose Impaction and the type of Surgery required to remove it. For example Wharf’s Assessment of Impacted 3rd molar. After Reading this post you will understand Why a dentist prefers removal of 3rd molar and asks you to get it extracted.

why should you remove 3rd molar if impacted

Reasons for 3rd Molar Extraction:

Here are some reasons why 3rd Molar is the most commonly impacted tooth in the Oral cavity and also why Dentists persist of getting it removed every time you visit a dentist.

Most commonly impacted tooth:

We all know that 3rd molars are the most commonly impacted teeth in the oral cavity after them come the Canines, but because of Impaction the Other teeth in the oral cavity are affected mostly 2nd Molar which is adjacent and due to the position of the 3rd molar it is most commonly affected. If there is Mesial Impaction of 3rd molar there is a trench formed between the crowns of 3rd and 3nd molar which will lead to food accumulation and if there is horizontal impaction the crown of 3rd molar will impinge on the root of 2nd molar leading to resorption of the Root. Hence for this main reason 3rd molar is the most extracted tooth in Oral Cavity.

Lack of Space in the dental arch:

Due to constant evolutionary changes to living beings the change in living conditions and the lack of requirement of that extra tooth to chew and to get good appearance the Jaw Size of Humans is decreasing and this is leading to loss of Space in Jaw for the 3rd molar to erupt which takes place after the growth stage is finished in Boys/Girls.

3rd molar impaction causes - lack of space

Lack of Space preventing eruption of 3rd molar

Lack of Space due to decrease in Jaw size is the Major reason for Impaction of 3rd molar which in turn leads to Extraction of the impacted 3rd molar.

Unwanted Location of the tooth:

Due to lack of Space and the tooth having no place to go the tooth is seen to get stuck in various unwanted locations which are classified as Mesial, Distal, Horizontal, Vertical Impaction and this is the cause of various conditions like, Caries, Cysts, Pericoronitis etc and the only solution is removal of this harmful tooth. Sometimes the Root of Impacted 3rd molar most commonly impinges on the Inferior or Dental Alveolar Nerve canal, so Relation of 3rd molar to Dental/Inf alveolar nerve canal is important in diagnosing and deciding the treatment plan.Relation of Inferior alveolar root canal to 3rd molar root tips

Difficult to clean and prevent caries:

Due to the location of 3rd molar in the far end of the Oral cavity and at many times because of its odd locations makes it very difficult to clean and remove Food and Debris from accumulating which will lead to Caries to the Impacted tooth and along with it the adjacent 2nd Molar as well. In Mesial impaction because of the trench formation between 3rd and 2nd molar Caries is seen in both 3rd molar and the distal aspect of 2nd molar, so to protect the 2nd Molar removal of 3rd molar is compulsory.

Common reason for Pericoronitis:

Pericoronitis is the most common complain in 3rd molar impactions and the most common reason why people come to know that they have impacted tooth and visit the Dentist. Pericoronitis is nothing but imflammation of the Soft tissue covering the crown of the Impacted 3rd molar because it constantly gets impinged between the 3rd and 2nd molar corwns. For more details on c/f and Tretment of Pericoronitis see: C/F and treatment of Pericoronitis

Latest Comments
  1. Dentist Chandigarh

    Very nice presentation! I am also a dentist by profession and always search for these kinds of blogs to update my knowledge. Your article is very knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Patient from pune

    Hi varun,
    I’m sffering from acute sinusitis can it be due to my 3rd molars are totally erupted. I have done various X ray and scan but unable to find the cause. Can you help me?

  3. Varun

    If you are suffering from Acute Sinusitis i think you might have consulted a ENT specialist, and Sinusitis is caused in tooth infection when the tooth in question is infected by having a Cyst or Abscess becoming the cause of the spread of infection to Sinus. If you want to rule out role of your 3rd molars in Sinusitis you have to consult a dentist and they might be suggesting a OPG to see the relation of your 3rd molar root tips to sinus floor.

  4. Victoria

    Hi Varun,

    I was wondering if you could tell me if wisdom teeth extraction can cause facial changes? I have heard this from a few dentists but then others will say there is no change at all. My intuition is obviously telling me to believe the dentists who say there is a change as they don’t really have a financial incentive to say this..I’ve unfortunately already had all 4 removed and am strongly considering dental implants to replace them/restore the face. What are your thoughts on this? (I know it’s not commonly done but if there’s any chance at preserving/restoring facial support/contours I think it would be implants, no?) Thanks so much in advance for your time and expertise.

  5. mark

    hi victoria, just wondering.. how old were you when you removed it and did you notice any facial change yet? please respond thanks.

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