There is no substitute for our healthy natural teeth. However there are occasions when teeth are unrestorable and must be extracted. Erupting wisdom teeth are other examples or situations where extractions may be necessary. Third molars, also called wisdom teeth, are the last teeth to surface, usually between ages 17-25. Most people have four wisdom teeth, some don’t have any, and in rare cases people have more than four. We will observe your wisdom teeth with x-rays as part of regular examinations. It is estimated that 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually require removal. Wisdom teeth are often impacted – not properly emerged through the gums, instead growing crooked or even completely sideways. Left untreated the impacted teeth can cause a host of problems including crowding or misalignment of the other teeth and jaw, headaches and infections. Even if not impacted, wisdom teeth can be difficult to clean and may require extraction to reduce the risk of decay and infection. The best time to remove wisdom teeth is when the patient is in their late teens-early twenties. Surgeries performed later in life can still be very effective, but healing may be slower, and the risk of complications slightly higher.