We humans have and will continue to evolve. Like our appendix, wisdom teeth constantly pose potential problems as our jaws reduce in size through evolution. By the age of 12, wisdom tooth buds are visible in a panoramic x-ray.  As Preventive Dentists; we monitor a child’s ‘growth and development’, to watch for the onset of crooked teeth and the need for orthodontic treatment.  Review tooth positions regularly. However, in monitoring growth and development of a child, we can also keep an eye on the wisdom teeth as in most cases, there is no space for them to come through.

Wisdom teeth and sometimes other permanent teeth, become impacted and timely planning can prevent further complications. It is best to establish a baseline of records so that in case there are impacted teeth, we can plan ahead.

Wisdom teeth are positioned far back in your mouth and trap bugs and plaque. Food traps between them and the very important second molars adjacent. If this continues, decay will affect both teeth. There is no love lost with wisdom teeth, but to save the molar in front, root canal treatment and a crown will be a high price when timely surgical extraction of the offending wisdom tooth would prevent this.

Featured below is a recent case where all 4 wisdom teeth posed significant problems. These could have been treated when the individual was 18, but now at 35, there was a painful crisis.



  1. The lower right wisdom tooth has been pushed back into the jaw bone and rests upside down. This was a difficult wisdom tooth surgery.
  2. The lower left wisdom tooth has butted up against the molar in front, damaging the root surface. Note the tooth presses against the jaw nerve below it.
  3. The upper left wisdom tooth is growing outwards into the cheek  & caused ‘lock jaw’
  4. The Upper right side has locked behind the molar in front causing it to tilt backwards.

At Caring 4 Smiles in Epsom, we monitor all young patients to see if any of their teeth are impacted. Timely planning prevents complications later on. If you would like more information, please contact us.