John a Carroll DDS, Oral & Maxillofacial John A. Carroll DDS Colorado Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

John A. Carroll, DDS
Colorado Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

26 West Dry Creek Circle, Suite 740
Littleton, CO 80120
303 224 0500 PH
303 224 0606 FX


Wisdom Teeth

X-ray of impacted wisdom teethWisdom teeth (3rd molars) are the last teeth to develop. Typically, wisdom teeth begin to mature around age 12 and complete their development by 18 or 19 years of age. Many or most people lack adequate room in the upper and lower jaws to accommodate eruption of wisdom teeth into functional and maintainable positions in the mouth. Consequently, wisdom teeth are often “impacted,” meaning they are partially or completely embedded in the jawbones and/or partially or completely covered by gum tissue. Pain, pressure, swelling and infection are common signs and symptoms of problems with impacted wisdom teeth. Additionally, impacted wisdom teeth can damage or destroy adjacent second molars. They can cause otherwise healthy teeth to shift forward, often resulting in rotation and crowding of the lower front teeth. This can reverse the results of previous orthodontic treatments. Occasionally impacted wisdom teeth spawn pathologies including cysts and tumors in the jawbones. Removing impacted wisdom teeth can prevent some or all of these problems, especially if they are extracted after crowns have developed, but before roots are completely formed. Most people reach that stage between the ages of 14 and 18 years old. More information about wisdom teeth is available at

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