Friday, May 04, 2007

Extra Wisdom Teeth (fourth molars)

Most people have about four "wisdom teeth". These are also known as "third molars", one in each quadrant. They are way in the back where there is usually not enough room. Often, but not always, they need to be removed because of limited space, angled eruption, impaction, or they just can't erupt properly. Sometimes there are no wisdom teeth at all; they just didn't form. There also may be one, two or three of them.

Every now and then there is a patient with extra wisdom teeth. Often these are called "fourth molars". Here is a panoramic x-ray showing the developing fourth molars. If there is not enough room for wisdom teeth (third molars), there for sure won't be enough room for any extras.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you have had all your third molar wisdom teeth cut out is there any chance you could still get forth molars I hope not but I do not know

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

I haven't seen that happen. I have seen something like it once but it was more like third molars that formed late. I'm sure it could happen but not likely. It's good to get a new panoramic x-ray after a few years anyways as part of a regular examination.

Anonymous said...

I had fourth molars - I didn't even know that something like this existed until after the dentist told me I had them and they needed to be removed along with my wisdom teeth.

Anonymous said...

how do you know when you need your wisdom teeth pulled or cut out?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of wisdom teeth if you love penuts or pecans ext. Why is it that even though you had your wisdom teeth cut or pulled out that when you eat nuts or something nutty that it ends up where the wisdom teeth used to be. is that not what molars are there for it seems like the Wisdom teeth could have stayed?

Anonymous said...

Our dentist recently found 3 wisdom teeth growing pretty rapidly in my 12 yr old daughter. A panoramic x-ray from 18 months ago compared with one from this week show significant growth and crowding. He is recommending we remove them now before they damage her molars. I am hesitant to put my daughter through it if I can help it. She has already had 4 teeth removed to make room in her very small mouth. Have you seen this before? I am worried about surgery but I want to make the right decision. My jaw was broken when my wisdom teeth came out and I don't want that to happen to her.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

I have seen wisdom teeth come in fairly early. I've seen orthodontists recommend removal of "12 year molars" too. Sometimes there is simply not enough room for all those teeth.

Anonymous said...

you can still get your fourth molars after you get the third molar wisdom teeth out. It happened to my mother. It was a couple months after she got her third molars removed and she was having terrible pain. She ended up having to have surgery on the fourth molars to get them out. But this was also in the late 1970's so i would think dentists now would notice if you were to have the fourth molars and take them out the same time as the third

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Sometimes fourth molars cannot be accessed at the time the third molars are removed or they have not even formed yet.

Abby said...

i had 2 extra wisdom teeth.i got them removed today.my jaw is killing me.i am only 17 years old,and this is one of the worst pains iv had to be put through.

Anonymous said...

My mother had two complete sets of wisdom teeth (3rd and 4th molars), removed in the 1970's. I myself have had all four of my 3rd molars removed at age 18, and 5 years later (currently) I have 4th molars growing on the top. Its possible. Honest.