Common Questions About Third Molars

We often find that patients have questions about third molars, teeth that tend to seem like quite the mystery. First, many patients simply have no idea what to expect. Second, patients are often unaware that this term is simply another way of saying “wisdom teeth.” As a result of their emergence later in life than the rest of your teeth, these molars can cause some confusion. In addition, they often cause a variety of problems as they develop. Rather than feeling unsure about this portion of your smile any longer, we encourage you to look over the following questions.

I Don’t See A Third Molar – Where Is It?

You may not yet see or feel your wisdom teeth for a variety of reasons. If you are under the age of 17, they have probably not begun to erupt yet. After this age, however, third molars typically begin to show up. Fortunately, rather than waiting to see what happens, we will monitor your smile with the use of digital X-rays. During dental checkups, we will take a look at the deeper workings of your smile. This will permit us to determine whether these final molars are developing correctly, failing to grow in, or if they are developing poorly.

Will I Need Third Molar Removal For Problem Teeth?

Yes, if your third molars grow in incorrectly, it is extremely important that you agree to wisdom teeth removal. Here’s why: If your tooth is impacted, that means it has not erupted through bone tissue or that it will not erupt through your gums. Over time, this can lead to problems like discomfort or infection. If your tooth begins developing on an angle, it may threaten and disrupt your alignment. Remove the tooth or teeth and you can protect your long-term oral health.


Dr. Shawn Hofkes and the staff at Cerritos Dental Surgery are highly qualified to address complex issues, including those that require oral surgery to correct. To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.