Wisdom teeth

Some people require their wisdom teeth to be removed following orthodontic treatment with braces. Often the timing of the eruption of wisdom teeth coincides with the removal of braces. It is often difficult to determine if someone will have the space in their mouth for their wisdom teeth to erupt or if the wisdom will become impacted. A very unusual situation recently occurred when an upside wisdom tooth was discovered on an x-ray taken before starting orthodontic treatment with braces. The x-ray shows that the lower wisdom tooth is upside down and is very unlikely to erupt successfully.

Not everyone has wisdom teeth though. Their congenital absence is common in Eskimos and American Indians. Some researchers believe that wisdom teeth loss is a sign of higher evolutionary development in humans. However, the Neolithic man found after being frozen in the Austrian/Italian Alps for 5000 years had no wisdom teeth. Thus unfortunately those people cannot claim on the basis of missing wisdom teeth to have superior development characteristics.