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Wisdom Teeth? To Have or Have Not

Published Online: Tuesday, July 1, 2003   [ Request Print ]

Researchers suggest that individuals could be better off if their wisdom teeth, or third molars, did not develop, according to a recent article published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. These teeth may have served a purpose in prehistoric humans. Yet, defining a useful purpose for third molars over the past century has become more difficult?especially because so many people experience pain and disease as a result of the teeth themselves or from having them extracted. According to the article, 65% of 20-year-olds have at least 1 impacted third molar. In addition, wisdom teeth that do come in are frequently out of position, making them difficult to clean.

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