- $75 for a dental exam, a cleaning, and x-rays ($300 value)
Wisdom Teeth: Should They Stay or Should They Go?
If you still have your wisdom teeth, your dentist will likely pay them special attention. Find out what they’re up to way back there with Groupon’s guide.
The human mouth’s third set of molars, wisdom teeth typically start to grow into the rear corners of the mouth during the late teens and early 20s, which has been commonly referred to as “the age of wisdom.” But they often cause distracting complications for their owners, such as pain, damage to other teeth, infections, and unpleasant extraction surgery needed to cure these issues. Unlike the mouth’s first and second set of molars, wisdom teeth aren’t required for proper chewing, and are considered by anthropologists to be vestigial leftovers from our ancestors, who had larger jaws that better fit the extra teeth that helped them tear into coarser foods and dinosaur hides.
That smaller-jaw theory of evolution may explain why 9 out of 10 people who get wisdom teeth have at least one impacted tooth lurking beneath the gum’s surface, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: the crowded jaw often forces wisdom teeth to tilt at odd angles. But wisdom teeth don’t cause trouble for everyone—some people never develop them at all, others grow only two or three, and still others find that they grow in without causing trouble. A few unlucky individuals, however, end up with even more than four of these unpredictable chompers.