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The extraction of wisdom teeth is indicated when there is not enough space for them to erupt fully , and they are causing or are at risk of causing unwanted side effects. These include dental caries in the wisdom tooth and /or adjacent tooth, gum disease (pockets) between the wisdom tooth and adjacent tooth, infection (pericoronitis) around the crown of the impacted wisdom tooth which can spread deeper and become serious, and cystic change in the jaws. Wisdom teeth are easier to extract and heal more quickly in younger patients.
Some orthodontists and other experts believe that wisdom teeth contribute to the crowding of the lower teeth in young adults between the ages of 18 - early 30´s, and therefore recommend extraction to prevent relapse after orthodontic treatment. Others believe that this is caused by continued maturation of the mandible during this period , which cannot be prevented by extracting the wisdom teeth. If lower arch crowding is noticed or feared , it can usually be stopped by bonding a permanent wire to the inside surfaces of the lower front teeth so that they cannot move.