Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that erupt, usually during your late teens to early twenties. For some people, the wisdom teeth are able to erupt through the gums and have enough room to grow in naturally. For other people, wisdom teeth are so positioned that they cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums and are considered to be impacted, or partially impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause structural damage to the jaw and other teeth. Partially impacted teeth may provide a place for bacteria to gather since they are hard to reach to clean, and are often partially covered by tissue. These types of problems make it necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth.
Routine x-rays during a dental exam can reveal the position of wisdom teeth and what treatment may be required.