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Extra Wisdom Teeth: How Many Can You Have?

by Williams, Daily & Frazier on Dec 15, 2022 5:00:00 AM

Wisdom teeth are a source of both excitement and trepidation for many people. On the one hand, they are a sign that you are officially an adult. But on the other hand, they can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. So how many wisdom teeth do people actually have? The answer may surprise you.

Four Wisdom Teeth is Common

Most adults have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. However, some people have less, and some people are born without any wisdom teeth at all. Wisdom teeth usually start to emerge around the age of 17 or 18, though they can sometimes appear as late as 25.

If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain or crowding your mouth, your dentist may recommend removing them. However, if they are healthy and causing no problems, there is no need to remove them.

Many Have Less Than Four Wisdom Teeth

It is estimated that 20-25% of people worldwide have fewer than four wisdom teeth. So there is a one in four or one in five chance that you will have fewer than the normal four wisdom teeth.

There is not always enough space for wisdom teeth, which can crowd or damage other teeth. People often suffer from pain, discomfort or infection from wisdom teeth. In some cases, wisdom teeth may need to be removed by a dentist or oral surgeon. If you have fewer than four wisdom teeth, you may be at a lower risk for problems related to wisdom teeth. However, it is important to talk to your dentist about the best way to care for your teeth and maintain good oral health.

How many wisdom teeth can you have?

Most people have four wisdom teeth, which typically erupt in the late teens or early twenties. However, some people have additional wisdom teeth, known as “surplus” teeth.

While the exact prevalence is unknown, surplus teeth are thought to be relatively rare, occurring in about 1-2% of the population.

Double wisdom teeth, or a total of eight wisdom teeth, are even more unusual.

There are a few documented cases of people with even more than eight wisdom teeth, but these are extremely rare and you would be quite unique if you fall into this category.

In general, surplus teeth are more likely to be impacted (stuck under the gums) and may cause problems if they erupt or if they crowd other teeth.

If you have surplus wisdom teeth, your dentist or oral surgeon will closely monitor them and may recommend preventive or interceptive treatment to reduce the risk of complications.

Do all wisdom teeth need to be extracted?

It is a common misconception that wisdom teeth are useless and should be removed as soon as they come in. In fact, wisdom teeth serve an important purpose in the mouth and are only removed when they cause problems.

Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to pain, infection and other dental problems, so it is often necessary to have them removed. However, not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted. Some people have perfectly healthy wisdom teeth that do not cause any problems.

If you are wondering whether or not you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to assess your individual situation and give you the best advice on what to do next.

Can wisdom teeth grow back?

Once they are gone, they are gone for good. The wisdom teeth cannot grow back, but it is possible for a new set of molars to develop in their place. These so-called supernumerary teeth are extra teeth that erupt behind the wisdom teeth. They are relatively rare, affecting only about one percent of the population. So, while it is technically possible for additional molars to come in after the wisdom teeth are removed, it is not likely. And even if they do, there is no guarantee that they will cause any problems.

Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist in Raleigh, NC with a dedicated team of dentists, assistants, hygienists and administrators who are enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.