Oral Surgery or Simple Extraction?

Feb 13, 2022
I have had one impacted molar since I was 17 (I am currently 31). About 2 years ago, the impacted tooth peeped out of the gums on the side, and since then about 1/4 of the tooth has become visible. The tooth is at a 45 degree angle underneath my second molar, and has dissolved half of the roots on the second molar. The same situation happened on the bottom wisdom tooth when I was 16, and the dentist just pulled the second molar and the wisdom tooth came in just fine (still 45 degree crooked but fully erupted, anyway).
I went to an oral surgeon, and he said pulling the second molar this time would still not allow the tooth to fully erupt because I am 31 years old and teeth do not erupt anymore when you get that old. Then I read online about how supra-eruption occurs at any age, and I know the tooth has moved some recently because it sticks out farther now than when the gums still covered it.
My question is, is it true that pulling the second molar would not help because I am too old, and the wisdom tooth would just sit in its partially erupted state from now on? Or would it finish erupting after the second molar on top of it was removed?


Verified Dentist
Jun 14, 2018
I believe the oral surgeon is partially correct in terms of eruption. Everyday your teeth will shift while the opposing and adjacent teeth will limit its extent. The wisdom teeth will shift less since your bone is much more dense at 31 than at 17. If the 2nd molar is damaged, it needs to be extracted.
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