ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Impacted wisdom tooth. Coloured X-ray of teeth in the lower left jaw of a patient, showing an impacted wisdom tooth. Normal molar teeth are seen at right (orange) with amalgam fillings in their crowns (blue). At lower left is a wisdom tooth growing horizontally, and which has impacted onto the second molar lying beside it. Adults have four wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) at the back of each row of teeth. They erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. Impacted wisdom teeth may penetrate the gum incorrectly, or may push other teeth out of alignment. An impacted wisdom tooth such as this one may have to be surgically removed.
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