at Riverside Dental Group want to find out just how wise you are about wisdom teeth with today’s quiz.


Q1. True or False – Partially erupted wisdom teeth should not be removed unless they cause discomfort.

Q2. True or False – Our society has evolved out of needing wisdom teeth.

Q3. True or false – The name wisdom teeth for third molars comes from the thought that you are of a wise age when they erupt.


A1. FALSE – When a wisdom tooth fails to erupt through the gum bed completely, a soft tissue flap develops. This is called an operculum, and can make it very difficult to clean teeth properly. Bacteria and food debris are likely to accumulate under the operculum, leading to infection. Extraction will generally be recommended in the case of a partial wisdom tooth eruption.

A2. TRUE – Cro-Magnon man did not have the option of utensils, ovens, and kitchen gadgets to chop and cook food. In fact, there was a time when cooking meat wasn’t even a possibility, let alone close to a reality. Our ancestors lived off a diet consisting of raw meat, nuts, leaves, and roots. This made their third set of molars an important part of their anatomy. However, now we obviously cook, bake, and cut everything into bite-sized pieces, so we have less use for our wisdom teeth. That’s why removing wisdom teeth can be an easy decision if they are causing you any pain or issues.

A3. TRUE – The association between the third molars and wisdom dates back to Hippocrates. The ancient Greek physician noted that the age that these teeth erupted was a time when people began to have wisdom. Hippocrates called the third molar teeth sophronisteres, which meant prudent teeth. Later, in Rome, they were called dentes sapientiae, which translates to “teeth of wisdom.”

Consult With Your Riverside Dentists

If you have any questions or dental concerns, contact your dentists in Riverside. We offer a full array of general dental services. To reach our  92504 dentist office, call (951) 689-5031. We serve patients from Riverside and nearby communities.