Twelve-year molars” refer to the second molars that are located in the mouth. They are considered permanent, “adult” teeth and get their name because of when they generally erupt in the mouth. According to the ADA, the second molars typically erupt between 11 to 13 years. In some cases, a child may even experience their lower second molars to erupt before their upper second molars. Do not be alarmed if the second molars do not erupt at the exact same time, as this is typical.

Prior to the second molars surfacing the gums, a pediatric dentist is able to examine how the teeth are growing in with a radiograph or panoramic x-ray. Specifically, what the pediatric dentist will look for is if the second molars are growing in at proper angles— Ideally, straight up. However, this may not always the case. Sometimes, the second molars are not able to properly erupt into the arch of the mouth and become stuck under the back half of the first molars. When this occurs, the teeth are considered impacted. Although possible, impacted second molars are not as likely as the third molars, “wisdom teeth” to be impacted.

If you are worried if your child may have impacted 12-year molars, it is best to meet with a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. An early detection of impacted second molars is imperative to avoid any serious orthodontic or surgical treatment. Be sure to know that if the pediatric dentist advises treatment, the suggested age range to treat serious impaction cases is generally between 11 and 14 years of age.

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If you have not yet established care with a pediatric dentist or have any concerns with your child’s teeth, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry today! At our office, we offer an array of treatment options to our wonderful patients. Most importantly, we have a fun and friendly environment for children of all ages. Dr. Konz and his team have significant experience with both children and dentistry enabling your child to feel at ease in our office. For your convenience, we are located in Ashburn, Virginia.