Of all the permanent (adult) teeth, the second and third molars are some of the last to erupt in the mouth. Specifically, the second molars often referred to as the “12-year molars” because they tend to erupt in the mouth around the ages between 11 to 13 years. This is how these molars received their nickname since they generally erupt around 12 years of age. However, prior to eruption, the 12-year molars are nestled underneath the gum line and cannot be seen without help of a radiograph or panoramic x-ray. It is when they are ready to erupt these molars push through the gums.


If you notice that your child is experiencing pain associated with cutting their 12-year molars in 2020, it may be possible that your child’s teeth are impacted. Impaction takes place when a tooth fails to properly erupt. Often, an impacted tooth may look positioned at an angle (often perpendicular to the teeth in front of them) or when wisdom teeth are blocking the pathway of the 12-year molars from surfacing the gum. Adequate space in the jaws plays a large role into whether or not teeth may be impacted. For those with very small mouths, it may be more common. Our Wilmington, NC dental friends at Riverside Dental Arts have told us that more and more parents are asking questions related to the 12 year molars.

Visit with A Dentist

Scenarios like this are why regular dental visits are heavily stressed. Not only does a dentist wish to maintain a healthy mouth, they also want to ensure that growth and development are occurring properly, especially in children!

If you believe your child’s 12-year molars are causing issues or are severely delayed to erupting, a pediatric dentist will want to take a radiograph (x-ray) or panoramic x-ray to get an accurate picture of what your child’s teeth look like. These images will help to clarify what is going on in your child’s mouth. After an evaluation of the radiographs, the pediatric dentist will be able to discuss any treatment that may be needed for your child.

Need A Pediatric Dentist—Contact Us!

If your child is experiencing issues with cutting molars or their teeth in general, please do not hesitate to call Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry today at (703)-348-2813! If your child is voicing any pain, we recommend you call immediately.

Dr. Konz will want to take radiographs to assess your child’s situation so that pain can be relieved as soon as possible. We are confident that our staff will take excellent care of your young one making him or her feel at ease in the chair. We are located in Ashburn, Virginia for your convenience.