Around ages eight – ten, the third molars (wisdom teeth) begin to form. At this age, all children should have a panorex to ensure that these teeth are developing normally.
On occasion cysts or tumors can begin to develop at this age range, on or near the third molars. These abnormal growths can be very aggressive and destructive to the jaw bone and adjacent teeth. They should be removed as early as possible.
While the vast majorities are benign, they can expand in months to years to very large sizes which makes removal difficult for the oral surgeon. When the surgeon is removing them, the surgeon must be careful to not fracture the jaw.
Parents, if your dentist does not have an x-ray machine that encircles the head (also know as a panorex machine), please visit the orthodontist to have this important x-ray.