Amateur Dental Advice on Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Over the last two years, particularly this year, I've watched a variety of people I know deal with the anguish of having their third set of molars (or "wisdom teeth") grow in and then be surgically extracted. This has struck me as somewhat strange, because I have had my wisdom teeth in for quite some time, and they've caused me no anguish whatsoever.

It may have been as long as two years ago, at fifteen, when I first had signs that some of my late-blooming teeth were coming in, which is much earlier than the norm. Now they've been entirely present for a long while - long enough that I've gone through two dental check-ups in which my dentist has suggested that these teeth be removed. The last time this happened, I stated that I would be availible no earlier than February for such an operation. Obviously, that time has passed. Even when I was first exposed to the idea that I should have these teeth removed, some part of me kept a bit of reservation on the matter. Now I will state unequivocally that I will not go through with such a procedure unless there are serious changes in the condition of my oral health.

Many wisdom teeth do in fact cause problems: They are the most common teeth to grow in incorrectly; they can cause genuine pain and future trouble if they are not removed. For many wisdom-tooth extractions in the United States, however, these threats are not present. In fact, medical reports indicate that a large portion of extractions are entirely unnecessary - and dangerous. It's been suggested that the number of surgical procedures could be reduced by a full 60%. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that dentists in other developed areas of the world are less likely to recommend extraction in situations that are exactly the same. Medical organizations have concluded that ultimately, extraction of asymptomatic wisdom teeth is not worth the risk of complications from the surgery (let alone the pain, cost and inconvenience).

And yet, dentists are still getting kids to cough up money to cough up their teeth - even when there's nothing wrong with them. Believe you me - I'm keeping my wisdom.


  1. There are still only signs of one of my wisdom teeth, though it's coming through just fine. So overall...agreed =)

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