Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Do I really need to get my wisdom teeth removed?

            A friend of mine recently sent me an article where the author was warning people against having their wisdom teeth removed. He cited all kinds of risks and the troubles he had during his experience. He even referred to having wisdom teeth being removed as a ‘scam.’ In light of this, I wanted to share some facts and myths about having wisdom teeth removed versus keeping them.

Do all wisdom teeth need to be removed?
            No. There are times when there is adequate room for the wisdom teeth and they can be easily cleaned and maintained. In these situations, extraction is not warranted.

How old should you be when the wisdom teeth are removed?
            The answer varies greatly due to different eruption patterns and when symptoms develop. But typically the younger you are the easier the removal and healing. The more developed the roots, the more challenging the procedure can become. This is why dentists typically recommend extractionb at a younger age.

Will I ever be too old to have wisdom teeth removed?
            If the teeth are symptomatic and/or causing other issues then you are never too old. But if your immune system is compromised or you have been taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis, removal may not be a good option.

What can happen if I don’t remove my wisdom teeth?
            If the teeth are fully or partially impacted then you could experience tooth decay of the wisdom teeth, decay on the adjacent teeth, cysts, and other serious infections.

Who should remove my wisdom teeth?
            For almost all cases, we recommend an oral surgeon extract your wisdom teeth. They are very experienced, can provide sedation, and can handle any possible complications.
The bottom line is each situation is different and each person is different. You should have an open dialogue with you dentist about your concerns and talk through the pros and cons of any treatment option.
I believe in calculated risk and minimizing that risk whenever possible. Most dentists, and the American Dental Association, believe in removing impacted wisdom teeth at a young age to avoid other more serious complications later in life.

For more information, visit www.dentistwestchester.com.

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.

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