Getting wisdom teeth pulled can be a traumatic experience, but despite the risks this surgical procedure may involve, millions of asymptomatic, healthy wisdom teeth are removed in young persons in the US every year.
In many cases, this happens as young people get ready to leave for college.
One obvious question is whether prophylactic extraction is a good option. Chairman of orthodontics Dr Greg J. Huang at the University of Washington explains that every person is at risk of appendicitis, but the organ is not surgically removed as means of prevention.
Dr Huang notes that he is not against wisdom teeth extraction, but there should be a good clinical reason for it.
Professor of surgery Dr. Raymond P. White Jr. at the School of Dentistry to the University of South Carolina counters this argument by explaining that about sixty to seventy percent of persons with wisdom teeth have problems with them eventually. According to Dr. Louis K. Rafetto, some 80 percent of patients do not maintain their wisdom teeth well (the New York Times).
Expert Opinion On Getting Wisdom Teeth Pulled
This is the opinion of some experts on getting wisdom teeth pulled. Dr. Alan Carr, D.M.D. explains that extraction may be unnecessary if a wisdom tooth has grown in completely, i.e. it is fully erupted and healthy. Wisdom teeth removal is normally not required if the tooth is biting properly with the tooth opposite to it and is positioned correctly.
Finally, if the tooth can be cleaned so that proper dental hygiene is maintained, removal is not required.
Wisdom teeth are extracted mainly as a way of eliminating the potential for damage to adjacent teeth and for infection. It should be noted that the jaws of many people aren’t large enough for the third molars to erupt, and they may become partially exposed, which increases the risk of becoming infected.
Alternatively, wisdom teeth remain trapped under the gums, and there is a chance (3 to 5 percent) that they become cystic. Infection, on the other hand, can cause wisdom teeth pain, damage to adjacent teeth, and bone loss.
If symptoms such as pain, impaction, swelling, and pocketing occur, wisdom teeth removal may be the best option. The decision on getting wisdom teeth pulled, however, should be made taking into account a variety of factors and after a consultation with an oral surgeon or a dentist.