Healthy Mouth Tips

C S Family Dental is here to let you know that it is okay if you choose to keep one or all of your wisdom teeth. You do need to make sure you pay attention to the tooth though because some wisdom teeth will present problems later on down the road and when these problems arise, you need to let Dr. Sohn know.

For decades, teens and adults would have their wisdom teeth removed from their mouth simply because it was the norm and almost like a passage into the adult world. Everyone always dreaded this moment because you knew that the procedure just had to hurt. After all, you were having four different teeth pulled at one time.

While you may have thought these teeth actually provided you with wisdom, they do not and they do not necessarily have a purpose within your mouth either. Your wisdom teeth are known as your third molars and they are often referred to by this name at our office. Often times, your wisdom teeth will not grow in properly and this leads to impaction. In addition, your teeth may be crowded or misaligned when your wisdom teeth grow in.

If your wisdom teeth did grow in throughout your younger years, it is likely that you did not even have to have them removed, especially if there was space for them to grow in. Your third molars come in anywhere between the age of 17 and 25 because your mouth is already done growing at this point.

Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

wisdom-teeth-whats-theA well-known Director for the Center for Evidence Based Dentistry located at the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge made statements about wisdom teeth and whether or not they should remain or be removed. In fact, he said that oral surgeons often resort to removing the teeth simply because it is often a safer approach to take. This will also prevent complications later on down the road.

It is normal to hear about someone having their wisdom teeth removed and because it has been accepted as the norm for such a long time. Today’s approach does not always follow the norm and many oral surgeons are convinced that you keep your wisdom teeth. In fact, many of them will not pull them and recommend that they remain in place until they begin to exhibit any type of problems.

Of course, just because there is a recommendation to keep the teeth does not mean that you should avoid checkups, x-rays, and exams. It is important that your wisdom teeth are monitored on a regular basis to ensure that no problems do exist. If your wisdom teeth do not remain healthy, they can cause trouble for you late on in life. If a problem is caught early on, the tooth can be extracted and the problem will be eradicated.

Many oral surgeons will suggest that you keep the teeth and it is simply healthier to do so. The reason behind it being healthier is because patients do not have to worry about anesthesia or the risks associated with the surgical procedure.

A California Dentist, Jay Friedman, says that there is usually only about a 30% justification to remove the wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, over 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year and there just simply is no reason to do so. Friedman says that removing wisdom teeth that do not need to be removed is a public health hazard.

Surgery should not be relied upon when a healthy wisdom tooth is present because the surgery itself can cause more problems such as infection. This is much worse than just leaving the healthy tooth in place.

The American Public Health Association has implemented a new policy that simply rejects the idea of removing any and all wisdom teeth as a prevention measure. The policy unfortunately did not hold up for long because there was not enough data to support either side of the argument. The data was lacking because it was able to show the wisdom teeth were symptom free, but it could not show that the teeth were disease free.

Wisdom teeth are one of the trickiest teeth in the dental industry. While a wisdom tooth may not immediately show problems, it can develop them later on down the road and about 2/3rds of them end up needing to be pulled at some point.

For a wisdom tooth NOT to be extracted and removed, it must be:

  • Fully erupted in the mouth
  • Cavity free
  • Disease free
  • Pain free
  • Functional
  • Within health gum tissues

What’s the Real Problem with Keeping Your Wisdom Teeth?

While many oral surgeons think it is best to keep your wisdom teeth and while you can choose to keep them, it is important to know that it can be difficult to remove them later on should a problem develop. Because of this, many oral surgeons simply remove them to prevent any issues. Once a wisdom tooth has been in place for a while, the surgery is harder to perform and there must be extensive planning conducted to ensure a successful result.

No one knows if a tooth will stay healthy long enough to remain in your mouth for the rest of your life and it comes down to whether or not you and Dr. Sohn determine it is worth the chance to keep your wisdom teeth. If Dr. Sohn thinks that your wisdom teeth need to be removed, he will let you know and counsel you on the procedure and what to expect.

If you think that you need to have your wisdom teeth looked at, contact C S Family Dental now to schedule a FREE consultation with us.