There is ongoing debate regarding the need to extract wisdom teeth. Numerous scientific publications have aimed to clarify when it is medically appropriate to extract wisdom teeth, while many non-surgeons and patients have argued that there are too many unnecessary extractions.
A recent article in The New York Times again raised the question of the value of wisdom teeth extraction.
The author provided no clinical information about her daughter’s case but used it as an example of yet another patient who was misled into thinking that “her wisdom teeth had to come out, A.S.A.P.”
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This kind of criticism is nothing new to the medical community: Last year, President Obama suggested that otolaryngologists frivolously remove young people’s tonsils.
Obama quickly retracted his statement, but when critics perpetuate these unfortunate stereotypes, it makes the job of responsible and fair doctors that much harder.
The information below is intended to help patients evaluate the indications for wisdom teeth extraction. Much of this information is based on the “White Paper on Third Molar Data” published by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, which reviewed the current literature published on wisdom teeth and their removal.
Several factors need to be considered when evaluating wisdom teeth: The health of the second molar, the presence of gum disease, the age of the patient and the risk of dental crowding. To minimize the possibility of negative outcomes, the use of cone beam imaging will also be discussed.
°How To Know If Wisdom Teeth Really Need To Be Removed
°Ruben Cohen, D.D.S.