I regularly see people who are worried about their wisdom teeth or have been advised to have them removed, but times have changed.The philosophy of the removal of wisdom teeth has changed over the years, the general opinion now of dentists and surgeons is; there needs to a diagnosable condition or issue present to necessitate the removal of wisdom teeth. These include but are not limited too;
1. Periodontal conditions (severe gum disease) affecting the wisdom teeth that may be acting to seed of localised gum issues.
2. Recurring infection of the tissues surrounding the wisdom teeth when they are partially up in the mouth (called pericoronitis). I classify recurring as more than twice a year that has necessitated the prescription of antibiotics to resolve the infection.
3. Decay or a hole in the wisdom tooth requiring filling. I generally will not restore or fill a wisdom tooth unless fully erupted, well positioned and is easy to clean and reach to do the filling properly. I feel any other situation is a waste of money and you may as well spend the money removing it rather than filling the wisdom tooth. As a few years down the track the filling will need replacing and you will be faced with the same problem remove or keep, you will just be poorer the money you originally spent.
4. If the position of the wisdom tooth is causing damage to the tooth in front and looks as though it is causing dental decay (a hole) in the tooth next door or in front of it.
WISDOM TEETH WILL NOT CAUSE YOUR OTHER TEETH TO MOVE, WITH OR WITHOUT WISDOM TEETH THE TEETH WILL MOVE FORWARDS AND CROWD, THIS IS NATURE AT WORK.
Wisdom teeth do not need to be removed post orthodontics.
Upper wisdom teeth are generally very straight forward to remove. Lower wisdom teeth can be a little more complicated.There are very few times I would recommend removal of all four (or all, not everybody has four wisdom teeth) wisdom teeth at once. If you follow the modern philosophies then the tooth in question needs to be removed. If it happens to be a lower wisdom tooth I will encourage the patient to remove the upper wisdom tooth on the same side, this is because over time it will keep growing down and become a problem. This is not reversed though if removing an upper wisdom tooth only as the lower wisdom teeth are maintained in the bite by the upper tooth in front of the upper wisdom tooth.Only maybe if you are going through the cost of general anaesthetic and a hospital stay and all wisdom teeth can be deemed to eventually cause a problem would I recommend contemplating all four wisdom teeth be removed at once.If somebody has recommended removing all four wisdom teeth, ask; WHY, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Remember removing Wisdom Teeth is a surgical process even if simple and there are side effects and possible risks to surrounding anatomical features inculding nerves in surrounding tissues that can be permanently damaged in the process of removing wisdom teeth and perforation of the air sinuses in the upper jaw. There is always a balance in any medical field which is what is the benfit verse the risk. This means unless there is a greater benefit by removing the wisdom teeth compared to the surgical risks then the process should not be undertaken.
Dr Adam Alford graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia, in 2000 with honours. Dr Alford has worked extensively in Cosmetic and Implant Dental practices in Australia and the UK. He has a special interest in, general dentistry, orthodontics, preventative dentistry, children’s dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants and tooth whitening. Dr Alford is the author of the article and he maintains a General Dental, Cosmetic, Orthodontic and Implant Dental Surgery in Brisbane and the BrisbaneCBD, http://www.adamalford.com.auWebmasters are free to reprint this article provided that it is not edited, the authors information is included, and the links are included as live links. .