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RandomGirl's avatar

How quickly can wisdom teeth move?

Asked by RandomGirl (3352 points ) January 15th, 2013 from iPhone

Yeah, another question about wisdom teeth. :)
My dentist says there isn’t a huge rush to take out my wisdom teeth, even though they’re almost touching my back molars. They’re coming in at an angle, so they’ll just push the molars out of the way. This is more than a cosmetic problem.
The insurance is dragging their feet about authorizing the procedure, so I’m in this for the long haul.
The family dentist looked at my X-ray and said it’ll be months or years before damage is done. I find this hard to believe, considering the pain I’m in. I saw the X-ray myself, and it sure looked to me that the wisdom teeth were just about touching the molars, already.
My mom and I were thinking about getting a second opinion. Would it help?
How quickly do wisdom teeth actually move?
Is a space of approximately a millimeter or two considered by dentists a large space?
How quickly could a wisdom tooth move approximately 1–2 millimeters?

Thanks, everyone.

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11 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I can’t give you mph, but my dentist says that our teeth (even with no impaction or misalignment) shift all the time until we die.

I think that a second opinion is a good idea, since you have been dealing with this issue for a while.

I remember that the issue was the insurance company and not the dental decision?

marinelife's avatar

I would believe you dentist. but I would emphasize the pain I am in when I talk to him. You could get a second opinion from an endodontist.

diavolobella's avatar

I’d get a second opinion. The pain is what concerns me. Also, my understanding is that wisdom teeth often don’t have sufficient enamel like your other teeth and can get cavities faster. It wouldn’t hurt to have another dentist weigh in.

RandomGirl's avatar

@gailcalled: The problem is the insurance. They’re dragging their feet, so it’ll be a while before I can get them taken out. The dentist does think they should come out, but he says there’s no rush. This is really very frustrating because of the pain I’m in. It’s not that bad all the time, but sometimes it gets bad enough that all I can do is to sit on the couch with ice packs on my cheeks.
We thought maybe the dentist could talk to the insurance and convince them that it is urgent, but obviously that’s not going to happen. He’s never been asked to do this before, he doesn’t know what he could say to speed it up, and furthermore, he doesn’t think it needs to be rushed! I’m about to yell at someone because obviously it needs to be rushed, because of the pain I’m in!!
Ok, I’m done with my rant.
I’m going to really push the idea of getting a second opinion. As nice as this dentist is, he certainly has a thick skull.
He also thinks I’m crazy for saying wisdom teeth are making me feel nauseous. Apparently he’s never heard of that connection.

deni's avatar

One of my wisdom teeth came through the gums recently and then completely stopped moving. That was probably two months ago. Nothing has happened since. So….there’s that.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I had my wisdom teeth taken out when I was 22. I was getting “headaches” actually “ocular migraines” that reduced my peripheral vision. Frankly I thought I had a brain tumor.
Have you stated clearly that you are in pain and it is affecting your life? . Have you asked for some pain medication? That might encourage the doctor and the insurance company to act.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My wisdom teeth were all removed at once and I didn’t have any pain, but my dentist said they needed to come out and immediately sent me to the surgical team.

All I can say is that to be in pain because of insurance seems like a crime. Can you pay for it and let insurance reimburse you later? Where are you at anyway, not the US right?

RandomGirl's avatar

@KNOWITALL: I’m in Minnesota, USA. I have MinnesotaCare, the government insurance that’s offered here. I’ve been asking around, and everyone I know that has MinnesotaCare has had major issues with it. It’s just a bad company. Unfortunately, it’s the only one my retired dad can afford.
@LuckyGuy: We’ve told the dentist and everyone involved that we talk to that I am in pain and it’s affecting my quality of life. The dentist and the insurance just don’t think it matters, I guess.
We really need to get a second opinion.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@RandomGirl Oh jeez, no wonder, sorry. Have you tried to call the surgeon’s office directly and schedule an appt, then let them deal with insurance? Once I skipped the general and went straight to my surgeon and he said no problem. That’s the only thing I can think of to help you unfortunately.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

In free countries, dental and medical practitioners, in consultation with their patients decide on what treatment is appropriate. In the USA, it seems, Insurance companies determine health care.

RandomGirl's avatar

@KNOWITALL: The surgeon won’t do anything until they’re sure they’ll get paid – in other words, either when we write them a check or when the insurance approves it.

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