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livelaughlove21's avatar

Wisdom tooth coming in - no pain - dentist or no?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15713points) March 19th, 2015 from iPhone

I woke up this morning to discover one of my wisdom teeth erupting. I can feel it coming through the gums. I’m not experiencing pain, swelling, headaches, etc.

A few years ago, I had a routine x-ray and my dentist told me my wisdom teeth were impacted and set me up to see an oral surgeon to have them removed. I had no insurance, so only one local oral surgeon would take payments, so I had to see him. Before the day of the procedure, I found out this guy had a horrible reputation and had really messed some people up. I cancelled the appointment and just forgot about it. I haven’t had a single issue since.

I’ve heard that most wisdom tooth extractions are completely unnecessary, particularly when they’re not causing problems. I’m not cool with unnecessary procedures, even though I do have insurance now.

I know most dentists will tell me they need to go, so I’m hesitant to make an appointment unless/until I start having pain or notice my teeth are crowding.

Do you think it’s necessary to see a dentist at this point or should I just wait it out and hope there’s room for it?

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16 Answers

jca's avatar

I wouldn’t go. Many people have wisdom teeth and never had one problem. Only recently did wisdom teeth become such an issue. When I was younger, they’d only need to come out when there was a problem. Otherwise, they’d stay in people’s heads without second thought.

chyna's avatar

I’m in my 50’s. I had one that started coming through back in my 20’s. There was no pain. My dentist said to wait and we would keep an eye on it. I never had any problems with them and still have all four.

I would wait and see.

longgone's avatar

I’d go, but I have a lot of confidence in my dentist. It’s a shame you haven’t found a good one yet. I would go because I just recently heard a story about someone whose wisdom teeth got very painful pretty much overnight. He had to have them removed, all four at once, with no planning whatsoever. I would hate that.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@longgone I’m not sure if I’d go to the dentist based on a “what if” scenario. A lot of painful things can develop overnight – if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. Seeing a dentist today won’t stop them from hurting tomorrow if they’re going to anyway. I would hate emergency surgery, too, but I’d hate to have a surgery I didn’t really need even more. I don’t distrust my dentist, but I know he’ll likely go the “better safe than sorry” route – remove them so they don’t cause problems later. Unfortunately, the surgery itself can cause a lot of problems as well.

Thanks all. I think I’ll wait it out for now.

rojo's avatar

I still have mine.
The two bottom ones are exposed, the two top ones never came through. I have had dentists ask why I did not have the bottom ones removed when I had the top ones out and have had to explain to them that the top ones are still there. Over the years I have had two free x-rays because dentists doubted what I said.
They don’t cause me any grief. They don’t hurt, are not that difficult to keep clean with the rest of my teeth and I have never considered removing them.
I have been told that they might crowd my other teeth and my teeth do not have much of a gap between them which makes flossing a little more tedious but my teeth don’t overlap so I have discounted this worry.

JLeslie's avatar

I sent the Q to our jelly dentist.

The only thing I would say is if a dentist wants to remove them get a second opinion. Ask friends who have very little to no trouble with their teeth for a dentist recommendation.

If you get them removed when they are still under the gum (doesn’t sound like you will) use an oral surgeon.

I had a very different situation than yours so I don’t have any personal experience. I do know my husband waited until he had some trouble and it was a simple extraction since the tooth was out already. I don’t know if he still has some of his wisdom teeth, I just know he had one pulled while we were dating.

janbb's avatar

I really don’t know the state of mine but I never had them pulled and I never had trouble. Both of my kids had all four pulled.

chinchin31's avatar

Mine have been growing for the past 5 years and I am going to take them out.

I think you should only take them out if they are giving you trouble e.g I have to clean mine with a toothpick as well as a toothbrush. It is just becoming too labour intensive for me.

My dentist back when they first started growing told me not to take them out but now that 5 years have passed and they are still growing, he told me I should take them out. He said they are taking long to grow out because there is not enough space. He also noticed the one I have problems cleaning and said I might get a cavity as it is so difficult to clean.

Only take them out if you find them troublesome and hard to clean.

Strauss's avatar

I was about 20 or 21 when my top wisdom teeth began to come in. First it was my right one. Then my left one came in. My right wisdom tooth was in such a position I could not chew without biting my tongue. When the Navy dentist extracted the tooth, he told me that the left one was coming in just the same, so he set me up to have that one extracted. It was easy. I was given a local anesthetic, and I don’t remember any intense pain for either one.

My bottom wisdom teeth were a different story. I did not have them removed for a couple years after I had the top ones extracted. This was done by our family dentist. I saw his father as a child, and father and son were in the same practice. My lowers were impacted, causing headaches. They had not started to come through the gum, so they needed to be extracted surgically, one at a time. I don’t remember much of the surgery, due to local anesthetic and general sedation, but recovery was painful but manageable.

Stinley's avatar

Does it look as if it is coming in straight and normal looking? Have you got enough space in your mouth to accommodate it without causing your other teeth to shift and go crooked? If yes then I would leave well alone.

filmfann's avatar

Wisdom teeth were a good idea before common dentistry, when it was common to lose teeth. The Wisdom teeth would push together the remaining teeth.
Since that is no longer an issue, the Wisdom teeth tend to crowd your teeth.
Your call.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’m in a very similar situation to you. I am going to wait until they become a problem before I have them removed. I’d rather have emergency surgery to get them removed than have it planned and spend the time leading up to it worrying about it!

prettypenny's avatar

It sounds like you’ve already made up your mind so I will tell you good luck.

I hope they never cause you pain on a Friday evening or during the weekend. Good luck getting emergency care then. Have you ever had dental pain? It’s awful. I’d rather go through pregnancy and give birth naturally than experience dental pain ever again.

My brother is also in your position right now but he’s waiting it out because he doesn’t have insurance and he can’t afford the surgery. The teeth usually don’t bother him but they have caused excruciating pain twice in the past eight months and both times were during the weekend. He now has two emergency room visits to pay for on top of the money he needs for surgery.

Good luck.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Stinley It’s not out far enough for me to be able to tell if it’s coming in straight. I can just feel that a corner has come through the gums when I reach back there with my tongue. It feels like there’s enough space, but who knows? My teeth aren’t straight as it is, but that has nothing to do with wisdom teeth – they’ve always been that way and I have no plans to get braces. It’s probably the one flaw I have that doesn’t bother me. I don’t want them to get worse, though, so I’m going to keep an eye on it.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If your wisdom teeth aren’t causing you any pain at this point, I’d just leave them be. I don’t see the point in going to the dentist just to check if everything is fine if you have no symptoms to suggest otherwise. Mine caused me a moderate amount of pain as they emerged, but nothing a dose of paracetamol couldn’t cover.

I think getting a second opinion when a dentist suggests treatment is always a good idea. Unless you’ve been seeing the same dentist for years and have great faith in them, I’ve had too many experiences where I’ve been overquoted or treatment has been suggested that was unnecessary. I can’t remember what thread it was on but our resident dentist made a post a while ago about how she was expected to scam patients into believing they needed more work than was really required.

So, if they’re emerging without causing you grief, let them be.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Here’s the thing with wisdom teeth. If they erupt with no problems all should be fine. This should happen or not by 18–19 years old at the latest. Some wisdom teeth are tiny and cone shaped. Some have wicked twisty roots. If they are impacted and / or rotated no amount of wishful thinking can solve that. Some lay in the bone quietly and never cause their owner problems. Teeth develop from the crown down, meaning that by the time the tooth is fully formed, roots and all, your bone is more rigid than a teenager’s, and here is where oral surgery is implicated. It’s very easy to tell from an X-ray if wisdom teeth are going to be a problem. I’d get an X-ray and go from there.

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