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Ltryptophan's avatar

Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10780points) January 31st, 2010

My two bottom wisdom teeth erupted over the past two years. The top two are hanging in there. I went to an oral surgeon, and he said I should have them all out at once. I am ok with that.

The only thing that has me on the fence is that I have no pain, or other problems associated with the wisdom teeth. I have heard that wisdom teeth in pre-twentieth century times were a natural back up plan for losing teeth during early adulthood. I have never had a cavity, much less lost a tooth, so these extras are not working as replacements for the second string teeth. That said, I tend to think that unless something is broke one should not attempt to fix it.

Top that with fear of mortality from general anesthesia, and you have a guy who is biding his time!

Should I let the doc have at these fancy new molars I’m growing?

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28 Answers

Trillian's avatar

Why would you need a general? I had three out all at once and I only got a local.

ShiningToast's avatar

If the oral surgeon says get them out, get them out. He knows what he’s doing.

DrBill's avatar

Most people havr to get them out eventually, it would be better to have them taken before they become painful

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Just get them out.

marinelife's avatar

You don’t have to have general anesthesia to have them removed. You should talk to your dentist about whether they will cause problems for you. Mine were crowding my mouth, and I had to have them out.

“Wisdom teeth usually pose a problem when they become impacted. When a tooth
is impacted, it means that the tooth did not erupt from the gum line as it was supposed to be. The tooth might be blocked by existing teeth, the gum itself or the bone within. Knowing this, why then should you decide to remove these impacted wisdom teeth?

First, an impacted wisdom tooth may accumulate food debris around the gums creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Once bacteria are present, the wisdom tooth might decay or worse, the tooth next to it may decay too. If not treated early, this tooth decay may eventually lead to an infection.

Second, following the onset of infection, the patient will experience difficulty in opening the mouth, bad breath, swelling and redness in the gums and of course, pain. The longer that these symptoms are left untreated, the worse the infection will become and the more severe the attacks and pain will be.” Source

ccrow's avatar

Well, I’m 52 & still have all 4 of mine, one w/a filling. I’ve been told they should come out, but never did it. In my case, I don’t really have room for them so it’s difficult to clean them properly. When my son had his out (1 impacted) I forget what the anesthesia was, but he wasn’t knocked out.

TheBlackRanger's avatar

Well, if your mouth is big enough to handle them and they arn’t causing any problems with your other teeth then I don’t see what the harm of keeping them is. I’m no dentist but I feel that god gave me all my teeth for a reason and I want to keep them unless there is a dire need to remove them.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Ha, I feel like there is no right answer. It seems like I should do it as a preemptive thing to stave off any possibility of bad health, but what if having them out causes bad health when I was perfectly healthy before! There is some risk here, albeit small.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I also hear it is better to have them out while you are younger so that the healing time is faster.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Sometimes they can push on your other teeth and mess up your bite. What did your dentist say when he referred you to the oral surgeon? That’s who you should ask about the long term implications. What he sees in your x-rays should determine what you decide.

SeventhSense's avatar

I have everyone of my teeth including all my wisdom teeth and they’re not a problem. I brush every day twice a day. I was told to brush up and down. The base of my teeth are worn in places and they’re very sensitive as a result. I was told I brush too hard and to get an Oral B, I’ve been told I should have root canal too as well on a number of teeth. I refuse and behold years later my current Doctor says I don’t have to have root canal. The one tooth I had root canal on 15 years ago they told me would eventually fall out. It hasn’t but it has discolored.

The less a dentist does to your mouth the better. If they had their way they’d have you in the office 7 days a week. Go for routine cleanings and when you have serious pain or a cavity. I have exposed dentin because of my “rigorous brushing” and was told that could be filled. I did and the fillings fell out. I was told that’s common because it’s hard to have adhesion at the gum line. I use Sensodyne toothpaste and they’re fine now.
If I’m tempted to go to the dentist now except for routine cleanings, I just open up the window and throw money to the wind. It’s less painful.~

pearls's avatar

I had mine taken out when I was 16 years old, which was several years ago, because they were lying sideways. It was done under local anesthesia. I would follow what the oral surgeon has suggested and get them out before you have any problems with them.

Darwin's avatar

You might ask the dentist why you need to have them out if the ones you have already aren’t causing any problems. I had all four of mine out when I was 16 because all four were impacted and abscessed. My procedure was done under “twilight sedation,” not general anesthesia.

My mother had hers out one at a time on sequential Fridays. She was given a bit of Novocaine for each removal and then took herself home on the trolley. My father still has all four of his. My brother and sister have all of their wisdom teeth.

My daughter had all four of hers out because her jaw is too small for the rest of her teeth already and adding those four would have wreaked havoc to the alignment of the rest of her teeth. In fact, she not only had her jaw enlarged, but also had four other teeth removed so she could close her mouth. Hers were removed under laughing gas.

If what the dentist says makes no sense, then see about getting a second opinion.

borderline_blonde's avatar

As @Darwin said, ask the dentist why they need to be removed. Maybe he’s worried about crowding? Also, your dentist may be worried that they’ll cause problems down the line. As for anesthesia, I’ve heard it isn’t necessary… when I had mine removed it was, but that’s only because the damn “stupid” teeth (as my mom and I liked to call them… I know, I know, we’re so funny) refused to surface, so they had to cut the gums open to get them out. However, if they’re already above the surface, then I don’t see why they have to put you out.

SeventhSense's avatar

Why would you remove anything if it wasn’t causing you an issue?

mass_pike4's avatar

definitely get um out. It is better now than later. Plus, you get good painkillers

SeventhSense's avatar

@mass_pike4
And why would he/she do this? Some people have the available space on their jaw.

deni's avatar

Well durrrrrr oral surgeons want you to get your wisdom teeth out because it is expensive. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$....$$$$$$$$....$$$$$...if you dont have problems and you aren’t prone to cavities, i would not get them out. if you have the room in your jaw, if they’re not decaying, i dont see a reason to.

occ's avatar

You can ask them to use a local anesthesia instead of a general, and you can also ask them in advance if it would be okay to bring your iPod…I had a local novacaine anesthesia and listened to music and it was fine – just took a few minutes (of course, the healing process takes longer – it will be a couple days before you can eat real food again). Should be fine if yours are already in and not impacted (if you needed to have complex oral surgery, it would take longer).

HTDC's avatar

I’m with @deni on this one. Just think of how many hundreds (or thousands) of patients a dentist has. Now 99% of these people have wisdom teeth, if a dentist says to nearly all of them, “you need those teeth removed”, think of the tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars per year that equates to.

SeventhSense's avatar

@deni
You know this is further supporting evidence of my lawsuit against you right?
again you lurve piggybacker plagiaristic Charlie Chaplain wannabee mustachioed jelly. :0/ ~

filmfann's avatar

If you have the insurance, just have it done.
They will end up crowding your mouth, and your teeth may go crooked.

SeventhSense's avatar

@filmfann
My teeth are straight and strong and I’m 42 with all my teeth.

knitfroggy's avatar

If they aren’t hurting or bothering you, leave them be. It’s painful to get them out, and why go thru that if you don’t have to. I got all four of mine out at once but they were growing forward instead of up and causing my other teeth to ache. They tried to put me out but couldn’t so they just gave me some other drug that made me just snooze while they took out four impacted teeth.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Well, it seems like there is no definite answer unless they are causing trouble. The oral surgeon has already X-rayed, and he has them all listed as impacted, some bony impactions. From looking in my own mouth, and seeing the x-rays myself it is pretty obvious that my right bottom wisdom tooth just came in as a normal tooth. The left bottom seems to be coming in at a slight forward angle, but no problems from this that I can tell.

The top two are seemingly far from eruption, yet they are listed as complicated bony impactions.

It will cost roughly $600 to have the four of them out.

Although there is no pain now it is a very real possibility that complications will come later.

The oral surgeon says he will only operate with general anesthesia.

I am afraid that having never been unconscious I might never wake up, or wake up without a soul or something! Anesthesia is voodoo I am almost certain.

billio's avatar

NO….I don’t think that would be a WISE decision

deni's avatar

@SeventhSense im sorry, its this mustache, all it does is attract attention, I Cant TAKE IT ANYMORE!

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