Don't Let a Missing Tooth Hold You Back in Life

Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Required?

by Wyatt Morgan

There was a time when there was no second thought about whether or not wisdom teeth should be removed. Today, however, a more studied and mediated approach to wisdom tooth removal is emerging. While most people will still likely need to have their wisdom teeth removed, there are certain situations when it is worth your while to keep your wisdom teeth in place.

Know Your Risks

Because wisdom tooth removal is a surgery, there are some complications that you should be aware of. For one, removing wisdom teeth can damage nerves, which can leave one side of your face looking a little droopy and/or leave you with a tingling sensation such as you might experience when novocaine is wearing off after a dental procedure. Other complications include infection and excessive bleeding. While bleeding and infection simply require more medical attention, your oral surgeon should have no problem treating the problem. On the other hand, if you have nerve damage, you simply have to wait for the nerve to heal, which can take a year or more. While a good dentist should be able to mitigate these risks, they should at least give you reason to pause before you decide to have your wisdom teeth removed. 

When Should You Leave Wisdom Teeth Alone?

The main reason to remove wisdom teeth is if leaving them in place will cause problems to your other teeth. For example, if your wisdom teeth come in at an angle, they can rub against your molars and/or cause the rest of the teeth in your mouth to move. If you have just had your braces removed, then wisdom teeth can undermine the corrections your braces made. If you have never had braces, wisdom teeth can cause enough movement to make braces necessary. On the other hand, if your wisdom teeth come in without exerting pressure on the other teeth in your mouth, they are an important place holder, which will prevent your molars from moving. 

In basic terms, you and your dentist should carefully observe the angle of your wisdom teeth as they come in. If it seems likely that they will come in without creating problems for your other teeth, leave them alone. You can do more damage to your mouth by having them pulled than they will do if left alone. On the other hand, if your wisdom teeth seem to be rubbing against your molars in anyway, you should have them removed. When deciding what to do with your wisdom teeth, make sure that you are an informed participant in the discussion. Contact a professional like Dr. Peter L Drob for more information.