Between the ages of 17-24, most people get their wisdom teeth removed.  These teeth, while not containing wisdom, as suggested by the name, are an extra set of molars that…

Wisdom Teeth Controversy

The Wisdom Teeth Controversy: Do We Need Them or Not?

Between the ages of 17-24, most people get their wisdom teeth removed.  These teeth, while not containing wisdom, as suggested by the name, are an extra set of molars that typically come in when a person reaches their late teens.

Traditionally, most people get these extra teeth extracted by an oral surgeon. But the question has come up: Is the removal of wisdom teeth necessary?

1. The Controversy

As you’ve probably heard, there are two sides to every story – including this one. Depending on who you ask, you might get two very different answers on why you should or shouldn’t have the extra molars extracted. One side supporting the argument to keep wisdom teeth, with the other side advocating that the procedure to have them removed is still valid.

2. Keeping Your Wisdom Teeth

According to acupuncture meridians, the removal of wisdom teeth – or any teeth – could be extremely harmful to your health since the teeth could be connected to other vital systems in the body. For this reason, many people have gone against the typical procedure and supported the idea of keeping their wisdom teeth.

There are, however, important health factors to consider. In order to safely keep your wisdom teeth, they must be…

  • Healthy – Your dentist can verify the healthiness of the teeth.
  • Completely Grown In – If the teeth aren’t grown in yet, once they do eventually come in they could be crammed or misaligned, causing damage to the other teeth.
  • Positioned Correctly with Your Bite – If the teeth that come in are not properly positioned for your bite, they could cause damage to the mouth.
  • Able to Be Cleaned – If the kept teeth cannot be properly cleaned, they will quickly begin to decay or become infected.

3. Removing Your Wisdom Teeth

To Keep Your Wisdom Teeth or Not

Photo by Partha S. Sahana / CC-BY

The main reason most people have their wisdom teeth extracted has to do with the possibility of further dental problems if not removed. Dentists highly suggest the preventive measure of removing the teeth because of the risk of health issues. If the teeth are not removed, the cost of repairing any oral damage could be much higher than the original extraction price.

Other problems that may be caused by keeping wisdom teeth include:

  • Alignment Issues
  • Cavities
  • Eruption
  • Impacted Teeth
  • Inflamed Gums
  • Jaw Damage
  • Possible Damage to Surrounding Teeth or Gums
  • Sinus Issues
  • Tooth Pain

The prime removal time is when the complications involving the teeth are at a minimum – usually when a person is in their late teens or early twenties. As they age, their teeth can become more fully rooted, making extraction surgery a harder process. Along with that, a later surgery includes higher risks, such as fractured teeth, heavy bleeding or acute loss of mobility of the jaw.

4. In Conclusion

In the end, the decision to keep your wisdom teeth or have them removed is up to you. Talk to your dentist about the implications of each option for your mouth specifically. They will be able to give input on which decision would be best for you.

If you would like to get your wisdom teeth extracted but cannot afford the cost of the procedure, 1Dental would like to help! Our discount dental plans offer reduced rates on extractions, as well as many other procedures. Use our fee schedule to see how much you could save on the extractions by entering your zip code and viewing the reduced rates with one of our plans.

If you’d like to sign up for a plan, simply go to our website or call 800-372-7615 to visit with a representative. We’d love to hear from you!

Katie is 1Dental’s copywriter and social media marketer. She aims to promote dental health through new blog posts heavily researched and sourced by topic and social media updates and outreach. Katie has completed her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. You’ll find her posting regularly on 1Dental’s social pages: Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.

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