Can Wisdom Teeth Remain in Place?

10 million wisdom teeth get ripped out of the back of Americans – mouths a year. For decades, the procedure was performed only when the teeth, also known as third molars, were causing real trouble. After World War II the ranks of dentists exploded, and with them recommendations that people get their third molars removed as a precaution.

35% of the population is born without wisdom teeth and another 30 percent possess wisdom teeth that never come out. It begs the question; Is it really necessary to have them removed? Our office has put together some content on the subject.

When is Teeth Removal Needed?

Wisdom teeth need to be removed if during x-rays it shows they are going to cause problems or are already becoming issues. They can start erupting into an abnormal position, such as tilted, sideways or twisted. They can become trapped below the gum line due to lack of space to come through. An infection has developed from trapped food, plaque, and bacteria known as pericoronitis. The way that someone’s teeth bite together has changed, causing a misalignment of the jaws. The wisdom tooth has come through, but lacks proper hygiene due to inability to reach it, resulting in decay.

Research For Keeping Them

Growing bodies of research indicate that we might be putting people through the risk of expensive tooth removal for no reason. The UK gave up on routinely removing wisdom teeth without solid evidence back in 1998, after a study at the University of York concluded that there was no scientific evidence to support it.

That same year, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said that for patients who don’t have a condition related to third molars, removal is “not advisable”. 1988 a study showed that only 12 percent of 1,756 middle-aged people who didn’t have their impacted wisdom teeth removed when they were young experienced a complication.

It really comes down to your personal choice and preference combined with getting good information from our dentist about the condition of your wisdom teeth. Trusting us to give you accurate information about where your teeth are heading and the direction you want to go next is as good a direction as can be recommended until further research is conducted.