Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Getting Wiser about Wisdom Teeth

In the dental profession, there is a changing wave of thinking regarding the removal of wisdom teeth—and it’s making for some rough waters between the different disciplines of dentistry.  For years, oral surgeons and dentists have been prophylactically removing wisdom teeth under the assumption that if left intact, major problems will occur.  While it is true that wisdom teeth can cause major problems, it’s only in a small percentage of individuals that problems arise.  A recent article on Yahoo news highlighted a dentist who’s made it his mission to educate the public and the profession on the removal of wisdom teeth.  He published an article in the American Journal of Public Health, claiming two-thirds of the wisdom teeth removed each year were done for “no good reason”.  As well, the total cost for the extractions was in the billions!  Click here for a link to the article. 

The decision to extract wisdom teeth should be looked at closely by your dentist, oral surgeon and orthodontist.  The risks versus the rewards of extracting or keeping wisdom teeth need to be evaluated on an individual basis.  There are no absolutes.  The dental profession in Akron Ohio and the surrounding areas stays at the forefront when it comes to continuing education.  Know with confidence, your dental community is aware of the updates.

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, our practice has long been advising patients that the early removal of wisdom teeth does not prevent the other teeth from shifting later in life.  The teeth can shift with or without the wisdom teeth.  The most important variable to keeping your teeth straight after braces is wearing your retainer at night. 

Please call our office in Barberton, OH should you have any questions.  330-745-4497