I was very saddened to recently hear about the death of a young 17 year old girl who was a junior in high school.
The woman went into cardiac arrest while having her wisdom teeth removed. She was left in a coma and died 10 days later on April 6, 2011.
She was involved in multiple choral programs and was hoping to be a professional singer.
What really is upsetting to me about this is at the recent memorial service for her on April 17, 2011, her mother described the doctors calling this very unfortunate and premature death “freak.” One high school senior at the same school discussed how she was still planning to have her wisdom teeth extracted later in the week.
The appropriate response should call into question the validity of extracting healthy wisdom teeth from young teenagers who are completely healthy when their removal can lead to very unfortunate complications and tragic events.
Numerous other deaths have occurred to young teenagers and young adults while undergoing wisdom teeth surgery. I describe many of these here http://www.teethremoval.com/death.html
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the removal of healthy wisdom teeth and it is clear that there is no scientific evidence to recommend removing healthy wisdom teeth as it can lead to many complications and in rare cases death.
I have an ongoing survey on wisdom teeth removal experiences. See http://blog.teethremoval.com/wisdom-teeth-surgery-survey for a previous discussion of this survey and if you are interested in submitting your own responses and to see additional responses by others.
A recent survey response from a 24 year old female who had all four of her wisdom teeth extracted in February 2011, says
My gut told me that having my wisdom teeth removed wasn’t necessary. Something said, if evolution and anthropology gave me wisdom teeth, why destroy it? Nature knows best. However, it seems like the norm is to have them removed. And I was worried that they would impact (shift) my teeth causing me to need braces. So I had all four removed. Now I have been had chronic headaches. Headaches that brings be to tears. My dentist DID NOT mention this as a possible side effect.
A harsh comment by user_sunshine on the article describing the unfortunate death [ref. 1] says
I am saddened by this tragic death. [the oral surgeon] is a horrible doctor and it is so unfortunate that he is practicing. During my surgery with him he cut my nerve and I no longer have sensation in a certain part of my face. I can only hope this puts him out of business. I dread the thought of him harming another innocent person.
1). Kellie Woodhouse. Answers sought in dental surgery death of Howard County teen. April 14, 2011. http://www.explorehoward.com/news/82499/answers-sought-dental-surgery-death-howard-county-teen/
2). Kevin Rector. Student who died following dental surgery praised at memorial service. April 17, 2011. http://www.explorehoward.com/news/82949/student-who-died-following-dental-surgery-praised-memorial-service/