Get smarter about wisdom teeth

Dr. David Leader of the Malden Dentist wrote a great article about the current views, issues, and opinion surrounding the removal of wisdom teeth. The article in it’s entirety is located at the following URL

I have some excerpts below from the article.

“Many do not realize that there is a controversy in the dental community regarding the advisability of prophylactic wisdom tooth (third molar) extraction…

This difference of opinion leaves the patient and perhaps their parents with a difficult decision. It is important to listen carefully to their dental advisors, their general dentist and their oral surgeon. Read the informed consent materials and ask questions. Patients must then decide if the recommendations of third molar extractions make sense to them.

Then, patients will have to live with the good and bad results of their choices.”

The article discusses the current sides to the controversy in the wisdom teeth removal argument presenting a discussion from the dentist not being able to predict what will happen, the AAOMS’s stance, and the British National Institute for Clinical Evidence. It is a must read for anyone thinking about wisdom teeth extractions.


10 thoughts on “Get smarter about wisdom teeth”

  1. Regarding wisdom tooth repair, I have a small cavity in one of my wisdom teeth but my dentist won’t fill cavities in wisdom teeth. So he is telling me that I should get it pulled…a perfectly good tooth that is fully grown in and straight and I should get it pulled because of a tiny cavity. Do a lot of dentists refuse to do dental work on wisdom teeth? This is only adding to the removal epidemic, if so.

  2. Hi Becca, thanks visiting.
    To answer your question. Here is what I found on

    “If tooth decay does form in a wisdom tooth the tooth often can, just like with any other tooth, be repaired by way of placing a filling. This would be especially true in those cases where the amount of decay is readily accessible and small. However, sometimes a dentist will advise against filling a wisdom tooth. As an example, the decay found on the tooth might be in such an awkward location that the dentist does not feel that they can access that part of the tooth adequately so to place a filling. As you can well imagine, if a tooth has been hard for you to clean with a toothbrush and floss it is likely your dentist will have the same problem of access also when using their tools.”

    Since you said the cavity is small, I think you should consider seeing another dentist about this and get his opinion. If the cavity really is small, I don’t think there is any reason to get it pulled.

  3. Hi,

    I have a decay in my fully grown and straight wisdom tooth. I would need a root canal but my doctor is recommending extraction saying I will save 900$.
    I think this is my decision to make, financially, and also considering I have many gaps in my mouth I would like to avoid extracting a tooth that I use for mastication and it can be saved.
    Would a root canal be dangerous for a wisdom tooth? I have now a temporary filling that I would like to replace with a permanent one and save these tooth for years to come.

  4. @Laura
    I think it is a personal choice however I would recommend discussing it with your dentist and discussing benefits/risks.

  5. My dentist is refusing to give me a root canal on my wisdom tooth and wants to extract it instead and the one above it, even though they are straight and functional and have been for years. I am frustrated. The dentist said that would be less expensive but I have 90% dental insurance so I dont understand this thinking. Now I am in pain and have to go find another dentist and I am afraid that I will find another crap

  6. Hi Lin, sorry not sure of that many dentists. So try to talk with friends and family if you are interested in changing. However sometimes a wisdom tooth should be extracted if there is an unrestorable carie that can’t be easily treated by a dentist Certainly if you have pain that suggests you should probably have treatment.

  7. I have i wisdom big cavity problems(half of it gone) and pain too.I take antibiotics and analgetics. Most of the dentists I’ve been to said it should be removed but I want my tooth being repaired.What is your opinion?

  8. I nave experienced breathe insufficient approx. 8 hrs after local tooth anestetic application(lidocaine 2%-adrenalin,articaine 2%-adrenalin,) whole dose,what is not case with half dose.My blod pressure is approx.95/62.
    I was examined to anestetics alergic reactions under skin and found +/- to ketamine chydrochloride;esmeron:atropin;leptosuccin but negative to others.
    Is scandonest 2% or ubisteine 2% good for tooth extraction?

  9. Hi
    My wisdom tooth has grown sideways (its really close to a nerve) and i have a lot of decay due to it breaking through pregnancy my dentist has said to have it removed but the waiting list is so long and im always in pain cant sleep or eat properly through it would i be able to get a filling done as temporarly just till i could get it removed and to stop the pain or would it not help?

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