A few days ago an article titled “Do I Really Need to Remove My Wisdom Teeth? appeared in Community Magazine by Jacques Doueck located at http://www.communitym.com/article.asp?article_id=101936 The article opens with “I was prompted to write this article because of two adult patients who suffered severe damage, infection, and swelling because they delayed taking out wisdom teeth. One of them actually broke his jaw because of a wisdom tooth that should have been removed long ago. The patient, 48 years old, lost both teeth and the fractured jaw forced him to eat baby food for six months. The other patient was 65 years old and had to have the wisdom tooth and the adjacent molar removed.” This opening in this article kind of cracks me up because both of these patients are quite old, especially the 65 year old. Of course we … Read more
An excellent article was written yesterday October 3, 2011, titled “The truthiness of extracting wisdom teeth” by James R. Carey who is a Professor of Entomology at UC Davis http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/faculty/facpage.cfm?id=carey The article is located at http://www.davisenterprise.com/opinion/opinion-columns/the-truthiness-of-extracting-wisdom-teeth/ and I think it is well worth a read for anyone considering wisdom teeth removal. He opens the article with “In this age of evidence-based health care, I was astonished to discover that the oral surgeon’s recommendation for removal of my 21-year-old daughter’s impacted wisdom teeth was not based on evidence, theory, logic or facts but rather on truthiness — the quality of being considered to be true because of what he wished.“ He goes on to say “Yet it is considered by dentists, oral surgeons and the majority of the public as “standard of care.” Neither I nor any family members or friends … Read more
A study was published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery titled “Long-Term Outcome of Trigeminal Nerve Injuries Related to Dental Treatment” by M. Anthony Pogrel, Ryan Jergensen, Eric Burgon, and Daniel Hulme. (vol. 69, pages 2284-2288, 2011) that looked at long-term effects of those who suffer from permanent nerve injury from dental treatment particularly involving the third molars or wisdom teeth. A total of 145 patients with 95 female and 50 male patients were involved in the study who had suffered a trigeminal nerve injury affecting either the inferior alveolar nerve or lingual nerve and in 8 cases both nerves. Nineteen patients (13.1 %) reported that their employment was affected, while 21 patients (14.5%) reported problems with their relationship, 53 patients (36. 6%) reported depression, 55 patients (38%) reported problems speaking and pronouncing words correctly, 63 patients (43.5%) reported … Read more
Earlier today a article appeared in the Huffington Post titled “How To Know If Wisdom Teeth Really Need To Be Removed.” The author attempts to discuss some of the ongoing debate regarding extracting wisdom teeth. He talks about how doctors are fair and responsible. However, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) continues to say on their webpage on wisdom teeth http://www.aaoms.org/wisdom_teeth.php It isn’t wise to wait until your wisdom teeth start to bother you. I would think a fair and responsible doctor would agree that the current scientific evidence should be presented to the patient of an elective procedure of teenagers and young adults such as described here http://www.teethremoval.com/controversy.html The author then refers to a study and says: “Interestingly, early removal of wisdom teeth (when the teeth have hardly any of the roots formed) has been shown … Read more
Flickr Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/joebeone/5016877623/ and has a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. This post is by no means realistic. These images are fake. However real tactics like these have actually been used before by the drug industry as a form of disease mongering although not applied to the wisdom teeth debate to my knowledge.