Considerations For the Cost of Wisdom Teeth

In a recent post, I discussed the cost of wisdom teeth management based on an article that appeared earlier this year in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (see Another article discussing wisdom teeth costs also appeared in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 2012 (see In both articles the authors conclude the costs of non-operative management of asymptomatic, disease-free, wisdom teeth exceeds the cost of operative management. I take issue with their conclusions as I believe they make too many simplifications in their analysis. I argue that the authors are ignoring the real risks of having wisdom teeth extracted that are not going to likely occur with non-operative management. Removing wisdom teeth has complications that can result. Some of these can be serious, permanent, and lasting, and cause considerable cost to both the patient … Read more

Flesh Eating Bacteria Leads to Death After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Earlier this year (2014) in February, I posted about an Eighteen Year Old Music Student in Portland Dies After Wisdom Teeth Removal. This occurred in Maine. It has been since confirmed by a medical examiner, that the 18 year old man died after his wisdom teeth extraction by developing necrotizing fasciitis. This is a flesh eating bacteria which can ravage muscles and skin tissue. A quote is provided (see source below)  by the infection control expert from the American Dental Association who says he has never heard of necrotizing fasciitis after wisdom teeth extractions. I am not quite sure why he says this as cases have appeared of this in the literature and I have discussed this on the wisdom teeth complications page over at Another case of death occurring from necrotizing fasciitis after wisdom teeth extraction occurred to a … Read more

How Evolution Sold Us Short As it Relates to Wisdom Teeth

I came across an interesting article titled “‘Not tonight, I have toothache’: how evolution sold us short” published in February 16, 2013, in the Times in London and written by Hannah Devlin. The article talks about evolution and how it relates to wisdom teeth, which is a topic I don’t usually bring up on this site/blog since it is controversial. The idea goes that wisdom teeth were important for our ancestors because their diets consisted of a lot of tough and chewy foods. As their other teeth wore down, the third molars, played an important back up role as additional teeth to use. In addition, the idea is that as humans evolved their brains became larger and their laws became smaller leaving less room available for teeth to grow. Earlier hominids (our ancestors) had very large back teeth in long … Read more

Ingestion of Foreign Body During Dental Procedures

In the complications of wisdom teeth page on this site I have discussed cases of teeth being displaced into various places of the body. A tooth can also either be aspirated and end up in the respiratory tract or ingested and likely pass several days after being swallowed. Dental instruments can also break off during surgery and end up in various places of the body. Some recent studies and cases have emerged for other dental procedures where foreign bodies were ingested. An article titled ” Precautions for accidental ingestion of a foreign body,” appears in J Can Dent Assoc 2013;79:d5, located over at This article describes a case where a 58 year old man underwent treatment for a dental crown and accidentally ingested a 20 mm stainless steel post intended to support the prosthesis. An imaging study revealed the … Read more

The Curious Case of a Wisdom Tooth Growing in Old Age

An interesting article titled “Dentist shocked by Mary’s new wisdom,” appears in an article in This is Kent,, January 25, 2013. The article describes a 75 year old woman who had a wisdom tooth grow in at the age of 75. A picture of the woman with her dentist is provided in the article. The dentist was taken a back by such a finding since it is vary rare. He decided to look up other cases on the internet and did find a case where an 84 year old man in New Zealand where a man had a wisdom tooth come in. In the case of the 75 year old man the dentist and woman have decided to just manage the wisdom tooth and leave it in in order to avoid possible complications.