Wisdom of Having that Tooth Removed: AAOMS Response

Recently I indicated in a post over here http://blog.teethremoval.com/wisdom-teeth-advice-and-new-dental-schools/ that a New York Times article was run on September 5, 2011, by Roni Caryn Rabin which was titled “Wisdom of Having That Tooth Removed.” This article is located here http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/health/06consumer.html

Recently a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times was written by the President of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Arthur C. Jee, discussing this article located at http://www.aaoms.org/docs/media/LetterNYTimes-09-21-11.pdf

In the article he states

The AAOMS does not advocate for the “prophylactic extraction of wisdom teeth”

If this is in fact the case then I think the AAOMS should make this clear on their website.

The website on wisdom teeth http://www.aaoms.org/wisdom_teeth.php continues to say

“As you can see, it isn’t wise to wait until your wisdom teeth start to hurt you before you have them removed. “

Even so the wisdom teeth page on AAOMS has been updated a bit since the last time I looked.  It does mention at the bottom that you may keep your wisdom teeth after previously discussing many of the problems that wisdom teeth can cause if you keep them.

Further in the letter Dr Jee says

 “an absence of symptoms does not equal the absence of disease; retained wisdom teeth frequently and unpredictably change position, eruption and periodontal status; over time even retained, asymptomatic wisdom teeth are more likely to exhibit progressive periodontal disease; and retained wisdom teeth with periodontal pocketing increases the risk for several broader conditions that are associated with increased systemic inflammation, including preterm birth and cardiovascular disease.”

In the letter to the editor Dr. Jee says that

“Oral and maxillofacial surgeons provide their patients the best advice based on a careful oral examination, appropriate imaging and tests, and frank discussions with the patient and caregivers”

As indicated numerous times on my website that is not representative of the kind of care I received.

In a recent article a college professor describes the experience of his 21 year old daughter who has impacted wisdom teeth when his daughter and him visited an oral surgeon in California http://blog.teethremoval.com/the-truthiness-of-extracting-wisdom-teeth-james-r-carey/.  The issues addressed and raised in that article do not appear to be frank discussions at all.

In addition, the informed consent forms I have reviewed http://www.teethremoval.com/consent_form.html, leave out numerous potential harmful risks of having wisdom teeth removed which I feel many should be mentioned for an elective procedure when there is ample time to prepare such as a chronic 24/7 headache and a scar on the check as indicated over at http://www.teethremoval.com/complications.html

Further, I think a frank discussion should mention the fact that healthy wisdom teeth are not extracted in the U.K. and explain the reasons why which is for the potential minor and major harmful risks of surgical intervention along with cost effectiveness as mentioned at http://www.teethremoval.com/controversy.html

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