I recently read about someone quoting a dentist, Dr. Friedman, who said that early wisdom tooth removal is a racket. Is that true? My daughter has some impacted wisdom teeth. Our dentist suggested she have them removed within the next year or two. But, they’re not bothering her. Is it really necessary or is that quoted dentist true?
I know the article you are referring to. At least the one by Dr. Friedman. At the time the article went out, I had my suspicions he had not removed that many wisdom teeth himself based on some of the things he’s postulated.
False Narratives about Wisdom Tooth Extraction
In his article, published in The American Journal of Public Health titled “The Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: A Public Health Hazard,” he writes:
“Myth Number 2–early removal of wisdom teeth is less traumatic.”
Here he is positing that if you wait until the patient is much older, waiting to see if the impacted wisdom teeth actually become a problem, the procedure is actually less traumatic than if you did it when they are younger.
Anyone who has done any number of wisdom tooth extractions would tell you this is patently false. The best, least traumatic time to do a wisdom tooth extraction is when someone is in their late teens. This is because the roots of the wisdom teeth are almost completely developed but still pliable. The older you get, the more firmly set the roots get making the extraction MORE traumatic.
Because of his total ignorance, I decided to find out more about this Dr.Friedman. While he is a dentist, he hasn’t been in practice. Instead, he’s spent his life working as a consultant for insurance companies.
This tells me without the benefit of any real-world experience, he throws out theories that only benefit the insurance companies he works for.
Further, in this same article, he states:
“Furthermore, dry socket, secondary infection, and paresthesia are less likely to occur in persons aged 35 to 83 years than in those aged 12 to 24 years, who experience more third-molar extractions.”
Another blatant untruth. Most dentists will tell you, while they may have experienced any or all of the above issue, they will hardly ever happen in a teenager.
One way to know the truth of the issue is to ask a dentist or oral surgeon what he did with HIS teenagers. I’d be willing to bet he had theirs removed in their late teens if they were coming in impacted.
If you want my opinion, get her wisdom teeth out if a dentist is recommending it.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn, AL Dentist Dr. Raymond Bolt.