Why bother get your wisdom teeth pulled?

As of right now, I have three of my wisdom teeth in and the final one on the way. I have always had “perfect” teeth (everything is spaced nicely / never wore any braces or retainers, etc.), and as far as I’m concerned there’s no reason to pull my wisdom teeth since they fit and so far they have all come in straight.

Of course, the dentist says I should get them pulled. But, of course he would: I mean, it’s an expensive operation and my guess is that dentistry has been hurting since flouridation and that pulling wisdom teeth is their best way of making money now.

So how about it? Is there any reason for me to get them pulled?

If they all fit and they came in straight, don’t bother. I have all four of my wisdom teeth, and I’ve never had a problem with them (can’t say that they’ve made me any wiser, though).

I’ve had three wisdom teeth in for most of my adult life. The fourth doesn’t exist - dentist said it doesn’t show up on any X-rays. The three that are in are straight and work just fine. Nevertheless, my dentist continually tells me I should get them removed. 8-10 years ago, the reason given was that they were going to put pressure on my other teeth, and could potentially screw up all the expensive dental work my parent’s paid for (braces, etc.)

After the dentist told me that, I moved, and got a new dentist. When I asked the new dentist about the possibility that my wisdom teeth would cause my other teeth to become crooked, she told me that theory had been disproven, and the new theory behind getting my wisdom teeth pulled was that they were hard to keep clean, and could become decayed and cause the teeth around 'em to become decayed.

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep my wisdom teeth until the current theory is disproven, and see what the next theory is. Seems to me that the reason I go to the dentist in the first place is to make sure my teeth do not become decaying pits of pestulance, and that with regular visits they’ll be able to do what’s needed (above and beyond standard brushing and flossing) to keep 'em healthy. That’s what I pay 'em for, right? Until my wisdom teeth actually start to cause problems, they’re staying in my mouth.

So how about it? Is there any reason for me to get them pulled?


Wisdom teeth … they are not just for le petit déjeuner (breakfast) anymore.

I think what is going on is that individuals that do not have enough jaw bone space will experience incorrectly grown wisdom teeth.

So …

We can pull them now or you can pay big bucks (much more big bucks) later, due to the wisdom teeth affecting the neighboring teeth.

I am not a dentist but heck, I l-o-v-e to play one on The Straight Dope message board.

"Nurse, send in the next victim, … ah, I mean ‘the next patient.’ "

Terence in Marietta, GA
" … Be someone’s hero … "

Mine were all screwed up, sideways, impacted, you know the whole nine yards. I, however asked why most dentist recommend pulling them regardless if there’s a current problem or not. I was also told just because they are so far back, therefore hard to clean and therefore prone to decay (resulting sometimes in really pleasant root canals and stuff). My removal was horrendous, if given the choice now, I might have opted for the root canal. Damn the man, keep the teeth! :slight_smile:

The dentists I’ve had don’t do oral surgery, and while they’re happy to give referals, they don’t much care where my family and I go to have it done. Therefore, they aren’t making money off wisdom teeth extractions. If they say they need to come out, I tend to believe them.

I went to a dentists office when my lower right wisdom tooth started to crumble to bits. He temporarily patched it and set up an appointment to try and fill it.

When I went back, that dentist was busy so I got a “temporary dentists” who was brought in to help out. He immediately saw what was up and said, “We should just pull it. All of them, actually.”

Whereas when the first dentist came in, he said that saving it would be good if he could because he thought that if the teeth were in correctly, and healthy, there would be no reason to pull them.

The moral: Even within the confines of a single dentists office, opinion on this issue differs greatly.

Yer pal,

All four of mine are gone. I had them pulled a couple of years ago. They came in just fine, no pain at all. Unfortunately, one of them had a strange “spur” formation growing off the side of it. Didn’t have any problem with it as it came in, but it turns out it was very difficult to clean that crook between the spur and the rest of the tooth. Soon I had a nasty cavity. (Well, “soon” being on the order of several years. You know what I mean.)

My dentist said that he could fill it, but I would be better off just having it pulled. He went on to say that I should probably get the rest of them out while I was at it, since they were going to have to come out if I ever wanted to get braces. I said, “What the heck? I’ve got a good dental plan, and it’s not like I really need them for anything.”

Don’t know if that helps you any…

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Why Plastic Grocery Bags Are Better Than God

I strongly suspect it has to do with the individual. I don’t see much sense in extracting perfectly good teeth on the off chance they might cause problems.

I have all my wisdom teeth and have had no problems. I did, however, have four bicuspids extracted when I had braces.

“East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” – Marx

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction. www.sff.net/people/rothman

None of my wisdom teeth have yet come in (I’m 33), but every dentist I have seen since I was 20 or so has told me to have oral surgery to get them removed. There is plenty of room in the back of my mouth for them, and the x-rays show them to be on a perfectly straight path, as were all my other teeth. Thanks, but I think I’ll keep them.

“I should not take bribes and Minister Bal Bahadur KC should not do so either. But if clerks take a bribe of Rs 50-60 after a hard day’s work, it is not an issue.” ----Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Current Prime Minister of Nepal

I have had all four removed. Two on one side were removed about 8 years ago. All I know is that they got terribly infected/impacted/whatever. I was in terrible pain, went to the dentist, who took them out. (I was so “out of it” I don’t think I remember making a coherent decision to have them removed…I just consented to MAKE THE PAIN STOP!!! And that’s what they did.)

My other side of wisdom teeth were problematic. I would occasionally experience the “warning signs” of infection, (slight pain in that area of my mouth) and I was able to stave off further infection by drinking Golden Seal tea and rinsing my mouth with it. However, my dentist said that my wisdom teeth were a “ticking time bomb”, and I tended to believe him. One of the remaining wisdom teeth grew in normal, but it was decaying fast. The other one had grown in wonky, and was starting to affect the teeth next to it. So, finally, I had the remaining teeth removed last month. Don’t regret it.

I guess the point behind this long rambling explanation is that I felt that I had a reason for getting mine removed. I have otherwise straight and healthy teeth, but the wisdom teeth had given me problems from the git-go. My advice to you would be - unless you really can tell that they are causing you problems (like being prone to infection, rotting out of your mouth, affecting neighboring teeth) keep 'em!

I had to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth yanked. The bottoms were severely impacted, growing up into my jawbone (the part that angles up and attaches near your ear). The top ones were no bargain either. Apparently I’ve got really big molars, according to my orthodontist. He had to cut and fuse two bands to get one big enough to fit them when he put my braces on. But, hey, ladies, you know what they say about guys with big molars (yeah, they have big mouths).

Anyway, before my teeth were pulled, they put me through merry hell, causing fevers and dizziness because they were trying to plow through my jawbone as they grew.

If you do have to have them pulled, do them all at once, like I did. Sure, it’s uncomfortable (although I didn’t have much pain or swelling. My surgeon was real good), but doing four at once is probably no more uncomfortable than doing two, and why put yourself through it more than once?

The Dave-Guy
“since my daughter’s only half-Jewish, can she go in up to her knees?” J.H. Marx

It hurt bad when my wisdom teeth started coming in. I had 'em all yanked.

I agree with Dave above…if you do have them pulled, do it all at once. Some people have little or no discomfort, and then there’s me. I wouldn’t want to go through that twice.

I got one pulled because I was kinda chewing on myself. So the one under it, grew way big as it didn’t have another one to push on.

I was kinda telling the dentist when he was pulling that there was a bit too much pressure & could he slow down a bit? He speeded it, it was gross.

My wisdom teeth came in right after my braces were taken off, so my teeth were still prone to moving because my gums were not stable, so there was a big battle between my orthodentist and dentist as to whether or not to take them out.
If they were to come out, then would my teeth shift back or the position of my perfect teeth grind on the hollow spots?
The infection was very painful, so I had them removed, all 2 of them, I was only born with the bottom set.And my teeth are still perfect.
A little note** more and more people are born without wisdom teeth, we don’t use them much any more.–As per my dentist Dr. Linstrom


I am a fire whose flames lick and spit at the boundless sky forever desiring wonderous consummation

I had my back molars pulled at the age of fourteen to make room for my wisdom teeth – small jaw, no room for them otherwise. Having made space for them, then came in fine about, oh, ten years later and I’ve never had any trouble with them. (Well, okay, I have a filling in one.)

If yours aren’t giving you any grief, I’d say leave 'em. I mean, what would be the rationale for taking them out? Because they might give you trouble later? Seems to me that would be reason to pull all your teeth, which I assume no one is suggesting.


Fiat Justitia

Most of my sisters had to get their wisdom teeth pulled either because the came in wrong (one had a wisdom tooth that grew in almost sideways) or just because they didn’t fit in their mouth/jaw comfortably.

Mine fit and came in right, but since they are so far back, my dentist did say that if a problem came up keeping them properly brushed, flossed or otherwise clean, I might have to have them out.

I had all four of mine out at once including having my jaw broken to do it. I was experiencing wicked headaches and they figured the teeth might be the cause. Other than looking like a chipmunk for a while… It worked!

We are, each of us angels with only one wing,and we can only fly by embracing one another

I still have all of mine and the only way they’re coming out is if they pull them out of my corpse at the funeral home. The top ones point out sideways towards my ears but the bottom ones are OK. I was fortunate to have Doctor Mengele as my dentist when I was a kid after he escaped from nazi Germany on his way to Brazil. He was cheap (2 bucks a filling) but had no clue about anesthetic. He used to pull teeth without it too. So I took good care of my teeth so I wouldn’t have to get drilled by that old S.O.B. and still hate going to the dentist 40 years later. I’ve got an appointment tomorrow with my new dentist and I’ve been sweating for a week. Keep 'em as long as you can !

“Hope is not a method”

Ooo! Oo! I wanna talk about my mouth, too.

For years dentists claimed that I simply didn’t have 'em. At all.

Then, when I was 19, my new dentist decided that I did, in fact, have two wisdom teeth. They hadn’t come in, and I couldn’t feel them, but apparently the x-rays told him that they were upside down, or something. And that my father would pay to have them removed.

So I did. Got some nice painkillers, too. I took five of them before the anasthesia wore off, but, BOY! did I notice when it wore off.

Who are these ridiculous people who have had their w.t. removed with little or no discomfort?