Should I go through with the wisdom tooth extraction??

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Hey warriors!

My dentist has been on me for years about getting my one remaining wisdom tooth pulled. It's not causing me any issues right now, and the only explanation he can give me for pulling it is that it is hard to clean and might cause an infection later on. I am over 30 years old, so that means recovery time is longer and more painful, but I have also read that means I am less likely to ever have any problems with it.

Thoughts? I'd love to hear some unprofessional personal opinions on this!

I'm scheduled to have this done Friday April 26th, and I am thinking about canceling the appointment.
  • Profile picture of the author trustedmarketer
    Hey Kevin,

    I had all four of my wisdom teeth out in one sitting. I'll let you into a secret. First of all have a few glasses of Brandy and take the bus or ask a friend to drive you to the Dentist. Now that you are chilled, the Dentist will give you some injections so that you won't feel a thing. Try to look away from the injection and think about something else. The Dentist then extracts the teeth but you won't feel a thing. Go home take another glass of Brandy, get some rest and have soft food later on.

    Trust me, it's not as painful as it seems if you follow my advice.

    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Marshall
      Originally Posted by trustedmarketer View Post

      Hey Kevin,

      I had all four of my wisdom teeth out in one sitting. I'll let you into a secret. First of all have a few glasses of Brandy and take the bus or ask a friend to drive you to the Dentist. Now that you are chilled, the Dentist will give you some injections so that you won't feel a thing. Try to look away from the injection and think about something else. The Dentist then extracts the teeth but you won't feel a thing. Go home take another glass of Brandy, get some rest and have soft food later on.

      Trust me, it's not as painful as it seems if you follow my advice.

      Cheers
      Maybe I will just drink the few glasses of Brandy, but cancel the appointment! I did get my other three wisdom teeth pulled when I was 16, and I hear it is much worse if you wait until you are older to have the procedure done.
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      • Profile picture of the author Robert Michael
        Get it taken out.

        Go in there the day before the procedure, and have them give you 2 or 3 10mg valiums.

        They gave me 4, but I also got all 4 of mine taken out. So for only 1, you shouldn't need that much.

        Take those 30 minutes before your appointment & have 1 or 2 shots.

        You'll be out for the procedure. Just make sure you don't drive there or back. Have a friend or relative take you & wait for you.

        You'll be fine man. 1 tooth isn't going to be bad.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin Marshall
          I've decided to get the 2nd opinion before my scheduled appointment next Friday April 26. I will go for the 2nd opinion tomorrow, and then I'll decide if I'm moving forward with the extraction.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    I'm not a doctor and this is only my opinion, but I've been told that if the wisdom tooth isn't causing you problems AND x-rays show little potential of the wisdom tooth to shift and kill the roots of surrounding teeth, there's no point in getting the tooth removed. All you'll do is risk infection for yourself and make a payment on your dentist's Jag.

    I did some research on this a couple years ago and the medical community is pulling away (no pun intended, seriously) from ripping out wisdom teeth just for the hell of it. I've also read that once you hit 30-35 you're much less likely to have problems with existing wisdom teeth. YMMV.


    EDIT: In response to the post above me, I'd recommend skipping the Brandy if your doctor will be using general anesthesia. Although, I doubt they'd put you under for one tooth.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Marshall
      Yeah I'm 32 now and I am religious about going to the dentist every six months. I didn't go for three years and had a few cavities after not having any for the first 29 years of my life!
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
        Originally Posted by Kevin Marshall View Post

        Yeah I'm 32 now and I am religious about going to the dentist every six months. I didn't go for three years and had a few cavities after not having any for the first 29 years of my life!
        You could always get a second opinion. I'd talk to friends and family and see if any of them have a dentist that DIDN'T recommend removing their wisdom teeth. That's a dentist who forgoes $$$ for his patients' health.

        I hear it is much worse if you wait until you are older to have the procedure done.
        Yep, because the tooth has calcified (might be the wrong word, again, I'm no doctor) in the jaw, making it much harder to remove.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    Originally Posted by Kevin Marshall View Post

    the only explanation he can give me for pulling it is that it is hard to clean and might cause an infection later on.
    On that basis, I wouldn't dream of having surgery without (at the very least) a second opinion. Call me a skepchick, but I hear that some dentists are comparatively short of work at the moment, given the state of the economy, and so on ...

    LOL, posted at the same time as Dan, above, and with much the same idea, I think ...
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Marshall
      I forgot to mention that I have one front tooth that is slightly chipped, and I am getting this repaired too. Insurance pays 50% of the cost of this additional procedure, so I figured I would have this done too. I guess my reasoning was I get what I want and the dentist gets what he wants!
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Two things.

    1. Leave well enough alone. If you've had three out already you're operating on 1/4 wisdom capacity. Having the fourth one out could make you a babbling idiot.

    2. If you were to have it done recovery time would be minimal. It's one tooth. Most healthy people would be on a soft diet for a couple of days along with Tylenol prn. No biggie.
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    • Profile picture of the author waterotter
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Two things.

      1. Leave well enough alone. If you've had three out already you're operating on 1/4 wisdom capacity. Having the fourth one out could make you a babbling idiot.

      2. If you were to have it done recovery time would be minimal. It's one tooth. Most healthy people would be on a soft diet for a couple of days along with Tylenol prn. No biggie.
      I'd like to add one more to this.

      3. There is always the risk of alveolar osteitis, also known as dry socket. Any sucking motion such as smoking or drinking from a straw may exacerbate this. Your chances are greater if it is a lower wisdom tooth.

      JMO!
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        If the tooth does cause an infection, it can't be extracted until the infection is stopped. My son went through 2+ weeks of severe pain from such an infection - with swelling and not being able to eat, etc. - caused by a wisdom tooth.

        It's not that big a deal - get them to put you to sleep if it's a surgical extraction - you are sore for a few days - and it's done.

        If you don't want to get it done (chicken!!!), don't do it.

        Dry socket is easily cured if the patient realizes something is wrong. If, like me, they assume the pain is normal and don't tell the dentist, it's another story:p
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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin Marshall
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          If the tooth does cause an infection, it can't be extracted until the infection is stopped. My son went through 2+ weeks of severe pain from such an infection - with swelling and not being able to eat, etc. - caused by a wisdom tooth.

          It's not that big a deal - get them to put you to sleep if it's a surgical extraction - you are sore for a few days - and it's done.

          If you don't want to get it done (chicken!!!), don't do it.

          Dry socket is easily cured if the patient realizes something is wrong. If, like me, they assume the pain is normal and don't tell the dentist, it's another story:p
          Yeah you're right. It's not a big deal. Well, except for the man who died. LOL

          BUT

          Life is too short to give up time for something that may not even be necessary. I appreciate all the replies here. I've gone back and forth on this, and that's why I decided to start this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author Green Moon
    Personally, I would never have surgery I didn't absolutely need. There is always some small risk of complications (see Man Dies After Wisdom Teeth Removed - ABC News )

    In any event, I certainly agree with the others that I would get a second opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author DJL
      In my early thirties I had a wisdom tooth that became impacted, causing an infection that raised a lump on the side of my head as big as an egg! It was probably the most painful experience I have ever endured. It cleared up very rapidly after removal of the tooth. Had I known beforehand what I was in for, I'd have had it out sooner.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
    I've always had pretty good teeth and have NEVER had a cavity and I just turned 40! I didn't go to the dentist for five years once and it didn't cause any problems. (Although that dreaded hook had a lot of plaque to scrape off when I did go back.)

    Anyway, I never optioned to have my wisdom teeth removed despite constant hounding over the years by various dentists about all the problems I'm going to have later in life. One of them actually damn near had me scheduled for oral surgery and I had to force him to cancel it. Some of them are borderline unethical when it comes to these matters.

    My current dentist, a nice older man who I've had for four years, has never ONCE even mentioned getting my wisdom teeth removed. He just kindly checks my X-Rays once a year and says we'll keep an eye on them. I go by the rule, No surgery of any kind unless it's needed to save my life.

    When I was 19, I had a dentist send me to the periodontist and some buffoon there was all set to schedule gum surgery saying that this gum recession on my lower tooth had to be repaired or it would fall out in a few years. I ran out of there and never answered there persistent calls trying to schedule me for the procedure. As I suspected, that tooth is fine now and in NO danger of falling out.

    Anyway, I'm doing fine now and even still have two baby teeth. They always told me those would fall out before 30 but they're still going strong.

    So it's up to you but this has been my two cents.
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      I go by the rule, No surgery of any kind unless it's needed to save my life.
      Funny. I find it hard to think of something that could happen in any rugby match as surgery, but I suppose that's what it is, in truth.

      I've only had one tooth extraction (so far) as an adult, many years ago now, and I remember being surprised at how much force the dentist needed to exert. It wasn't quite foot in the chest, but not that far off....

      Strange that technology hasn't come up with a less physical method by now. What are all those quantum physicists doing?


      Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Life is too short to give up time for something that may not even be necessary. I appreciate all the replies here. I've gone back and forth on this, and that's why I decided to start this thread.
        That's a good point to make.

        The question is whether the tooth is healthy or not. If it's not impacted and not affecting alignment of the other teeth - maybe you have a dentist giving an opinion rather than a medical necessity.

        Maybe "if it ain't broke..." applies here. It's your mouth and your time.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketingva
    Kevin,

    I paid for four wisdom teeth to come out when I was 21 and later I found out that the dentist left one behind. That was 30 years ago. My current dentist does x-rays regularly and keeps an eye on it but said unless it shifts and starts to descend it should be fine.

    My recommendation... get a second opinion. Take your x-rays from your current doctor and take them to another dentist for a second opinion!

    Bonnie
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Marshall
      Originally Posted by marketingva View Post

      Kevin,

      I paid for four wisdom teeth to come out when I was 21 and later I found out that the dentist left one behind. That was 30 years ago. My current dentist does x-rays regularly and keeps an eye on it but said unless it shifts and starts to descend it should be fine.

      My recommendation... get a second opinion. Take your x-rays from your current doctor and take them to another dentist for a second opinion!

      Bonnie
      This is somewhat similar to what happened to me. To this day I don't know why they didn't take them all out when I was in high school.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Kevin,

    I'm 70 years old and had 3 wisdom teeth pulled in the 1950s. 4th one still there and never gave a lick of trouble.

    Even though I now have false teeth.

    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author btchristopher
    Good question. I am 47 years old and I still have all 4 wisdom teeth. I have been to several dentists over the years. About 15 years ago I went to a new dentist for the first visit, and before he even looked in my mouth he was like "We MUST remove those wisdom teeth!" I asked "why, they don't bother me?" So he goes, "well, maybe not now, but they might someday, and you don't NEED them." So I figured he was full of crap and just trying to make money and never went back. I was to a different dentist about a year ago, and they were bent on doing this "scaling" where they scrape under the gums. I had heard this bs before too, and declined. The interesting thing is the new dentist didn't say one thing about the wisdom teeth. 15 years later they are still fine. If they give me trouble in the future I will deal with it at that time. From what I can gather, people get less cavities than in the past with the fluoride in the water etc. there is less ways for dentists to make money, so they have to be salesmen. One guy tried to sell me an electric toothbrush. Give me a break.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I wouldn't let a doctor fix anything that doesn't need fixing. Preventative surgery scares the crap out of me. Why would anyone take something out that isn't a problem? I've heard of doctors removing appendix while they were in doing other surgeries "just to be safe" - assuming that well, it might go bad some time so lets just yank it now. Later they find out that the appendix actually has a function. Smooth move guys. There is so much unnecessary surgery in this country it's sickening. hysterectomies were being done with wild frequency at one time - a majority of women that had them out didn't need to. The truth is, doctors will do anything you let them do to you. Get the opinion of a natureopathic doctor before you ever let an AMA doctor touch you.

    I refer to preventative surgery as "recreational medical practitioning." It's very simply for the doctor's sport and money.

    If you think your body is a game field, let them have the tooth. Otherwise, the less medicine YOU practice, the healthier you are. If it starts giving you problems get it fixed early on but leave it alone til then. Remember - these are the same guys that are filling people's heads full of mercury because it's cheaper than the non-toxic alternative.
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  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
    Nah. Nu-uh. Don't give old sawbones the satisfaction. Heyyyl no, blood.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jgowen77
    A lot of dentists these days are salesmen first, dentists second. No way I'm doing anything unless its verified as necessary by another dentist.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I had my wisdom teeth pulled and they came back. The dentist told me it was very rare. He said, get this, he said they were eternal wisdom teeth. Budda boom!
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  • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
    Not me, but a friend of mine had all but two taken out when she was in her late teens, and now has to have serious jaw surgery because of the teeth causing problems. I got mine pulled and it hurts like hell for about a week but after that you won't have to worry about them anymore!
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    I had a problem with a wisdom tooth years ago, I went to the emergency room for some pain meds. in the middle of the night.

    I went to the dentist the next day, he gave me a local shot in the gum, pulled the tooth & I felt like I was in heaven, lol. No joke, I've never been in that much pain & the second the dentist pulled that wisdom tooth the pain was entirely gone like it never happened.

    IMO, get the tooth pulled because when it goes bad it will probably happen at the most inconvenient time (ex: 2:00 AM).
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Marshall
      Thanks everyone for all of the replies! I'll decide on Monday what I'm going to do. I am leaning toward canceling the appointment. After all, I could always use more wisdom LOL.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Michael
    awww, don't be such a baby!

    It could be a LOT worse.. be glad it's not a root canal/crown where they have to drill in to your jaw bone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Marshall
      The 2nd dentist actually recommended that I remove both remaining wisdom teeth. My dentist had only recommended that I remove one of the teeth.

      With this, I have peace of mind and I am going to go ahead and have the work done next Friday.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I had a VERY bad long-term experience with a dentist who gave me fillings that weren't good ones. As a result, I had to see several other dentists. The first one wanted to charge me an arm and both legs to remove one tooth. The second (and better dentist) charged me way less and extractions caused me zero pain.
    Unfortunately, because of the bad dentist I had seen for years, I have now lost ALL my teeth.
    My good dentist was so good that nothing was a drama.
    2 weeks ago I had a partial tooth that had started to come up through the gum. He used his normal numbing gel, then some local anaesthetic which I did not even feel.
    Then he said "you might feel some pressure" and next thing I know, it was out. He said he did not expect it to come out so quickly and with only one small push.
    I had ZERO pain and after 3 days, I could eat on that side again.

    The bottom line is...always look for a dentist that knows how to treat you without causing pain. YES, they do exist. AND he is very cheap too so I was happy.
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