10 million wisdom teeth extractions, 5 million ”patients”, over 3 billion dollars annual profit for dentists!
The HUGE LIE: ” You don’t need the wisdom teeth. They don’t help you in bite and they’ll cause you many problems if you keep them. The sooner you remove them the better for you”
REALLY??? Unless people feed on tomato juice and smashed potatoes only, they DO NEED the WISDOM TEETH to chew harder food such as meat or nuts or fruit and there is absolutely no reason to extract a perfect healthy tooth to prevent an hypothetically future tooth decay! Hypothetically speaking, one of your kidneys may suffer from a disease in the future…what should you do? you remove it upfront, just in case?
This joke about the ”useless” teeth must stop! There is nothing useless in the human body! Everything has its function and exists for some reason. Why do i have to pull out my mouth 4 perfectly healthy teeth that have been erupted normally and are made up by nature to endure for the rest of my life? And before i go on, i should make clear that the purpose of this article is not to tell people about what a decayed wisdom tooth may cause you because i’m pretty positive that your dentist has already informed you about. The purpose of this article is to bring to light the other point of view, this one from some other scientists who admit that undergoing a surgical operation to remove healhty teeth comes with more risks for the health of the patient and lifelong consequences.
2/3 of wisdom teeth (third molars) extractions are unnecessary
While the majority of dentists try to convince you that pulling out a healthy tooth is a prophylactic measure against future decay, some other health professors claim that removing teeth is a surgical operation with many risks for patient’s health and that the tactic of teeth extraction instead of trying to cure the teeth in most cases is based on financial motives rather than the patients’ wellbeing!
There is no evidence of widespread third-molar infection and pathology or of medical necessity to justify so much surgery. In fact, 50% of upper third molars classified as impactions are normally developing teeth, most of which will erupt with minimal discomfort if not extracted prematurely. Only 12% of truly impacted teeth are associated with pathological conditions such as cysts and damage to adjacent teeth.3,4 Most discomfort of erupting wisdom teeth is equivalent to teething and disappears on full eruption. Most infection of the gum tissue around the erupting or partially erupted teeth can be prevented by good oral hygiene, including toothbrushing. Infection occurs in fewer than 10% of third molars, most of which can be cured with antibiotics, oral rinsing, or removal of excess tissue (the hyperculum) around the tooth, without requiring removal of the tooth itself.5 Most of the pain and illness attributed to third molars is caused by the surgery, not the teeth.
Third-molar surgery is a multibillion-dollar industry that generates significant income for the dental profession, particularly oral and maxillofacial surgeons. It is driven by misinformation and myths that have been exposed before but that continue to be promulgated by the profession.
Source: National Center of Biotechnology Information
It is shocking, to say the least, the fact that someone who has taken the oath to save lives, deliberately and consciously put a life at risk. I don’t mean to be unfair with the doctors who really do their best to treat their patients while they deal with iatrogenic complications. It is one thing to deal with pathogenic complications of a necessary operation and another thing to have a healthy patient with no serious reason for a surgical procedure and put them in danger of postoperative complication just because you want to earn some money. This is medical malpractice and it is not the first time we see this happening- and unfortunately not the last.
In particularly, the extraction of wisdom teeth has resulted so far in 11 million patients’ discomfort or disability including pain, swelling, bruising and malaise after the extraction (this is considered standard postoperative complication) and in the permanent parasthesia of lip, tongue and cheek, caused by nerve injury during the surgery to more than 12000 patients. Some patients have also referred temporal or permanent loss of taste after the extaction while some others suffered fractures to the lower jaw during the extraction – maybe because the tooth was too strong to be removed..?!
Dr. Tara Renton, professor of oral surgery at King’s College London, stated in 2015 that up to half a million wisdom teeth extractions are performed on the National Health System each year. source: Teether
Dispelling The Myths About Wisdom Teeth
Myth 1: ”Wisdom teeth cause many problems mainly because of their position in the back of the mouth that doesn’t help people clean them properly. So it is better to be removed. It is a preventive measure.”
All right, the position of wisdom teeth makes them more difficult to be cleaned but this is not a reason to be removed! People who maintain a good oral health and have professional cleanings in their mouths twice a year, what reason do they have to pull out their wisdom teeth as long as their teeth are not decayed? In Greece, of the 6000 patients who extracted their wisdom teeth in 2015, only 2.7% had a cyst. Why were the other teeth extracted? What does ”preventive measure” mean in dentistry? Extracting a healthy tooth is not a preventive measure…it is a permanent and non reversable medical procedure which bears all the potential negative repercussions in patients’ health!
Myth 2: ”wisdom teeth cause pain during the eruption period and in many cases they are not fully erupted causing pericoronitis.”
It is irritating and painfull yet absolutely normal to have the sensation of pain when a teeth tries to sprout up. If you ask your mother how was it when you had your first teeth as a baby, she will probably tell you how many sleepless nights spent trying to calm you down. When teeth try to come out, they break the gum tissue and this is what causes ”itching” and pain. However, this is a normal procedure with little -if not at all- health risk. Regarding the pericoronitis, that is the inflammation of the soft tissue around the wisdom tooth (mainly occurs in the lower partially erupted wisdom teeth and cause pain and fever) there are alternatives to extraction, such as the operculectomy. In operculectomy, the patient is given local anaesthesia and the doctor removes the gingival tissue that covers the chewing surface of the tooth, so you can bite properly and no food or bacteria can accumualate under the tissue any more. In recent years, many experienced dentists use laser for this procedure, there are no stitches, no blood, no pain of extraction and, the wound is left open to heal by itself. In some other cases, the doctor may prescribe some antibiotics. That’s it. So, the theory that we remove any partially erupted wisdom tooth doesn’t have any base.
Myth 3: ”The best age to remove wisdom teeth is during adolescence, preferably between 17 and 25, before the teeth roots are fully formed. The older you are, the most ”deep” and ”strong” are the teeth roots and this makes teeth extraction harder.”
Of course tooth extraction is hard because our teeth have been made to endure an entire life! Humans are not sharks to replace lost teeth. The reason many people lose their teeth earlier is either of bad oral hygiene or of bad dentist – or a combination of both!
Early removal of third molars is actually more traumatic and painful than leaving asymptomatic, nonpathologic teeth in situ…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. The highest risk of complication is in persons aged 25 to 34 years. source:NCBI
Myth 4: ”If there is not enough space in the mouth, the wisdom teeth eruption could cause a problem with the other teeth alighment.”
If that’s the case, couldn’t be the other way around? If wisdom teeth ”push” the other teeth in order to erupt then, any loss of teeth could leave more space in the mouth and lead to other teeth separation?
It is not possible for lower third molars, which develop in the spongy interior cancellous tissue of bone with no firm support, to push 14 other teeth with roots implanted vertically like the pegs of a picket fence so that the incisors in the middle twist and overlap. Yet that is the reason often given for removal of third molars, even though studies have produced contrary evidence.12–14 Third molars (wisdom teeth) do not possess sufficient force to move other teeth. They cannot cause crowding and overlapping of the incisors, and any such association is not causation. source:NCBI
Myth 5: ”There is no risk in wisdom teeth extraction. It is a matter of ten minutes and we’re done.”
- dry socket
- soft-tissue infection
- fracture of low jaw
- fracture or other damage to adjacent tooth during extraction
- temporary or permanent pareasthesia (numbness of lips, tongue and cheek)
- periodontal damage
- anesthetic complications
- mandibular and lingual nerve injury (the most widly reported symptom followed the tooth extraction)
Well, it doesn’t seem to me that the tooth extraction is just a matter of ten minutes with no risk…It may be a matter of earning some hundreds of euros in ten minutes but, this is not the same thing…
Did you know that permanent paresthesia of lips, tongue and cheek is one of the most common reasons that patients sue oral and maxillofacial surgeons but, in most cases, judges do not blame surgeons, because it is assumed that patients who agreed to undergo the surgery, were aware of the risks?
The good oral hygiene saves you from pain, tooth and money loss
There are simple yet effective things you can do to save yourself from the dentist ordeal.
- Buy an electric toothbrush and use it twice the day! They remove plaque and tartar 10 times better than normal toothbrush, they have timer for you to know how much brushing is enough and, they protect your gums from receding as they don’t put too much pressure in them. They are perfect for cleaning wisdom teeth. Use them in morning and especially at night before you go to bed.
- Stop smoking and excessive sugar! Both of them are the epitome of developing peridontic disease which will lead to the infection of gum tissue around you teeth and the loss of them.
- Use mouth rinse and dental floss: the first one fights the bacteria which live in our mouth and are responsible for tooth pain and decay, while the dental floss removes gently any food and plaque remains between teeth in areas a toothbrush cannot reach, including the wisdom teeth area.
- Get a professional cleaning in an experienced dentist and take a panoramic dental x-ray to have a clear picture of your teeth position in your mouth.
Before you proceed to wisdom tooth extraction or any tooth extraction, make your own research, consult more that one oral professionals and if tooth extraction is unavoidable make sure your dentist is well-experienced and has informed you about the potential risks of the operation. Always remember that having all your teeth in your mouth plays important role in chewing and digesting food as well as in speech and overall psychological health. Hundreds of billions of dollars and euros are spent each year from people who want to replace their missing teeth with dentures and, you have your own teeth and go for an extraction with no apparent reason?