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Wisdom teeth

August 16th, 2010 at 11:37 am

Hey gang, I need some opinions on this if you know anything about this subject.

As you can imagine, my wisdom teeth are impacted? I think that's the term. It looks like the erupted one in the pictures below, except that it's has also completely surfaced through the gums.



Anyways, the dentist is saying that I need to get them out sooner rather than later, but it doesn't have to be right away. It could be a 5 year project if I want.

Now, another thing about my teeth is that I've already had a molar removed a while back, so there is now a gap in my lower jaw. I know that if I were to leave them alone, they would slowly slide out and mis-align, but with a gap there, at least the teeth shouldn't crowd too much and cause pain? I don't know.

What I do know is that I don't think I really care THAT much about having perfect teeth. I just want my teeth to not hurt, and then I don't want to over-pay for any unnecessary dental work.

So, my question is, do any of you know if this is truly necessary, or is this something that the dentist is telling me to help pay for his boat?

17 Responses to “Wisdom teeth”

  1. just a thought Says:

    You should get them out. In the long term, I think you will be happy you did.

  2. momcents Says:


    If they aren't giving you any problems, I would say leave them. Be careful to floss back there as much as you can to prevent any cavities forming in the tight space between the last molar and the wisdom tooth. My previous dentist told me I *had* to have mine out "soon" and I've either been pregnant or had little kids to take care of (at the time). I switched to a different dentist who said that if they bothered me, then it would be time to take them out. They haven't bothered me and I still have them without damage to my other teeth. Just my experience ...

  3. swimgirl Says:

    I would get them out. No question. Even if they are not causing problems right now, they absolutely can cause problems later.

    The problem with wisdom teeth is that they are far to the back and hard to keep clean. If they are coming in at angles, they are especially susceptible to decay. If they are really COMPLETELY erupted and there is room in your mouth, no problem. If they are completely erupted, but smashed up the back of your jaw that's not good and you should definitely get them out.

    Part of the answer depends on the side of your mouth...

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    For what it's worth, I'm 50-something and have all 4 of my wisdom teeth intact. They've never caused me any problems. I guess there's enough space for them, I don't know.

  5. rob62521 Says:

    I had to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed at age 22 because they caused me such pain. No dental insurance, but the dentist was willing to cut a percentage off because we did it all at one time and the noninsurance issue.

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    Patient, just wondering but are your wisdom teeth impacted? Are they in any weird angles or did they come straight up?

    Thanks for all the input so far, everyone. I really appreciate it!

  7. whitestripe Says:

    when I was 16 I had my four back molar teeth removed (they were beyond saving). Within a year all of my wisdom teeth had moved forward to replace them. Sure, there are gaps, but I floss every day and have not had any problems with these ones. Just before I had them removed, I noticed that my front teeth seemed to be slightly less perfectly aligned than they were, which the dentist pointed out was because it was becoming crowded. Honestly I think I was lucky to have the molars removed as I now have four perfectly good back teeth and no future problems with having to get dental surgery. In the end it's your decision, but I would never go back and do it any other way for my own teeth.

  8. whitestripe Says:

    Also have to add: DF has the same problem where his are impacted, and had an xray a few years ago to show that the roots of the wisdom & molars had wrapped around each other and he now has to get major surgery to remove both of them Frown

  9. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Another 50+ who has four wisdom teeth, two of which came out jutting sideways, aimed at the cheek instead of at the row of opposing teeth. The worst aimed one was right behind a molar that was pulled when I was about 19. That wisdom tooth and the next molar over gradually moved to fill the gap so that the wisdom tooth really has become a useful chewing tooth. That is even with the "side" of the tooth being where part of the chewing impact hits.

    So I still have all my wisdom teeth and am glad for it.

    I would ask parents and siblings what their experience has been. I would also ask the dentist what the statistics might be on future problems.

    If you are having pain now, take care of it, but only in the areas of pain. I personally would leave wisdom teeth alone if they are causing no problems. I'd be all the more motivated to leave them alone if no siblings or parents have had problems with theirs.

  10. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wow, talk about sudden spurts of comments! Big Grin

    Just for clarification, no, they're not hurting me right now. Nor are they bleeding or anything. They're just lodged against my back molars.

    Again, thank you for the inputs! It's kind of a big deal for me, so please keep them coming if you think of anything else.

  11. skydivingchic Says:

    I finally gave in and had mine out in March. The reason I did is because I had gotten an infection in one of my upper teeth in January - and I always get an "A" from my dentist on oral hygiene. I had kind of been considering having it done before that because we like to travel to remote areas and the last thing I wanted to deal with was getting an infection in a country without access to good and immediate medical care.

    So after the infection, I decided to bite the bullet and have it done. I was only willing to put myself through the surgery once as I am needle phobic. My regular dentist kept telling me to get all of them out due to not having enough room and the risk of infection. The oral surgeon told me the top ones really needed to come out due to the infection risk (they were partially erupted and there were deep pockets in my gums around them). They highly recommended I get the lower ones out as well due to the crowding issue, but weren't as insistent on them as the top ones. Since I was only going to do this once, I opted to have all of them out.

    The surgery went fine. If I had known how bad my recovery was going to be, I would not have had the lower ones out. I got dry socket in both the lower ones. I was on vicodin for 2 weeks and advil for another 2 weeks after that. The inside of my lower teeth near the extraction site are still more sensitive than before surgery due to the nerve getting tweaked during extraction (the more severe possible side affect would have been to have permanent numbness in my lip, so I guess this is better, but I am still not amused). The sensitivity is fading, but sloooooowly. Also, six months post surgery my lower jaw still gets sore at the end of the day. My lower teeth were impacted in the jaw bone and had not erupted at all, much like the "angular" picture.

    So all in all, I don't know what to tell you. I would ask/research about infection risks and look at your x-rays yourself. It doesn't sound like you are concerned about crowding, so you should concentrate on the infection risk in deciding.

    Good luck.

  12. PrincessPerky Says:

    I had one or two out due to pain. so I kinda hope I get the other side done before the pain...but not willing to pa out of pocket for it when there is no pain.

  13. baselle Says:

    Good luck. I can't really add anything except make sure you see the x-rays. I'm one of the rare 5% of the population who have no wisdom teeth. (several members in my family have just 2) At one point in my 20s knowing that was useful - the dentist I was trying out claimed I had some and I should get them removed. I said "thank you for telling me, I'll think about it." I never went back.

  14. campfrugal Says:

    I say get a second opinion. All dentists are different. I have not had mine out, nor have any of my children had to have theirs out. I really think it is due to how much pain you are in and how the wisdom tooth is impacted.

    And, you don't have to have them all done at once. If one is impacted and hurting you and you don't think it is going to re-aligned, after you have had your second opinion, then just get that one out.

  15. dmontngrey Says:

    I would get a second opinion if you can. If you are not in pain and not in danger of them causing any damage to your other teeth, why not wait it out?

    My personal experience was more on the unusual side, so that wont help you much. I had them out in high school - all three of them. ?? Not sure why I only had three. Mine had rotted before they even broke through the surface.

  16. MonkeyMama Says:

    I have no opinion - with Baselle. I actually have one tiny wisdom tooth that is not expected to ever cause a problem. (But don't be jealous - had braces for a decade - all sorts of contraptions - teeth pulled, jaw surgeries galore - figured I had my fair share! The wisdom teeth are the only good dental news I have ever had?)

    BUT I did want to say, I would get a second opinion, definitely. OF course, the flip side is that you will get many opinions. But it would be nice to find a conservative dentist who agreed it wasn't necessary to remove them.

  17. Miclason Says:

    If they're not bothering you, I'd say leave them in... My ex had to have surgery to remove his, as they were completely horizontal, hurt like hell and on top of that, one tooth had fused with the jawbone .... The dentist said he should rest, but NOT lay down to avoid swelling which is what causes swelling.
    Good luck, whatever you decide.

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