I’m 40 and had no problems with my wisdom teeth until I was 38. Last month was my six-month exam and time for a panoramic x-ray. My dentist said two wisdom teeth are impacted, and one has a cavity. That explains why I have been feeling some discomfort. She referred me to an oral surgeon who wanted to remove all 4 teeth. I’m terrified. Is this necessary? I felt faint when the oral surgeon started talking about the risks and nerve damage. She assured me that I would be sedated and not feel a thing. Is this surgery necessary? I wonder if I could see another dentist to remove the cavity and place a white filling. Maybe only one tooth would need to be extracted from them. I don’t like overtreatment if it’s not necessary. Thanks. Malyssa
Removing tooth decay from a wisdom tooth and filling the tooth with dental composite will not resolve concerns with impacted teeth. The wisdom teeth will continue to push on neighboring teeth. Impacted teeth are hard to clean and can become infected. However, a surgeon does not need to remove healthy, fully erupted wisdom teeth that do not jeopardize neighboring teeth’s health or position.
An oral surgeon must explain the risks of tooth removal. However, they use a 3D scan to avoid nerve damage. Although a surgeon may emphasize the risks, they must protect themselves from potential lawsuits.
Removing all four wisdom teeth is not overtreatment. Removing them now prevents future complications, a dental emergency, and other surgery to remove the remaining teeth. Your anxiety is understandable; many patients experience it. Explain your anxiety level to the oral surgeon to ensure she gives you enough sedation to ensure you stay deeply relaxed throughout the procedure.
Metairie, Louisiana, dentist Dr. Duane Delaune sponsors this post.