Reasons why wisdom teeth should be removed.

- A listing of the most common reasons dentists give for 3rd molar extraction (both impacted and non-impacted teeth).

A mesially impacted lower 3rd molar.

Some reasons are more valid than others.

As you read through this list, take notice of the fact that we have labeled a few of them as being "questionable." By this we mean that their validity is not universally accepted by the dental profession as a whole (despite having been used as a justification for decades).

Opinions can vary.

Of course, there are always exceptions and differing opinions in regard to any type of medical treatment, and this surgery is no different. In fact, even some the reasons we've categorized as being "valid" are sometimes debated.

For more information visit our page: Is it always necessary to remove wisdom teeth?

Valid reasons to extract.

Questionable (debated) reasons given for removal.

Reasons to extract wisdom teeth - General categories.

A) Some 3rd molars can't be properly maintained.

Some of the reasons given for extraction are based on the fact that these teeth can be very difficult to properly clean and maintain.

This is especially true for those that are misaligned or malpositioned (impacted or not) and also those that are only partially erupted (teeth that don't fully stick out above the gum line as they should.)

If dental plaque is allowed to accumulate, the tooth and the tissues that surround it will be at risk for tooth decay, periodontal disease (gum disease) and recurring infections (pericoronitis).

B) Hidden reasons.

Some of the events that necessitate the removal of a person's third molars may only be detectable via the use of x-rays.

These include cyst or tumor formation, decay or the way their positioning places neighboring teeth at risk for damage.

X-rays are also used to determine if there are any absent or extra wisdom teeth. And evaluate their current stage of development, alignment and eruption.

C) Some justifications for extraction are no longer universally accepted.

As suggested above, some of the rationales for wisdom tooth extraction cited in previous decades are no longer widely accepted by the dental community as a whole, to the point that some of them are now fervently debated.

For example, it was previously thought that their presence (and the process associated with them coming in) could cause other teeth in the mouth to become shifted or misaligned. The fact of the matter is, however, that this "tooth crowding" theory has never been definitively confirmed by research.

Also, nowadays just the basic thought that all impacted ones must be removed is no longer universally accepted.


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