It is recommended by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons for young adults to have their wisdom teeth removed in order to avoid any future complications, but according to AAOMS statistics the number of post-operative complications is quickly rising.
Wisdom teeth removal surgery is one of the leading oral surgeries in the United States. According to the AAOMS, more than 13 million people annually opt to undergo wisdom teeth removal as of 2012.
Of the 13 million people, 15 percent have reported complications ranging from tooth fractures to permanent nerve damage.
Jay Friedman, dental consultant and author, stated in The DentalGuide’s podcast the purpose of wisdom teeth removal is to prevent damage and to promote gum rejuvenation. However, he said not all wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if an individual frequently experiences pain, damage to nearby teeth or extensive tooth decay.
Friedman found the likelihood of complications following wisdom teeth removal far greater for middle-aged adults and elders compared to teenagers and young adults.
“The wisdom teeth extraction surgery is typically offered at a young age as the roots of the teeth are not fully developed yet, therefore they would heal much faster,” Friedman said. “If a non-recommended individual were to decide to proceed with the wisdom teeth extraction surgery, it would take a significantly longer time to recover from the surgery.”
Christal Haynes, junior health science major, said she gathered two different opinions on how to handle growing wisdom teeth before deciding upon the surgery.
“I found it best to note the status of my dental health before and after the surgery, therefore I could update my orthodontist of any abnormal post-operative symptoms,” Haynes said.
Before making the decision to opt for surgery, it is important to consult a dentist or an oral surgeon about the health of one’s wisdom teeth.