When do wisdom teeth have to be removed?
Should you have a wisdom tooth removed if it is not causing you any pain? Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Hossein Ghaeminia of Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands researched the risk of complications when removing these teeth.
Wisdom teeth that do not cause complaints are often removed to avoid future issues. However, in the event of removal, complications such as infection of the wound and nerve damage may arise. These complications lead to a reduced quality of life. Should you have a wisdom tooth removed or simply leave it be?
To remove or not to remove?
Ghaeminia performed a systematic review of what has already been researched in this field. After conducting his own research, he determined that each patient must be considered individually. Ghaeminia: “On the one hand, surgical intervention is accompanied by a risk of complications, such as infection of the wound and damage to the sensory nerve of the lip and chin. On the other hand, leaving a problem-free wisdom tooth in place may eventually lead to more damage to the neighboring teeth.”
One of the most frequent complications after removing wisdom teeth is infection. Ghaeminia examined which factors contribute to the risk of infection: “People who are 26 or older and women run a greater risk of infection, but smoking also appears to be a risk factor.”
Ghaeminia compiled his conclusions into a pamphlet that can be used in clinical practice to improve patient care. It is a guide for both doctor and patient that should improve the process of deciding whether to remove a problem-free wisdom tooth.