Wisdom Teeth Removal: Are There Any Alternatives?

The getting of wisdom traditionally comes with pain. No pain no gain. This is why we call these third molars wisdom teeth. A third set of teeth that come through around the age of 20. For the lucky few these four molars can be a useful asset but for many they are supernumerary and super painful. Wisdom teeth removal: Are there any alternatives? Well, it is no longer common practice to remove wisdom teeth as a preventative dental health policy. Many people in the past may not have developed impacted wisdom teeth but had them removed just in case. The idea that removing your wisdom teeth may be a case of heading off future problems is no longer a one size fits all strategy.

Third Molars Removed

I must confess that I did not have my own third molars removed. Was I one of the lucky few? Well, not really, I suspect that the fact that I had four teeth removed to reduce overcrowding as a young boy cleared the way for my wisdom teeth. The extraction procedure I experienced was particularly brutal and bloody for a sensitive child. I remember the hairy forearms and hands of my robust dentist ripping out my teeth in a no-nonsense manner to my dismay. Dental trauma remains a very real echo in my psyche to this day.

The Coronectomy Procedure

A dental procedure called a coronectomy is available for those with complications around removing wisdom teeth. In this procedure the crown of the tooth is removed but a part of the root is untouched. Fissure burs are utilised to reduce the left-over roots to 3mm below the lingual and buccal plates. Basically, this is an intentional partial tooth extraction, and it can take up to 18 months to recover from a coronectomy.  

The collective assumption that of all the dental anxieties, wisdom teeth are the biggest remains despite the diminishing evidence for it. The message needs to be that wisdom teeth may not cause you the problems that past generations have experienced with them. Some dentists and perhaps the dental industry as a whole trade on these fears to generate work and profit. Do not assume that you will require third molar extractions as a par for the course life experience. It may well be that these adult teeth fit right in and become a valuable asset in your mouth. Best of luck with fitting in.