Follow
Share

My dentist fears problems with the teeth next to the wisdom teeth, which is why he's now recommending extracting them. I've been seeing him for many years, and I trust him.


I had osseous gum surgery in 2019 so my gum pockets are somewhat better, but I can't get to the wisdom teeth to floss. Does a water pik obviate the need for extraction? Should I get it done or not? I've heard the roots of the teeth grow deeper over time which is why most people get them removed when much younger. And there can be unpleasant aftereffects. I've heard the roots of the teeth grow deeper over time which is why most people get them removed when much younger. And there can be unpleasant aftereffects. What other questions should I ask my dentist or the surgeon who'd do the extraction?


Thanks!

Find Care & Housing
My upper wisdom teeth erupted normally, but the lower wisdom teeth were only partially erupted and thus also partially impacted. This presented a problem because the gum still covering the back corner of the lower teeth was getting ground between the fully erupted upper teeth. The dentist recommended removing the upper teeth, which would be an easy pull because they were fully erupted, and allow the lower teeth to move up for an easier extraction later. So both uppers were removed around age 17. Once fully erupted, the lower teeth didn't cause any problems for a number of years and I did not have them pulled as advised. At 38, I developed a gum infection around the very back of one wisdom tooth and ended up getting both lower wisdom teeth pulled, one at a time a month apart.

Because you state you have gum pockets, I believe you are more likely to have a gum infection similar to mine at some point or maybe more advanced periodontal disease. Periodontal disease has also been linked to heart disease and other inflammatory conditions. If you are a good candidate to heal well from an extraction (non-smoker, no diabetes, or other problems with healing), I would strongly consider having the extractions, one side at a time. If you are likely to have complications from the extractions, and only "might" have future dental problems, I would probably wait until some other problem occurs to consider extractions.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to TNtechie
Report

If there are problems with adjacent teeth, get them removed. It is very crowded back there and makes them very hard to work on.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/wisdom-teeth

By mentioning dentists age are you suggesting removal of wisdom teeth is a old fashioned practice? If so, nope wisdom teeth are often removed fora variety of reasons.

From the daughter of a dentist.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to gladimhere
Report

Get another opinion. If it doesn’t bother you, why do it? Doesn’t make sense.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to CaregiverL
Report

The roots not only grow but they curve, and curve inward, often making them difficult to see. Go to a dentist who specializes in this. I had one pulled by necessity at age 76, so can be done just fine, but get a good guy, because in 50s had one pulled and it snapped right off, had to dig out the roots. I was fine with some nitrous oxide, but wouldn't care to do it again. To be frank, without a problem, I wouldn't be messing with this, and would go with the water pik and periodic xrays to check. Just the decision I would make. You may prefer to go with your dentist advice.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Report

I would never have wisdom teeth pulled out unless absolutely, 100% necessary. What for? To maybe avoid potential issues down the road? Nope. I waited until it was necessary and had one pulled out in about 2 seconds flat, another in about 5 seconds, and the other 2 in one sitting during another necessary dental procedure many years later. In the end, it was a lot easier to deal with in 3 separate events than in 1 big event.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report
nocal1 Feb 7, 2020
I realize everyone is different. That said, if you don't mind my asking, how old were you when your wisdom teeth were pulled? Were your after effects bad, assuming you were somewhat older? Thanks.
(0)
Report
I think the secret is to look until you find a dentist you absolutely trust. I've been with mine for 40+ years. Now his son has taken over the practice but 'old' Dr Smith is in the office so much, sometimes if he is in, I will ask for HIM to check my teeth.

Yep, we spent a fortune on dentistry and braces (all 5 kids) and wisdom teeth removal (all 5 kids, and ME!) but if you do not have good oral hygiene/health it can seriously impact your overall health. DH had a teeth cleaning and he has to pre-dose with antibiotics before each visit (transplant patient). I wore 'old fashioned braces back in the 70's when each tooth was wrapped in a band--this has been found to be very bad, and all the molars I had that were wrapped in this fashion eventually died, so I have a mouthful of crowns. Nowadays orthodontia is MUCH gentler!

Our teeth are designed to last a lifetime. Barring some disease or malformation, just brushing and flossing daily should ensure that you will keep your teeth all your life.

2nd opinions when you are not 'sold' on a certain dentist's opinion. Ask around.

Don't play the wait and see game on a tooth that is giving you issues. My sis went down that route and lost 3 molars to a massive infection. And she is not some homeless junkie--she just kept being told 'it's no big deal' when in fact it was a HUGE deal.

Waterpicks are great--esp for people who struggle to floss. And for people with braces or bridges. You won't believe the guck that comes out.

I worked as a dental assistant before I had kids. I couldn't believe how horrible people would let their teeth get before they'd land in our office. A filling cost about $80, a crown, around $800.

Your MOUTH is the first line of defense in preventing major illness. I know a woman who let a tooth just rot out of her head--and during lunch out with her, she was spitting chunks of her tooth out into her hand. SO INCREDIBLY GROSS and SO unnecessary. She had full dentures at age 55 b/c she would not take care of her teeth.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Midkid58
Report
Riverdale Feb 7, 2020
I know your mother is close in age to mine who is 89. I know you don't have alot of say with her health but I just have a question for you. A dentist wants $35,000 to fix the lower teeth of my mother's. Not only is this not a cost we feel we can bare but the anesthesia involved with all the procedures we feel would be very detrimental. Said dentist remarked she would not like dentures. I am on the search for another dentist for her but I am wondering just how much should be done. I would not characterize my mother as a youthful 89 year old. Frankly we wonder how she is still alive with all her health issues and how she managed them or rather how she didn't manage them before my husband and I became involved. I am her only child but until I could really take control I just detached as she basically could drive me insane in so many areas of her behavior. I posed this question earlier. Just thought I would send you a message as I always appreciate hearing from you and often wish you could have a family transplant with certain ones you have to deal with.
(1)
Report
See 3 more replies
I have had all mine out. But I was in my 30s and younger. I had impacted ones that decayed and I got a toothache in one so they pulled the other. When I had gum surgery, the dentist pulled the other two.

Sometimes the roots will cause problems. If they aren't impacted and you are having no problems, leave them alone. My husband at 73 has all of his. To floss in the back there is a little tool for that. It looks like a slingshot. I've used one for years.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
igloo572 Feb 9, 2020
GUM “sun star” advanced care flossers
DenTek “fun flossers” in neon colors with Vit E & mint flavor!
our kids orthodontist had samples in a bowl by the exit & a handful grabbed each visit. Still finding them 7 years later......
(0)
Report
If you can afford it, I think dental work is worth it over time. If it’s looking like running over 10/15k, I’d get a 2nd opinion & not from a general practice dds but an oral surgeon. & for reasons you may not have considered.....

My mom did huge spend down for dental work. Replacing truly vintage partials & bridges with posts & implants, several crowns, couple of extractions. About a 4 yr proce$$ in her late 80’s. What triggered doing this was partials stopped fitting & old dds retired. Years later mom goes into a NH. Her having pretty sturdy & healthy teeth and able to actually eat just about anything made a big difference. She enjoyed food & could actually eat everything. She had secure, pain free teeth & gums she could herself brush. Even after she became bedfast & dietary had some items “mechanized”, she still could hold a fork or sandwich, bite & chew.

I will never forget what one of the nurses said at a care plan meeting, when I asked if mom needed to go to liquid diet..... that absolutely not, that the whole cycle of “cut, seperate, fork, place in mouth, chew, swallow” keeps their cognition fired up. It’s an active process, while liquid diet is passive. Ditto for cutting into veggies, biting into fruit rather than sweets which are soft. That mom had great teeth meant she could eat a varied diet without pain or without struggling. If you’ve ever shared a table at a NH, you sadly see residents moving food around on their plate, going for the soft stuff, bread, cake as thats what they can mash down.

also if you have the eventuality of being in a NH, at some point you will not be able to brush your teeth. It then becomes those pink sponge tipped swabs for dental hygiene that staff pass over your teeth. If your teeth are in pretty good shape, the swabs can keep bacteria down & remove errant foodstuffs. But if there’s decades of decay, you will -in my experience - get carries, gum disease, infections and that horrid elderly bad breath as those swabs kinda useless. My mil had this & with teeth falling out, it was all mush & sweets for her.

If dementia sets in, they can’t easily go get dentures as can’t sit still for work to be done. Even tho’ dentures usually covered by Medicare, they can’t get physically do what’s needed to get done.
I think you’ll be glad you did dental now even if it’s painful to your wallet!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to igloo572
Report

Funny that this subject comes up at a relevant point in my considerations.

I had my last child at age 40, and 6 weeks after his birth I went to get a routine filling which turned into a HORRENDOUS extraction. The roots of the tooth were wrapped under my jaw bone, dry socket extraction AWFUL.

Years later, the tooth next to that one needed a root canal and crown, and THAT was done by an “interesting” dentist who then “left the area”.

THAT TOOTH has been fine for about 18 years, and has now begun to bother me. If it can POSSIBLY BE SAVED, I’ll have the new root canal and new crown. It has only one root visible on X-ray, and that, apparently makes it harder to save.

If the tooth CANNOT be saved, I will be preparing for an implant.

I’ll post after next Wednesday, the day of my appointment with the root canal specialist.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AnnReid
Report
Daughterof1930 Feb 7, 2020
Ann, very similar story to the road I’ve been down. No fun at all...and mine did start with a dentist that turned out to be highly questionable
(2)
Report
I had one out in my 40’s and a few years later found out having that done actually caused other issues. So I then lost the molar next to where it was. Sometimes the fix causes another issue. If I had it to do over I’d never had had the wisdom tooth out, it was difficult and left a hole that took a year to go away. I was always picking food out of it. My children had theirs out as teens and were fine by the next day. Mine was painful and cost me getting an implant later. At the least, get a second opinion, but I’m on the side of don’t act on what isn’t causing you pain
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Daughterof1930
Report

I got my wisdom teeth out in my 40's - I was closer to the age of all the parents sitting in the waiting room at the dental surgeon's office. My teeth were (still are) very tight and like you it was impossible for me to floss back there, unlike you it was a cavity in the wisdom tooth that made extraction necessary. The surgeon was only able to extract 3 (the lower teeth had never emerged and one was apparently too impacted and fragile). Although at the time I freaked out worrying about the procedure and the cost looking back glad I had it done.

Just as an aside - my mom pretty much stopped going to the dentist in her 70's reasoning that her teeth would last as long as she did. The consequence of that was her having to have all her lower molars extracted when she was 90 due to decay.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to cwillie
Report

At 72, "waiting" for the full problem to erupt could mean needing dental work when you have other health, cognitive or financial issues going on. As well, you may not be able to get in/stay in a dental chair for long (like my MIL).

Getting a 2nd opinion here in the US means the new dentist wants to do a full set of their own xrays in order to give it a looksee (I've run into this problem) which may not be covered.

Then there's the 2016 study results showing that the benefits of flossing are unproven:

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-36962667

You could develop a post-op infection from the preemptive tooth removal procedure. Even if they put you on antibiotics in advance you can have a reaction to that (as my mother just did to clindamycin) that took months to completely go away.

It's not an easy decision but if I were you I think I'd choose to leave the teeth alone.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Geaton777
Report

If you are having problems flossing back teeth or around a crown, you might want to consider using a GUM Stimulator which is basically a rubber dental pick that can be used around the gum line. It also helps if you have pocket issues. I use it before brushing my teeth and then rinsing with diluted peroxide solution.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to TNtechie
Report

IF YOU GET A TOOTH ACHE: try warm water and salt or warm water and baking soda... warm salt water sooths...


AFter 50 I am now getting cavities... It sucks..
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to MAYDAY
Report

So, far a sealants are concerned, those are to help prevent CAVITIES. I mistankenly got my kids at 4 yearld old "sealed".. They come apart.. after a number of years.

So when I waitressed at an old diners hall... seriously... THE WOODEN SHOE..
Old place of old people... Anyway, an older man was saying he had all his original teeth... Teeth are made to last a life time...Well, that was over 35 years ago, and I am sure that old man didn't drink much sugary stuff or eat it either.. But I will never forget that.
A few years ago, my friend noticed everytime she went to dentist somethiing was wrong with her mouth...They had to check for this and that, and one was mouth cancer... she said another way to raise the prices....

MY ADVICE:; BE DILIGENT. BRUSH, SWISH, RINSE, FLOSS. Hopefully your pearly whites will be smiling back at you in the mirror.

GN
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MAYDAY
Report

'My dentist fears problems with the teeth next to the wisdom teeth'. Fears problems? Or see evidence of current problems? What is the likelihood of the future problem?

I service my car - I don't just wait for it to break down. But with my teeth I can't admit to being very proactive! A previous dentist once told me off for not attending the 6 month check up. I told him I bought new car tyres instead. He was speechless - in a bad way! I think they sometimes forget that us non-dental folk have many priorities for our time & money.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Beatty
Report

FLOSSS FLOSS FLOSS is good too.... Glide if you get the string... Very smooth and easy through close very close areas... some say it's not good, because it doesn/t grab the gunk, but then it doesn't break between the teeth either... Kroger brand was good.

Flossers are good...

BIL visited a few weeks ago.. Asked if I have any flossing material.. I came out with a basket full. Take his pick. He was surprised...
Find what works for you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MAYDAY
Report

So, after reading all off this... Take Arnicare about a week prior to surgery to help keep bruising down... Go to health food store or vitamin section of your store..
It really helps. Years later I find this out.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to MAYDAY
Report

Try swishing with peroxide and water... Taste horrible, but it may help.

And brush with baking soda...

And sometimes, if I feel I have a piece of food particle in the back, I take a Q tip, and swab up in between cheek and gum...

Also they sell those spongy foam sticks, you can swab in the back of the mouth with those.... Q tips may get flimsy quickly, but most people have them around the house...

Swab spong sticks you may have to look in elder care specialty shops... q tips are everywhere, and you don't use them quite often in the mouth.

Anyway... warm water and baking soda usually does the job... Then try peroxide..tastes bad... and Q tips for quick and easy solution to get to the back of the mouth... but they do get soggy.... water picks too.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to MAYDAY
Report

I had all my wisdom teeth out in my mid twenties. They were impacted, I had ‘crowded jaw’ (yet another Marfan symptom like my scoliosis), and now have 8 teeth less than the full number.

I had a general anesthetic, and the dentist stopped after 3 extractions because the anesthetist was getting worried. The dentist had to use a saw to cut each tooth and root into quarters, because they were hooked out like anchors. The last one came out in the chair, and the dentist had all his considerable muscles straining. I was scared that my jaw might break. I couldn’t open my mouth more than a slit for a week, no teeth cleaning possible, no solid food, and I scraped the gunge off my tongue with the a teaspoon through the slit. It was all fairly painful.

I would certainly get a second opinion about risk/benefit analysis before putting yourself through this at age 72. It may be easier for you, but then again it may not be.

As a side comment, my lawyer employer paid for all this with a Harley Street dentist so that I could be off work as little as possible, and I went into the London Clinic because the general anesthetic required a hospital stay. That was then the poshest place in London, though I was so crook I wasted most of the facilities. The thing that most amused me was that all the amazing services offered didn't include hairdressing, because 'most of our clients prefer their own hairdresser to call'!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report
MAYDAY Feb 7, 2020
I remember getting mine out.. They gave me gas...??? made me count down from 100... I don't think I got as far as 90.. Head Rush!! I was out... I remember them shoving a wedge in my mouth...
I woke up,,, wiggling trying to get free...... I saw someone in the other corner of the room... strapped face down to his bed....That's when I realized I was face down.. in my pool of mouth drool/blood... strapped in... I was not going anywhere... I guess I wasn't going to choke either.. anytime soon....
Fun memories :O(
I slept in our reclining chair so I wouldn't choke on anything... My boyfriend. (hubby now) came over with a VCR MOVIE..... Police Academy... I think now he amy have wanted to kill me... I was laughing so hard... I was crying because it hurt so bad....I couldn't move my jaw...
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
Are your wisdom teeth impacted? All of my wisdom teeth were impacted.. They could have moved my other teeth out of wack...

Other issues are, they may over-crowd your stable teeth,,,, which may have caused more tooth decay.. You are 72 years of age.... I just started having cavity issues at 50...

ARE THEY CAUSING YOU ISSUES NOW? at 72 years of age.. they are where they are...

Are they causing issues? cavities, movement.. at your age.. it should have been done by now if they were going to...

Please.... Do NOt Let Someone Take Advantage Of You... Go get your teeth cleaned by someone else.. and if they offer free Xrays... Let them... And then talk with your LOVED ONES Let them know what you are dealing with,,,, AND MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION!!! If you know this dentist... then hear him/her out... talk with your family... and decide from there...
I feel like I'm from the KISS family:::: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID.... :(

Do talk with your friends n family.... MY Mom was crying... She took wonderful care of her teeth... Why would someone do that to my mom....
I didn't even tell you what happened... He was selling her veneers on her back molars... REally???? VENEERS? Basically covering so her teeth look better.. IN THE BACK OF THE MOUTHJ????? MY dentist said no,,,, her teeth are fine.. Yup.... That poor new doc lost a customer... Never told him why...
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MAYDAY
Report

Well, are they bothering you?

Are they causing pain?

Are they causing cavities or other known issues?

Did you get an SECOND OPINION? Some places give discounts for first time customers...This may be worth the time, money, and physical issues...

My teeth were impacted. I was 20n years old. They could have moved my other teeth later, which would mean braces..AT that age..NOt Your AGe.
72 years old, you are not concerned about teeth moving about and causing you to have braces..
Next Question: How long has this dentist been your dentist? Only asking, because my mom's dentist retired.. The new dentist, was giving her anxiety.. to to the full tilt.. He made her feel her mouth was falling apart, that she needed EVERY SINGLE THING YOU COULD THINK OF SO HER MOUTH WOULD NOT DECAY.... !!! AND TO DO THAT TO MY MOTHER WAS NOT OKAY!! GET IT?
He was just out of college, got a degree, and he bought a business with senior citizens in his folders, with every thing HE decided needed to be done to pay for his BMW in the PARKING LOT, THE PRACTICE, HIS COLLEGE LOANS, HIS MEMBERSHIP TO THE WONDERFUL GOLF COURSE, AND HIS FNNNNNN LUNCH !!!!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? He had my MOM CRYING.. She thought HER MOUTH WAS ROTTENING OUT...!!! I\ The pathetic look on her face, and starting to cry.. I asked what was wrong? "MY mouth... MY Teeth..." She was hysterical... That little thing of a man had my mom in tears... And when I went to his office, the lobby was FNNNNN FULL of older people waiting... in the waiting room to see this "magical of a dentist" who WAS NOT BACK FROM PLAYING HIS FREAKING ROUND OF GOLF...

I REALLY DID WANT TO SCREAM AT THE WAITING ROOM.... SERIOUSLY, I THINK I SHOULD HAVE AND WAIVED THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE OUTCOME.

MY OPINION !!! GET ANOTHER OPINION..... Good Luck.. $100 bucks, I bet you will say it was worth the 2nd opinion... I don't have $100 bucks to bet right now.. so it's up to you :) I am not betting.. I hope that jerk has learned compassion.. if not...he has learned his lesson...NOt to RIP OFF THE ELDERS OR ANYONE ELSE... Sorry I got mad...
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to MAYDAY
Report
MargaretMcKen Feb 7, 2020
I had an implant, a root canal and two crowns before I caught on to my dentist. I twigged it when at one consultation he said that I should soon have two teeth in my top left crowned, and the next time there was no mention of them and a recommendation for my bottom left set. He now has a new building and I have a new dentist.
(4)
Report
See 2 more replies
I'm crossing my fingers that a passing dentist will answer your question, because I've been sitting on exactly the same issue for some years now and still don't know what to do about it.

I have a partially erupted wisdom tooth. Because it can't emerge fully (no room) it has, I am told, begun to burrow downwards and the root tip is much too close the lower edge of the lower jaw. I've seen the pictures. Waaahhh!!!

But. The max-fax surgeon my dentist consulted wants to remove the crown from the wisdom tooth and leave the root in situ. Now to me, that sounds like the worst idea in the entire universe and just begging for trouble. No? So I said, why not remove the manky old filled grotty molar that's blocking the wisdom tooth instead; and the 14 year old surgeon laughed his pretty little head off and said "you want me to extract a perfectly good tooth? Certainly not!" And I didn't know what to say to that, and I still don't.

But as you trust your dentist, I should get him to show you the images and explain what he's talking about. And if you're still not convinced, because after all "if it works, don't fix it," then ask him how long you've got to think about it. Teeth don't seem to do much in a hurry.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report
Beatty Feb 7, 2020
Big sigh...

My son has 2 teeth at the back without proper coating of enamel. Kept needing to be sealed. Then filled. Then talk of all sorts of fancy work on them. Then x-rays to see how much room his wisdom teeth would have. Maybe/maybe not. Dentist says big fix (?crown) needed on the dodgy molar then up next probably take wisdom tooth out next to it.

Whoa hold those horses!! Same as you! I said "why not remove that dodgy molar instead?" Oh no, we wouldn't do that. "Why not? Would still have a tooth back there - hopefully a better tooth.." Ummm. Well I see your point he says. Let's *watch & wait* he advises. (In other words - you are right!)

Watch & wait is now my prefered dental approach.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter