The information presented on this site is of personal opinion and consequently is slanted and biased and not based on proper scientific research. The information presented is NOT written by a dental expert. Further the information presented has NOT been subjected to peer review by experts to verify accuracy and data integrity.
If you have the financial rescources to afford health insurance/healthcare and/or live in a country where healthcare is a universal right, care about your health, and brush, floss, eat healthy, and exercise regularly then my advice to you is plain and simple:
Do not get your wisdom teeth removed unless they are causing problems, pain, and frustration. It is natural for wisdom teeth to hurt when they are erupting through the gum. Get some clove oil on a piece of cotton wool and put it on where its hurting to help soothe the pain or try a teaspoon of salt mixed with warm water.
If you must get your wisdom teeth removed, only get the impacted wisdom teeth removed that are causing problems. Further, you should consider being sedated and not having a general anesthetic. If you have risks for postoperative infections, new evidence suggets a single dose of antibiotics before surgery is probably more effective than taking several days of antibiotics after the surgery is completed.
Wisdom teeth removal for those without disease and problems seems hard to justify with the current scientific evidence given the risks, therefore do not for a second risk the quality of life you currently live and are blessed with. If you have not yet read the controversy surrounding the removal of wisdom teeth please do.
Further, if you think that after having read my story, that I am unique, and it can't happen to you, you are mistaken. I have recieved multiple emails of people with headaches for a longer than expected duration after having their wisdom teeth removed.
This advice is also based upon the fact that I have suffered nearly 24/7 and my quality of life has been substantially reduced since my wisdom teeth were removed.
Seeing doctor after doctor, having medical bills pill higher and higher, and dealing with insurance companies is no fun when your head is pounding 24/7.
People should not have to deal with the agonizing pain I have dealt with on a daily basis since my wisdom teeth were removed.
Whenever I go to bed at night, I can feel my head pounding and its hard to think about anything else. Whenever I wake up in the morning the first thing I think and feel is "my head is pounding." Whenever I do anything it's awfully hard to think or feel anything else.
If you must get your wisdom teeth removed ask your dentist and oral surgeon why it is necessary and, if you are not satisfied with the answer, get a second and possibly even a third opinion. You should consider having an oral surgeon remove any wisdom tooth instead of your dentist. If the surgery is necessary, you may want to consider having it done in a hospital instead of having an oral surgeon administer the anesthesia in his or her office. Even so oral surgeons are trained to administer anesthesia safely.
Ultimately remember that physicians while well trained are human as well and subject to occasional mistakes or bad days.
The American Medical Association (AMA) took a jab at oral surgeons in their September 2009 publication "Scope of Practice Data Series: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons." which they later apologized for by saying
"Oral and maxillofacial training programs for dentists simply cannot duplicate the medical education that physicians receive, which prepares the physician to assess and respond to unexpected medical complications observed during surgery, manage the post-operative recovery and follow-up care of patients, and fully address the systemic needs of surgical patients who may have chronic health conditions that can exacerbate their risks for adverse events during surgery.”
Stanley F. Malamed, D.D.S., and author of three widely used textbooks Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office, Handbook of Local Anesthesia, and Sedation: A Guide to Patient Management, said in a 2006 talk to dental students on medical emergencies in the dental office:
"...they trust their doctor - they have to - to sit in a dental chair and allow a stranger to put a needle in [their] mouth... and they sit there and say if anything were to go wrong, I know that my doctor would know what to do...and the problem with that last statment is it's not true, most of our doctors whether their medical or dental... don't know what to do... they do not know what to do...actually they might...what they did was - was panicked."
Updated December 16, 2011