I learned the true answer to this question the hard way, through lawyers…
I had my wisdom teeth removed a few years ago and ended up with permanent numbness in my lip. Naturally I assumed the dentist must have done something wrong: YES and NO! Let me explain:
A friend of my family is a lawyer so we filed a case against my dentist. The whole legal process took 3 years. During that whole process I learned more about wisdom than I care to know. Here is the summary of what the legal and dentist experts testified to:
- my wisdom teeth did not need to be removed as they would have never caused a problem
- there are only 2 reasons why a wisdom tooth should be removed a) you can not keep it clean which leads to cavities and gum infection b) there is a cyst on the wisdom tooth
My wisdom teeth were “fully impacted”, which means that food and bacteria could not get to them, as such they should NOT have been removed. We won the case not because the dentist did something wrong during the surgery, we won the case because the wisdom teeth should not have been recommended for removal in the first place!
If you are thinking of having your wisdom teeth removed… seriously consider the option of keeping them! The internet is full of information trying to convince you that you should have your wisdom teeth removed, very few present a balanced discussion.
Make an informed decision about your wisdom teeth, a good place to start is reading this article.