HOW SHOULD WE MANAGE THRID MOLAR TEETH?
As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and one who is experienced and expert in the treatment of and removal of third molar teeth, I read with great interest the article titled “Management of Third Molars” in the Dental Academy of CE.com’s magazine. I will first reference you to our article on the subject which is based off of the white paper from the AAOMS on the subject along with our practice experience.
The Dental Academy article goes through a number of areas of assessment as to the “necessity” of removal of third molar teeth. It is my strong opinion, if our goal is to have a healthy mouth, that third molar teeth should be removed at an early age (I suggest age 15 as an ideal age in many cases) or at as early an age as possible. The exception to this is if there is a healthy arch length to support the eruption of the teeth – this is rare – and this can be assessed at an early age.
The article references early age as being better for most all parameters, but the article incorrectly uses the clinical picture rather than the risks of treatment as the driving thought in the decision. I see this many times in general dental practice and I feel that it leads to much worse problems for patients who may put off treatment.
Having decades of experience in this, I can tell you without hesitation, that it is best to have third molar teeth evaluated and removed if needed at an early age. Age 15 is felt to be ideal and younger is generally better no matter your age. We would be happy to assess the position, condition of your wisdom teeth, and need for removal. We will give you an honest, competent opinion.
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