Theriot Family Dental

Should I Remove All My Wisdom Teeth or Wait Until There Is A Problem?

Posted by writeradmin

I am 24 years-old and have four impacted wisdom teeth. In a week, I am having the top ones removed because they have started to give me problems. The bottom ones don’t bother me but my dentist asked if I just want to do all four at once and get it over with instead of waiting until there is a problem that could blow up on me. I was thinking of just doing all of them, but my dentist mentioned that for one of the bottom teeth the root goes passed a nerve, which carries some risk. He said the risk was low, but he wanted me to know about it. I have three options. First, I could only do the top teeth and wait for there to be a problem with the bottom ones. Second, I could remove all four at once. Third, I could remove all four but leave the root on the one that goes past the nerve. Do you have a recommendation for me?


Dear Hannah,

images of different impacted wisdom teeth

One of the problems in waiting until there is a problem to remove the remaining impacted wisdom teeth is that the older you get, the harder it gets to remove them safely. At your current age it is a fairly easy process. When you turn 30, your risk of complications double. It will double again every few years. This is because your bones harden and stiffen as you get older. Plus, the roots of the teeth thicken. When it comes to impacted teeth it is a matter of when they will become a problem, not if.

Because of that, in your place I would remove them. You have control of the situation with a dentist you know and trust and it will never be easier than it is now. If you end up with a dental emergency, you lose that control. Your dentist may not be available and you’ll have to take whoever is. Personally, I like to know and vet whoever is cutting into me.

As for the nerve issue. Leaving the root is a reasonable precaution. However, I suggest you tell him to only leave the root tip instead of the entire root. Your body will be less reactive with a small piece. Hopefully, when he gets in there the entire root can come out with no issue and he won’t have to leave anything, but the dentist won’t know that until he sees how the tooth and nerve are situated together.

To make things as stress free as possible, I would make sure he uses oral conscious sedation for your procedure. This will relax you so much that you will sleep through the entire procedure. This is stronger than nitrous oxide and you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.