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Where’s the Wisdom Behind Pulling Wisdom Teeth?

If you’re over the age of 20, you’ve more than likely already had your wisdom teeth pulled. It’s almost like a rite of passage before graduating from high school in the United States. When you had it pulled, you were probably told that the tooth was impacted or that there wasn’t enough space for it to fully grow without crowding or pushing other teeth.

Some people might argue though that oral surgeons are too quick to pull. We are essentially pulling asymptomatic teeth before possible problems occur. In certain countries, the practice of extracting wisdom teeth has even been abandoned, according to the New York Times. In the United States however, millions of young patients go for the routine surgery. Dr. Louis K. Rafetto argues that “’Probably 75 to 80 percent of people do not meet the criteria of being able to successfully maintain their wisdom teeth.’”

Even if you don’t experience discomfort from wisdom teeth before surgery, there’s chance of inflammation and infection. Most dentists will argue that a majority of those who decide to keep their wisdom teeth tend to have more problems down the road, and eventually opt to have them pulled. However, with all of these points in favor of extracting wisdom teeth, there are still many who feel the surgery is not as urgent as some make it out to be.

For more information and how to make the best choice when deciding whether or not to pull, read the following article. You’ll find both sides of the argument, along with helpful tips if you choose surgery or decide against it.

As a side note to consider: if you do decide to extract, you’ll get lots of ice-cream after.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/health/06consumer.html