Remove wisdom tooth only if needed: Doctors

Remove wisdom tooth only if needed: Doctors

Oct 05,2023


Nagpur: Though the third molar, commonly known as the wisdom tooth, is no more required and considered as vestigial dental part, doctors feel its removal must be need-based more than anything else.


Amid a rising trend of extracting the wisdom tooth as early as 18 years of age, some doctors say the third molar do come handy in case the first two fail. Also, in many cases the wisdom tooth is impacted, meaning it remains inside the bone without causing any discomfort.


Dr Ritesh Kalaskar, professor and head, department of paediatric and preventive dentistry, Government Dental College , Nagpur, said if the wisdom tooth grows in oral cavity without any problem then it is actually useful. “It (the third molar) does help in chewing. Earlier, every one needed it because of what we ate. We evolved and started consuming soft food so the third molar was not required,” said Dr Kalaskar.


Also, our jaw size got reduced in the process of evolution, which curtailed the growth of wisdom tooth. “On many occasions the tooth grows with deformity, making it difficult to clean it. As a result, dental decay happens,” he said.


Despite the possible outcome, Dr Kalaskar says it is not advisable to remove it in follicular (initial) stage. “If first permanent molar is extracted, the wisdom tooth’s crown replaces it. So, how can we say wisdom tooth is not required?” he said.


A government dental faculty too said that wisdom tooth is wrongly seen as a vestigial part. “Appendix is also a vestigial organ, but does everyone remove it? Wisdom tooth, if not a problem, must be left as it is,” she said. The impacted wisdom tooth can be straightened as “it has strategic value”. Dr Rahul Atara, a dental surgeon, said if extraction is done in the follicular stage, then trauma and post-operative complications are less. “We need to check the angle of follicle (tooth growth). It may happen that it is coming out straight,” he said.


Source: HealthWorld