Hi, I was wondering if you could provide some insight on a concern I'm having over my wisdom teeth removal. I got my wisdom teeth removed 5 years ago, at the age of 19. Since then, I think I have noticed slight facial changes such as a narrower jaw/face and flatter cheeks and profile. I've since done research online and inquired with doctors and have had two international dentists tell me facial changes are likely. One, in Korea, said the mandibular angle changes, bone remodeling occurs, and Korean women commonly get them extracted for a "tapered" face. The other, in London, said a slight facial collapse will usually occur. To say I'm despondent over this would be putting it lightly..but all the more befuddling is the fact that many American doctors say facial features will not be affected. My intuition is telling me that whenever you remove a bone (your tooth) you are taking away some of the structural support in your face and what I've observed is consistent with this theory. I guess what I'm asking is: 1) Which doctors are correct? & 2) would dental implants help in restoring fullness/support? I have done extensive research on implants and know they're rarely done for wisdoms but am guessing they would provide similar results to 2nd molars being replaced and could only be beneficial esthetically? Also, cost is not really an issue, as I'm a woman and my looks are extremely important to me. Also, I know your teeth wear down as you get older, decrease in size, and your jaw gets smaller. Wouldn't the wisdom teeth presumably lessen this jaw shrinkage as the added presence of teeth would help maintain jaw size? And I know the growth and eruption of teeth aid in the growth of the jaws so I'm also thinking I missed out on this residual growth as I got my wisdoms out at 19 and the jaw doesn't usually stop it's growth till about 26 years of age. Sorry for all the questions, I'm just really questioning why the practice of removing wisdom teeth still being carried out when all recent studies point to the fact that: A. They don't cause crowding B. Impacted wisdoms are oftentimes the result of modern humans' increased retention of their teeth, so if we lose a tooth or they wear down the wisdoms will commonly erupt and drift into alighnment C. Impacted wisdoms have something like a 12.2% of developing problems if retained and this includes gum inflammation, real problems like disease are under 2%. (the 12.2% number is the same likelihood of appendix problems, and these are no longer taken out) D. Wisdoms aid in chewing and take pressure and stress off other teeth, increasing retention and health of mouth F. Great Britain and other countries are realizing all of the above and now GB requires that they be diseased or causing harm to extract them, saving everyone (except for perhaps the private oral surgeons) loads of money and health issues.. Thanks so much in advance for your time and expertise, would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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  • Lara

    Lara 23 - April - 2015, at 20:45 PM

  • Hi Dr. Ritz, Thanks so much for your reply. I think one or two of mine may have been impacted but the bottoms were erupted. I'm glad to know they're vestigial I guess I'm just still wondering if their removal might cause facial changes? Because, I have to be honest with you, my looks are more important to me than removing vestigial organs(as mine weren't bothering me), and if a facial change is possible, could dental implants remedy that? Thanks so much for your thorough reply otherwise.

  • Dr.Ritz

    Dr.Ritz 23 - April - 2015, at 20:20 PM

  • Nature has provided us with 32 teeth and in normal conditions we should not intervene with the nature. However, evolution is ongoing process and over the years, due to so many changes like diet, habitat, the organs which were once usefull have become vestigeal. For example Appendix. Same is the case with wisdom teeth. So if they are not causing any problem, they are not impacted and there is enough space in gum line then they should not be pulled out. But if they are causing problems then you must get them pulled out. for more info on wisdom teeth info, you can check the following link  in our website... http://www.identalhub.com/articlecategory-wisdom-teeth-47.aspx

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