Do Molars Need To Be Taken Out?

Posted on: 29 August 2017

Molars, specifically the third molar or wisdom tooth, are frequent subjects of debate. Do they need to be taken out or not? In fact, even the experts themselves cannot seem to settle the issue. Decades ago, The National Institutes of Health identified valid reasons for molar removal. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) agrees. However, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) challenged them and stated that there was no reliable research and practice-based evidence to prove the health benefits of wisdom teeth removal.

Given the reasons presented by the dentists and two clashing schools of thought, the answer to the question whether molars need to be taken out or not is: yes and no.

The "Yes" Side

The primary support for the removal of healthy molars is that it is a preventive measure for future problems. For one, they contend that even though the wisdom tooth does not cause pain or problems now, it may do so in the future. The third molar, with the little room left to grow, may not fully erupt. It may impact against adjacent teeth, gums, or the sides of the mouth. It may constantly result in inflamed gums, allowing bacteria to build up and cavities to form in the wisdom tooth and other teeth. Aside from being preventive, it is also a matter of urgency. The idea is that the older you get, the harder it is to remove your molars because of the hardened bones in the mouth.To remove your wisdom teeth is to save you from imminent problems. And with the possibility of sedation dentistry, even the most concerned patients should rarely have trouble with the wisdom tooth removal process.

The "No" Side

Other experts say that healthy third molars should not be extracted in a routine practice. Rather than a removal procedure, the institution advises the dentists to implement restorative treatment for molars that could be saved. Plaque formation and pericoronitis are not enough indications for surgery. Even impacted molars should not be removed if they do not show evidence of pathology. Specifically, only unrestorable caries, fractured teeth, abscess build-up, tumor, and other problems, as they occur, should be good reasons for the removal of the molars. To retain your wisdom teeth is to save you from the risks of surgery.

In sum, the wisdom tooth removal does not have a one size fits all answer. It should be answered on a case-to-case basis. If you are having a second thought about removing or retaining your wisdom tooth, ask your dentist about it. Your dentist knows best.