Tag Archives: wisdom tooth extraction

Do You Remove Wisdom Teeth Before or After They are Bothering You?

I am one of those lucky people with four impacted wisdom teeth. Only one of them is bothering me at the moment and I’m going to get it extracted. My dentist asked if I wanted to extract all of them or just the one and something about my age being an issue. I’m 27.  However, he did mention that one of them has a root that goes past a nerve, which means there is a slight chance of nerve damage.

My dentist gave me three options. I could leave the other wisdom teeth until they started bothering me. I could remove all of them. I could remove all of them, but for the one near the nerve I could remove the tooth part, leaving the root and hope it doesn’t get infected. Then, if it does get infected I will have to go back to get the rest.

Is there a best way to handle this?


Dear Samantha,

Image of impacted wisdom teeth
Types of impacted wisdom teeth.


I’m glad that you wrote. Your age is a factor in how you handle this. While you are relatively young, as you are currently, it is much easier to remove wisdom teeth. Once you hit thirty, your chances of complications double. They double again every few years after that as well.  This is because the bone becomes less pliable and cementum builds up at the roots.

If your wisdom teeth were not impacted, I would say leave them be. However, when it comes to impacted wisdom teeth, it is not a matter of if they give you a problem, but when. Because of that I recommend doing it now before they become a problem. The last thing you want is a dental emergency while dealing with this, especially when you get a few years older.

I like your dentist’s idea of leaving the root, but don’t have him leave the whole root. Tell him just to leave the very tip. If it is a small piece, your body will often not have an issue with it, therefore you will have less of a chance of developing an infection.

I hope this helps with your decision. Click here to learn about sedation options for your procedure.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foremen and Thimmesch.

Gross Negligence Caused Serious Problems

I had pain and sensitivity to my back left 1st molar. I don’t have a regular dentist so I went to see a dentist who recently sent out advertisements. I told him about the sensitivity to cold and that the tooth was also painful to touch. He did an exam and x-ray and said the problem was with my wisdom teeth. He felt one was impacted and pressing a nerve. He thought some fillings would help. I agreed to the fillings and we did them right then, which I was grateful for at the time. However, two days later I ended up in massive pain. He adjusted the fillings. That didn’t help, so I called back and he prescribed me antibiotics and pain killers.

When those ran out, the pain flared back up in a serious way. His suggestion was I extract that wisdom tooth. I mentioned the pain felt in a different place, but he said it was probably referred pain. I went ahead and had the teeth extracted and started another course of antibiotics. Everything felt fine until the antibiotics ran out. He prescribed me another one, but by morning I was so miserable that I went to the emergency room.

They said I had an abscessed tooth at the left first molar I originally went to the dentist for. I called the dentist again and he referred me to an endodontist. The endodontist couldn’t see me for several weeks. I was in too much pain to wait so I went back to the oral surgeon who took out the wisdom tooth. He thought the molar needed to be removed as well, so I went ahead and had that taken out. I’m quite frustrated because I felt like I went through quite a few unnecessary appointments and procedures that were very expensive. Do I have any recourse for this?


Dear Benjamin,

Man holding his jaw in pain

This is gross negligence on the part of your dentist. There are so many things he did wrong here it is hard to know where to start. My suggestion is you tell him you would like him to cover the cost of the additional appointments and procedures you needed, in addition to a dental implant and crown which will be necessary to replace the first molar.

There is a good possibility this tooth could have been saved if he’d done his job properly to begin with. Plus, when he finally was told you had a dental emergency, he referred you to an endodontist that couldn’t see you for weeks, which put you at greater risk. Now that you’ve lost that tooth, if you don’t replace the tooth, the other teeth will begin to shift and tip into that space. That will throw off your bite and lead to expensive and painful TMJ disorder. You could go straight to a lawyer and I think you’d get everything you ask for, but I believe in giving a dentist a chance to make things right.

The things he did wrong are so basic, that I almost find it hard to believe that he actually graduated from dental school. That might be worth looking into. When you talk to them about the costs, ask one of the staff where he graduated from. I’d check to see if that is true.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.