14 05 20 yoursmileThe pros and cons of widsom-tooth removal. 

The process of letting your wisdom teeth come in is definitely a painful one, but once you have them the question remains if you really need them or if yanking them out is the answer (which dentists often recommend). We talked to Dr. Brian Friedman, DDS, a Toronto-based dentist, to find out if this is something you really should consider and, if so, when.

According to Dr. Friedman, it's not necessary to get wisdom teeth removed at a young age. “If an individual has room for wisdom teeth (i.e., can maintain them with brushing and flossing), then there really is no need to remove them.” Similarly, as an adult, “the wisdom teeth need to be very difficult to maintain or a source of regular issues to warrant removal. Such an issue is peri-coronitis, where a flap of gum over the wisdom tooth swells because of an underlying infection where food and plaque get trapped under the flap of gum, leading to an infection,” he explains. However, if cleaning wisdom teeth is difficult for you, Dr. Friedman warns of the consequences: “The likelihood of decay developing is very high.” As well, “there may be bone loss occurring to the tooth directly in front of the wisdom tooth, which may lead to a shortened lifespan for that tooth.”

Cost: The range of cost to remove wisdom teeth begins around $150 and goes up depending on the degree of difficulty in removing them and whether sedation is used beyond the use of local anaesthetic.

Downtime and Side Effects: There may be no down time, but in some cases there can be severe swelling, bruising and soreness. In these cases, there may be downtime ranging from a few days to a a week, in which case antibiotics will be necessary.

53% of adults aged 60 to 79 lack dental insurance (Canadian Health Measures Survey), this being the main reason why many Canadians don't see a dental professional regularly. Bacteria from the mouth can lead to serious health problems, and many medications can cause dry mouth, which often results in cavities and other oral health problems. Regular dental visits can help prevent serious health issues.