Do I need my wisdom teeth out?


Do I need my wisdom teeth out?

Only if they are causing problems.

Following NICE guidelines ( see below ) your dentist will probably only refer you for having wisdom teeth out if you have one or more of the following:

  • Repeated episodes of swelling of the gum overlying the wisdom tooth
  • Tooth decay in the wisdom tooth ( or in the tooth in front of it)
  • If the wisdom tooth has an abscess on it
  • Cysts around the tooth

If you have only had one episode of swelling or discomfort, your dentist may advise on ways to relive this in the first instance rather than refer for extraction.

If you have impacted wisdom teeth, whether they are giving you problems or not, it’s important to keep your regular dental check-ups.

The routine removal of wisdom teeth is now avoided…and this is why.

Why have the guidelines for wisdom teeth changed?

The removal of wisdom teeth used to be the most common operation performed by the NHS, accounting for 96 000 admissions in 1994/95 ( according the the Faculty of Dentistry of the Royal College of Surgeons).

The thinking up until then ( which on the face of it seems quite sensible) was that removal of impacted teeth at an early age BEFORE they started causing problems was better than waiting for problems to occur first.

However evidence has now suggested that this “prophylactic” removal of wisdom teeth does NOT result in better outcomes.

There are also risks associated with the procedure such as nerve damage and infection which can outweigh the benefits.

Can wisdom teeth cause front teeth to become crooked?

Many adults who visit Cleveland Orthodontics for orthodontic treatment ask if their wisdom teeth could have  “pushed” their front teeth forwards,  causing them to be crooked … click here to read if this is the case.

 NICE guidelines

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ( NICE ) weighs the evidence for all sorts of medical and surgical treatments in the UK so that effective care can be delivered.

Dental professionals in the UK follow NICE guidelines for the removal of wisdom teeth so that patients are referred only where appropriate.

 Information for patients is available on the NICE website.

About Cleveland Orthodontics

Our specialist-led practice has been established since 1996 and provides brace treatment to people of all ages from across the North East, including Middlesbrough, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham and Redcar.

We offer NHS orthodontic treatment for children and a range of modern white and “invisible” braces for adults of all ages such as Invisalign. FREE consultations are available… you can either telephone for an appointment on 01642 243 020 or book through our website.