Wisdom teeth removal = legal and encouraged child abuse?

tinkerdorabelle

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2001
Child abuse, uh no, but I do think procedures are done that maybe don't have to be. I have mine, they never grew in, had no problems with them. A few years ago a dentist said to have them removed, no dentist had said anything earlier, but an oral surgeon told me that mine were so far back and near a nerve that it might cause nerve problems so I did not, and have never had any issues. That doesn't mean of course there are not people that absolutely should have them removed.

ADDENDUM: I don't want anyone to think bc this was my experience NOT to do this. Of course it is individual and not doing it could cause issues also. I would probably get at least a second opinion and look at the xrays, have the dentist explain it well, etc. I am glad I didn't and do believe Some dentists can over prescribe it but that is of course not every situation at all.
 
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eeyoreandtink

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
MY parents didn't listen when the dentist recommended removing mine, and i paid for it. Mine should have been taken out at 16. My parents didn't do it because they thought it was a money grab. Fast forward to me at 19 in college in horrible pain from one tooth that has partially erupted and set up infection, and two that are impacted against the roots of other teeth. The 2 impacted ones had to be chiseled out in pieces. As a result, I was horribly bruised and couldn't fully open my mouth for weeks. I could barely get my mouth open enough to get my antibiotics in to swallow them the first few days. They prescribed percoset because of the extent of the work which I refused to take after the first one because it made me a total zombie. I still have lingering pain and jaw issues from time to time due to the trauma from removing them.
 

mnrose

Queen of all she surveys
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
No wonder she said something negative! Poor thing. I hope she's feeling better. As for your son, I would play it by ear. If you feel that the wisdom tooth removal was more "rote" than necessary I might change dentists to one that you trust more before your son is older. I do think that some dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal because that's just what's done to kids in the teens/20's.

Doesn't anyone else have a 19-year old female drama lama, or are @kdonnel and I the only ones? Mine would have had some choice words for me too if I had pushed for the oral surgery. FTR, she still has her wisdom teeth so I still have this to look forward to.

Oh, I get the drama from 19 year olds. I have two. They are an interesting breed. But, I don't put up with too much of it. I'm appropriately empathetic, but also don't "encourage" malingering. It helps that mine have seen me go through two extractions in the last year (I'm very much regretting my poor teenage dental hygiene!!!) with minimal drama and fuss. That said, neither has actually had their wisdom teeth out yet. Check back with me in a year. LOL
 
  • robinb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 1999
    Oh, I get the drama from 19 year olds. I have two. They are an interesting breed. But, I don't put up with too much of it. I'm appropriately empathetic, but also don't "encourage" malingering. It helps that mine have seen me go through two extractions in the last year (I'm very much regretting my poor teenage dental hygiene!!!) with minimal drama and fuss. That said, neither has actually had their wisdom teeth out yet. Check back with me in a year. LOL
    I wouldn't call not being able to open her mouth for days "malingering"! I took the "child abuse" comment as sarcasm by the DD and not a serious comment.

    My DD is probably close to getting hers out. She had a panoramic last year to check things out and one is erupting. I need to get her back to the dentist to make sure it's not going to mess up her teeth I paid so much to straighten 5 years ago.
     

    kdonnel

    DVC-BCV
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2001
    Did she keep ice on it? You HAVE to ice after wisdom tooth extraction, constantly. Otherwise you swell up like a chipmunk storing acorns in their cheeks. It happened to me (I "iced"...for 15 minutes after I got home. but I was a know-it-all 20 year old who thought the ice was uncomfortable so I didn't KEEP doing it as I had been directed). Plus I still wound up with a dry socket.
    She did keep ice on and off at 20 minute intervals.
     

    kdonnel

    DVC-BCV
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2001
    MY parents didn't listen when the dentist recommended removing mine, and i paid for it. Mine should have been taken out at 16. My parents didn't do it because they thought it was a money grab. Fast forward to me at 19 in college in horrible pain from one tooth that has partially erupted and set up infection, and two that are impacted against the roots of other teeth. The 2 impacted ones had to be chiseled out in pieces. As a result, I was horribly bruised and couldn't fully open my mouth for weeks. I could barely get my mouth open enough to get my antibiotics in to swallow them the first few days. They prescribed percoset because of the extent of the work which I refused to take after the first one because it made me a total zombie. I still have lingering pain and jaw issues from time to time due to the trauma from removing them.
    Stories like this are why we pressured her into the procedure. It was definitely not her first choice.

    I figure I have two years or so before my son is due, plenty of time to forget how much it hurt my daughter.

    Parenting is not simple.
     

    Jennasis

    DIS life goes on
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2000
    To be fair, people handle surgery of any kind very differently.

    I had a hysterectomy a year and a half ago. I read all the online support boards for the surgery I was having...all the horror and success stories. And I was prepared for weeks of pure torture. Imagine my surprise when I didn't even need a single dose of a any pain med post surgery! Not even in the hospital. The nurses kept coming in to check my pain level and offer me meds but I was like "nah. I'm fine." Recovery was a breeze.

    Same for both my back surgeries. I followed all the surgeons instructions post surgery and never needed any of the narcotics they sent me home with.

    DH? He was in bad shape after his knee replacment and various other ortho surgeries.
     
  • luvsJack

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2007
    No wonder she said something negative! Poor thing. I hope she's feeling better. As for your son, I would play it by ear. If you feel that the wisdom tooth removal was more "rote" than necessary I might change dentists to one that you trust more before your son is older. I do think that some dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal because that's just what's done to kids in the teens/20's.

    Doesn't anyone else have a 19-year old female drama lama, or are @kdonnel and I the only ones? Mine would have had some choice words for me too if I had pushed for the oral surgery. FTR, she still has her wisdom teeth so I still have this to look forward to.
    Lol I would hate to meet a bigger drama lama than my 20 year old. She will milk ANY illness, injury, etc. But she didn’t have all the issues the op’s Dd had.
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    It was not pleasant watching what she had to go through and as a voluntary but heavily doctor and parent pressured procedure with no ability to know for sure if in the long run it even provides any benefit I am not sure how I should handle my son in a few years when the doctors start down the same path.
    Anything that isn't immediately life-threatening is "voluntary" - that doesn't mean it isn't necessary or appropriate. It isn't fun watching a child go through an invasive medical procedure, or the recovery afterwards. Everybody reacts differently to medical procedures, and the same person may react differently to a different procedure. The best mitigation is knowing what to expect and planning as best you can to alleviate discomfort. I'm guessing you've never had a child need surgery or other serious medical intervention; count your blessings and hug your kids a little tighter tonight knowing you are so lucky.

    Your son's mouth may be completely different from his sister's dental needs. He may have a larger/wider jaw without crowding concerns. He may have wisdom teeth coming in straight, with no anticipated problems following full eruption. Or... he may not need anything done at 19 but maybe at 29 or 39. One person's experience and reaction is not indicative of whether another person should have the same necessary procedure. You need to trust your medical professional to advise.


    I always question the need for medical procedures. At their core doctors are just highly educated guessers and people. They do not always have your best interest in mind when suggesting a procedure.
    If you don't trust that your medical/dental professional has your/your children's best interest in mind... get another opinion and change doctors. Presumably your daughter's orthodontist and dentist gave you logical reasons specific to your daughter for why her wisdom teeth should come out. If you accepted some generic "we advise removing wisdom teeth from all patients at this age because they almost always cause problems down the road for most people." -- sorry, that's on you. They should have been able to show you xrays indicating the teeth are sideways, malformed, no space, etc. Then you should have asked numerous qusetions to ensure you had a complete understanding of the procedure, recovery and possible complications. If the doctor isn't patient answering your questions - find a different doctor.
     

    tzolkin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2008
    My mom had hers (impacted) removed when she was in her early-mid 30s. My siblings and I all remember it. It was pretty horrific. Her jaw was broken and she had severe bruising all the way down to her breasts. She was unable to open her mouth or eat for weeks.

    We all had ours removed by 18. They were all sideways and none of us have any extra room in our mouths so we figured it would have needed to be done at some point. None of us complained since we knew the possible outcome of waiting until we were older.
     
  • BadgerGirl84

    I used to have a tag...
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2007
    At the time for four days she had not eaten much, not slept much, not been able to open her mouth, and been in excruciating pain for the entire time. I am sure she was speaking from that mindset combined with the knowledge that just four days before she had none of those symptoms but had been encouraged to have the procedure done by both her parents and two medical professionals. It was spoken in a half serious, half joking manner.
    Those symptoms for FOUR days is NOT normal. I repeat, NOT NORMAL.

    She should have been seen on day 2 if she was still in that much pain that she could not open her mouth or eat soft foods.

    Yes, I agree with her that suffering for 4 days with a dry socket or undiagnosed infection is abusive if there was an option to see a doctor/dentist.
     

    Queen of the WDW Scene

    It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2016

    amberpi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2012
    I had my wisdom teeth out in an emergency situation in college. I have a small mouth and had already had 4 permanent teeth removed before I had braces. During college, over Xmas, I went to the dentist and he said I needed them out, but it was no big deal, we'd wait until May when I was back home from school. They got infected/impacted/general crap show and I had to have emergency removal and IV antibiotics. So, it was pretty bad. Doesn't rate in top 5-10 most painful experiences. I hope your daughter feels better, but it will be ok.
     

    Queen of the WDW Scene

    It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2016
    To be fair, people handle surgery of any kind very differently.

    I had a hysterectomy a year and a half ago. I read all the online support boards for the surgery I was having...all the horror and success stories. And I was prepared for weeks of pure torture. Imagine my surprise when I didn't even need a single dose of a any pain med post surgery! Not even in the hospital. The nurses kept coming in to check my pain level and offer me meds but I was like "nah. I'm fine." Recovery was a breeze.

    Same for both my back surgeries. I followed all the surgeons instructions post surgery and never needed any of the narcotics they sent me home with.

    DH? He was in bad shape after his knee replacment and various other ortho surgeries.
    My sister is having a hysterectomy in 12 days and I feel like her doctor was almost trying to scare her out of it. Saying she will feel soooo tired and sooo weak for at least 6 weeks.
    She's a teacher and the doctor said she thinks she'll want to be out for 6 weeks but my sister is only taking off 4. (technically only 3 because the last week happens to be a school break)
    This is the same sister who a few years ago had a kidney stone and had surgery on it and then with her friend and her daughter drove 90 minutes to a concert the same day because they had alredy had tickets so we all doubt she's gonna be down and out for "at least 6 weeks".
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    I agree that it sounds rather dramatic. I had it done. Even at 16 I could see the X-rays and notice that they could only come in at an angle and cause a ton of pain once they erupted. The worst part for me was just waking up with concussion-like symptoms from the general anesthesia. I was apparently up and walking rather quickly, but my first memory after the surgery was in the parking lot being led to my mom's car. I don't remember a whole lot of pain in recovery, but it was probably the Vicodin. The most unpleasant part for me was taking antibiotics on an empty stomach and that feeling like my stomach had just been pumped. That and the taste of the dissolving stitches mixed with dead gum tissue (which heals). It was like having rotting meat stuck there until it finally went away.

    If she's really all that upset, she's welcome to ask for implants to replace them. Unless they cause all the problems that were supposed to be alleviated by the removal of the natural teeth. Wisdom teeth are vestigial. There's really no purpose to them given we don't eat particularly hard foods these days.
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    My 19 year old daughter had her un-erupted wisdom teeth removed on January 2nd at the recommendation of her orthodontist and regular dentist. At the pre op appointment the oral surgeon listed an entirely different set of reasons why it was a good idea as well.

    On the 6th as she was preparing to return to college she said that it was obvious to her now that wisdom teeth removal was legal and encouraged child abuse.

    My wife and I both still have all our wisdom teeth. In my case I have one that came in during my 30's and three that still lay dorment. My wife has all 4 in and providing much of her chewing power.

    It really makes me hesitant to have my sons removed in a couple years. It is one of those things you never know if it helped or not because you can't live you life with and without to compare.
    Your daughter is being a bit dramatic, but I can only go on what you mentioned in your post, so we don't know the full picture like you do from your experience. Removing wisdom teeth is NOT done on every kid like it used to years and years ago. It depends on the person and his/her own individual mouth and what's going on in there.
     

    MeggyScumEsquire

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 14, 2006
    I misread this at first and thought the dentist or oral surgeon said it.

    I wish I'd had mine out in my teens, but they didn't appear on xrays unto my late 20s. I had no coverage when the first one started to bother me and it was $800+ out of pocket to get it out. I knew all of them needed to go but could only afford the one that was bothering me. Last year the other ones started hurting and thankfully I had coverage.

    While the recovery is miserable for me it was nothing compared to the pain of having them come in up against my other teeth. Hopefully your daughter will realize some day that there is often not sufficient room for them to come in.
     

    design_mom

    probably more like my dad than I care to admit
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2007
    I had mine removed when I was 18. It wasn't fun, but I think calling it "child abuse" is a little dramatic.

    My husband did not have his removed as a teen. He waited till they started causing him problems. I think he was 27-28 (we were married by then). Oh my goodness... it was a mess. He was a lot more miserable than I was (or maybe it was a "man cold" sort of thing)... but his whole face and neck was bruised. He seriously looked like he'd been in a fistfight -- and lost. Two black eyes, green bruising all the way down his neck. They sent him home from work because he looked so terrible. It was beyond awful.

    Moral of the story: Our dentist says she thinks our 18 year old's will be OK, but as soon as she says she thinks they need to come out, they're coming out (for either kid). (Well, he's an adult now, so I guess if he refused, he could refuse. But we'd "strongly encourage" him to do it sooner rather than later.)
     

    Hikergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2016
    If she has dry socket she is not being dramatic.
    I had it once, it was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life.
    Now, of course there are probably much worse things to go through, but in all my 45 years and having 3 kids I've yet to experience it.
     

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