One dentist stated, “All dentists are qualified to pull teeth.”
The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if impacted wisdom teeth automatically be removed and if GPs should do the removal.
In this survey, here’s what dentist respondents revealed:
Impacted wisdom teeth should automatically be removed: 25% yes definitely, 57% usually but not always, and 18% no.
GP’s handing the removal: 76% feel they can handle most procedures, while 24% felt dentists are not qualified to remove impacted wisdom teeth.
Many dentists felt GP’s should be able to perform any dental procedure they are trained for and feel comfortable handling.
Here’s what else dentists had to say about removing impacted wisdom teeth —
“It depends upon the individual’s skill and comfort level as to if they should remove impacted teeth or any other surgical procedures for that matter.” (Illinois dentist)
“Each situation needs an individual ‘wait-and-see’ decision, Some look bad early and turn and erupt into place. Others turn for the worst and become impacted and need to be removed. Many are OK over time.” (Massachusetts orthodontist)
“All dentists know or should know their interests and experience. Extracting complicated teeth can be learned through incremental experience and continued education, just like any other complicated dental discipline. Learning does not stop with the presentation of a dental license.” (Canadian dentist)
“I generally only extract impactions as an act of mercy to those who cannot afford an oral surgeon. Anesthesia is the problem, not the removal.” (General dentist)
“Like most procedures, GPs can remove most impactions with proper training.. And like most procedures, experience, experience, experience is necessary to provide the patient with a safe, comfortable, predictable outcome.” (West Virgina dentist)
“Advanced training after dental school is usually needed to do advanced impaction removal with the least amount of trauma to the patient. Usually with IV sedation.” (Alaska dentist)
“Most general dentists do not have additional instruments needed should a complication or unexpected difficulty arises. Also, specifically with impacted teeth, unless the dentist has advanced his/her training beyond dental school and routinely does these procedures an a daily basis, they place their patient at increased risk for both complication and increased morbidity.” (Florida oral surgeon)
“It all depends on the general practitioner’s experience and comfort level of what he feels qualified to do.” (Arizona dentist)
“In our litigious society it is better to refer anything that can be done better by a specialist, including molar endocrinologist. It is not worth the trouble and the patient’s will love you for referring. You lose patients on whom you do extractions – spoken with 50 years experience.” (New York dentist)
“If third molars lack space to erupt into functional and maintainable positions they should be given STRONG consideration for removal! See the AAOMS White Paper regarding Third Molars – it is excellent evidence-based information.” (Pennsylvania oral surgeon)
“It takes extra training to remove most even slightly impacted wisdom teeth. GP’s are certainly qualified to get that extra training in order to remove them without complications.” (Texas dentist)
“In some cases I will consult the treating orthodontist to see if he/she feels there is enough room for the wisdom teeth to erupt without any damaging effect to the completed orthodontic case.” (Illinois dentist)
“Any GP should know his/her clinical boundaries whether it’s removing impacted wisdom teeth, correcting a bite, or any scope of dentistry. OS’s usually do the procedure quicker and at less trauma to the patient. They are more expensive though. If wisdom teeth are buried deep, fully erupted or not symptomatic in any way, they can stay in my honest opinion.” (New York dentist)
“The current practice of waiting for complete development and then surgically removing with a 6% chance of parasthesia and other morbidity is ludicrous. The early minimally invasive of the developing tooth prior to calcification can be done in 2 minutes with almost no risk. Between 8-11 years of age the (mandibular) bud is at the crest of the ridge and is very easily accessed prior to 2nd molar eruption. The tooth bud can be saved for the highest quality stem cells available that have been shown to be multi-potent.” (Illinois dentist)