Re: wisdom teeth removal at old age
hi droh...I was 54 last January when I had my lower left wisdom tooth removed surgically and I was left with paresthesia from a damaged oral nerve. The risks for complications get higher along with age, as you probably know already.
I would suggest that you have your wisdom tooth assessed by a dentist. If he or she says that it has to be extracted, I would then ask for a referral to a (good) oral surgeon and ask for a panoramic xray to determine how close the lingual or the inferior alveolar nerve is to the tooth or to the tooth roots.
After looking at the xray together, if the general consensus between you and the dental specialist is that the tooth needs to be extracted, I would ask them to explain clearly and completely to me the benefits and risks of extraction as well as any possible alternatives that I might have to extraction.
I would ask the oral surgeon how often they have seen complications like paresthesia occur in their practice; what they would do to avoid touching or otherwise injuring the nerve; and, most importantly, what they would provide with respect to post care should complications occur. If they merely tell you that you might feel 'numb' for days, weeks or months and that you just have to be patient...they are not being upfront with you. Paresthesia has a multitude of painful and very uncomfortable feelings associated with it...it is not only feeling 'numb'. A good oral surgeon should be willing to take part in your post-operative care if a complication should occur.
If youi have a wisdom tooth emerging now, it doesn't automatically mean, imho, that it has to be extracted. However, if it is giving you problems then it probably has to come out. One has to definitely weigh the pros and cons of this procedure...especially at our age.
I really wish now that I had had my second molar extracted instead which may have allowed my emerging wisdom tooth a chance to come out fully. This might have lessened the chances of having altered sensation/numbness and pain for the last five months from extracting the impacted wisdom tooth. Believe me, parethesia is an absolutely horrible condition...and if you can avoid it happening by any means, then I would suggest that.
Good luck with your decision..the first step I guess would be to see a dentist and have them determine the situation...and then go from there. Take the time to decide on any action...and insist on information.
Last edited by charlottefr; 06-09-2008 at 06:59 AM.