Why do dentists give differing views on whether I need to extract my wisdom teeth, and does it mean that one of them is wrong?

Doctor's Answers (2)

Dr Jaclyn Toh

"Dentist with an interest in comprehensive dentistry."

Singapore does not have national guidelines that dentists must follow when making a decision to remove wisdom teeth.


Dentists make clinical recommendations based on their judgment, which is affected by:

  1. Experience
  2. Recent (the last 6-10) cases that they have encountered
  3. Previous adverse outcomes: they may have seen a patient with a severe infection or decay caused by a wisdom tooth that should have been removed earlier to prevent these issues.
  4. Training: different dental schools have different philosophies when it comes to indications for removing wisdom teeth.
  5. Personal treatment philosophy. This is formed by training, experience and bolstered or demolished by encountering adverse outcomes and the most recent cases the dentist has encountered. Humans base decisions on short term memory and emotions. And dentists are most certainly human!

Should you prefer more evidence-based guidelines, these are some of the national guidelines used in other countries that you can refer to.


Hi. Thanks for your questions about wisdom tooth removal. This is the ones I was told from my clinic sometimes. 

For wisdom tooth removal, there is no right or wrong answers as there is no guidelines in Singapore hence it really depends on dentist who you get treatment. Their own dental philosophies, experiences, collaboration with other dental treatment (expecially braces) etc. 

In fact, there are quiet some of complication because of delayed wisdom tooth removal which can be obtained from previous experiences by indicisual. 

ALso sometimes, if pt plans to do braces, it is not uncommon that wisdom tooth removal is recommanded before or after braces treatment. 

In the cases where wisdom tooth is Very close to nerve (IAN) without any symptoms (decays or gum infection), its advised to just leave it and monitor. 

This is general information about wisdom tooth removal, but again it really depends on cases or dentist preferences. From my experiences, wisdom tooth is quiet troublesome sometimes, its is advised that it would be better to consider for removal if at least one dentist mention about wisdom tooth removal. 

Please feel free to leave any questions if there are. 

Thanks so much

Warm regards,

Ryan (Dr) 

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