Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dentists - Self-Interested Thieves?

So some kid died after complications from wisdom teeth removal.

More accurately I should say that he died from complications from anesthesia.


Reading that article I came across:

Like any surgery, wisdom tooth extraction carries risks. The most common complication -- permanent nerve damage causing numbness of the tongue, lips or cheeks -- affects more than 11,000 people annually, according to a 2007 report in the American Journal of Public Health. But the surgery has also been linked to jaw and tooth fractures, brain tissue infections, life-threatening bleeding and hypoxia.

With all the risks, some dentists question whether the extraction surgeries are even necessary.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly recommends that young adults have their wisdom teeth removed to "prevent future problems and to ensure optimal healing." But the science supporting prophylactic extraction is thin.

"Third-molar surgery is a multibillion-dollar industry that generates significant income for the dental profession," Jay Friedman, a retired California dentist, wrote in the American Journal of Public Health. "It is driven by misinformation and myths that have been exposed before but that continue to be promulgated by the profession."

American dentists and oral surgeons pull 10 million wisdom teeth each year -- an effort that costs more than $3 billion and leads to 11 million days of post-operative discomfort, according to the report.

"At least two thirds of these extractions, associated costs, and injuries are unnecessary, constituting a silent epidemic of [physician-induced] injury that afflicts tens of thousands of people with lifelong discomfort and disability," Friedman wrote.


Obviously, dentists and the oral surgeons they are in cahoots with WILL NEVER, EVER admit that wisdom teeth extraction is or even might be dubious.

They just make too much darn money!

Be cynical of EVERY PROFESSION - especially the *guilds* and the ones that are paid by third parties (e.g. government, banks, insurance companies).

CHECK. CHECK...for dentists.


bcris said...

Cap, I believe the same thing has happened with braces. I see them everywhere now while they were not as prevalent 20+ years ago. Another job of milking the population by highly indebted "professionals".

CaptiousNut said...


The best is how they start 6 year old on orthodontic appliances.

Then when you are 35+ your teeth start to wander again!

Anne Galivan said...

The child that died was a "she" not a "he" and I can't believe that you would think the death of a 17-year old is a "whatever" moment.

In any case, I agree with your contention that this is a racket. My daughter did have her wisdom teeth out but initially we only had two done as an "extraction" - the difference is the teeth were still in the gums - and the reason was her other teeth were being affected. She did also end up needing the other two out but we waited until they had erupted and it was just a usual tooth-pulling. No anesthesia, recovery time was nada.

My oldest son has been told by our dentist that he should have his wisdom teeth out but he doesn't want to. I figure he's an adult and can make that decision for himself. If he has problems later then he can pay to get it fixed. His teeth are in excellent condition as of now.

I can't see doing it as a preventative measure. If there is not evidence of other teeth being affected (or decay being created because of the difficulty in getting to those back teeth) then I don't see the point. And yes, all surgery carries risks.

CaptiousNut said...

Hi Anne,

I said *whatever* only as a transition to what I wanted to talk about - i.e. the wisdom teeth scam.

Anonymous said...

And so, I totally disagree that dentists and oral surgions are only out to get your money...my wisdom teeth have been giving me fits for years and every dentist or orthodontist has said to me, well they are sideways and pushing into the other teeth, so obviously you'll have some pain and headache, and occational infection from not being able to clean them properly, but give it a week or two and it should calm down. No need to get them out. blah blah blah!!! Finally I found a dentist who'll do it in three visits if possible and charge $50/visit!! yay!! pulled on out last tuesday and my head still hurts, but not nearly so bad!! wow, but yes dying while haveing the rest out is my worst fear!! I dont do well with needles or anesthetics or medicine of any kind. And I'm allergic to valium which is what they use and people obviously don't take me to seriously...so we'll see if they listen or if I'm the next one in the news for dying having the rest taken out. The first one was an easy puller the next three wont be. I went in for a broken hand with bones sticking out and nasty and they gave me some something for nausia and pain in an IV and said it'd make me a little sleepy....I said just a little? They said yes, And I said, I don't think it's supposed to make me this sleepy, as I was starting to fall off the table and someone was ketching me and the look on the poor guys face and the doctor as he walked in the door...lol, then I totally flat lined....and lucky for me they had some antidote stuff they quickly shot me with and a min or two later I came back...lol...poor guys, and I was mad they didn't listen to me when I said small small doses...but they learned a good lesson and wont have anything to do with me again..

Anonymous said...

*This is a major life threatening procedure people don't know about. Dentists and orthodontists are killing people slowly and causing rapid aging and degradation of cheekbones and facial structure, which causes a chain reaction in the glands and literally every area of the body...The teeth and dental arches are a keystone area of the entire body and when they are messed with it's a chain reaction. You're supposed to expand the mouth to make room for wisdom teeth, not extract them. Do a search on kevin courtois 'face pulling' , and read everything this guy writes about palate expansion, ncr therapy, etc. I was born with cheekbones, dentists and and orthodontist fucked my face up. I could sue for millions or more but the statute of limitations is expired. I encourage anyone recent to sue.