While it’s common for adults to have their wisdom teeth removed, mounting evidence now suggests that the painful introduction to adulthood may not be necessary in a lot of cases.
The most commonly given reasons for removing wisdom teeth are that there’s only room in the mouth for 28 teeth and the possibility of future medical issues. However, an increasing number of experts are beginning to question the validity of many of these surgeries.
Some wisdom teeth removal procedures are very necessary, especially in instances where the teeth are already on the cusp of causing medical issues. However, many individuals don’t experience any issues at all.
The cases that researchers question are those in which the wisdom teeth are impacted but otherwise completely healthy.
As a result of similar evidence compiled in 1998, the UK stopped routinely removing wisdom teeth without extremely valid reasons to do so.
Despite that, routine wisdom teeth removal remains a standard procedure in places like the U.S. and Australia.
“Everybody is at risk for appendicitis, but do you take out everyone’s appendix?” Greg J. Huang, chairman of orthodontics at the University of Washington said in an interview with The New York Times.
The answer to his question is no, but on the off chance that you have wisdom teeth removed and keep them, there’s a new trend sweeping the world.
A woman from the Netherlands has started making jewelry from teeth, polishing them into pearl-like stones for her pieces.
Lucie Majerus is spearheading a project called Human Ivory, which showcases jewelry she’s made out of — you guessed it — her own teeth.
Majerus claims that rather than stealing from other species, we should be able to create beauty from our own bodies. She started with her own pulled wisdom teeth.
After finding success with her own teeth, Majerus began asking dentists and friends to donate their pulled teeth for pieces such as rings, earrings, pendants, and even cufflinks.
While many experts may agree that having wisdom teeth pulled is often an unnecessary procedure, projects like Majerus’s give those with extracted teeth an opportunity to repurpose them.