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Elderly Dentist Angers Oral Surgery Community Over Wisdom Tooth Extraction Opposition

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It seems pretty odd that Dr. Jay Friedman, an 86-year-old dentist, would go against the establishment and argue against extraction of wisdom teeth. However, that is just what he does, and he relishes his position as an outsider. In fact, Friedman has been arguing for 30 years that wisdom teeth extraction is an unnecessary and irresponsible procedure.

In response, Dr. Friedman's colleagues have relegated him to an outcast status, calling him a zealot and traitor. But their claims don't stop Dr. Friedman from speaking out against the popular practice. In fact, he wrote an article featured in the American Journal of Public Health claiming that at least two-thirds of the millions of wisdom teeth extracted each year cost billions of dollars and are removed for no good reason.

That article was published back in 2007, and since then the American Public Health Association adopted a recommendation against the removal of wisdom teeth and a few insurance plans even decided against covering such surgery. Dr. Friedman has more than angered the oral surgery community, with some who can barely speak his name without becoming emotional. Some of questioned Dr. Friedman's credentials, as he is not a trained oral surgeon. Others vehemently hold fast to the notion that wisdom tooth extraction earlier in life can prevent future problems in older age, such as infection, that can lead to death.

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  1. Craig says:
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    He is speaking the Absolute Truth. My dentist had me remove my 4 wisdom teeth that were 100% perfect. No pain or infection at all. And since then. I suffered nerve injury, and its been 2 years now and half my tongue is still numb and I constantly have a ranstid metallic taste in my mouth from the nerve block. Its so hard to get through life like this, and I bearly make it through each day. And not to mention my oral surgeon has just ignored me since then. So if your wisdom teeth doesnt bother you, leave them alone. I wish I never touched any of mine.