The Instigator
overthemountains
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Throwback
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Should Wisdom Teeth me removed?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Throwback
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/21/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 461 times Debate No: 94891
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

overthemountains

Con

The Wisdom Teeth is a creation from the natural stages of the human growth. They are the very last batch to emerge as one of the three molars per quadrant of the human dentition. They arise as the teen matures into adolescence and then the physical and psychological development into adulthood. Though, the Wisdom Teeth is often extracted even though these set of marvels serve a important purpose.
The human mouth was , and still is, meant to have a full set of thirty-two strong white bone-like structures made to grasp and chew food. The Wisdom Teeth are the toughest and strongest of the teeth in the human mouth because of it's distal posterior location. Fix stated in the back jaw corner, it aids to grind and manipulate food before swallow and be digested by the stomach. Despite this, the modern day skeptics often point to the human wisdom teeth as an example of a nuisance; an inconvenient, incompetent, inadequate, inconsistent body part.
Throwback

Pro

I accept the challenge offered by Con and look forward to the debate regarding the propriety of the removal of "wisdom teeth".

Con: "The Wisdom Teeth is a creation from the natural stages of the human growth. They are the very last batch to emerge as one of the three molars per quadrant of the human dentition. They arise as the teen matures into adolescence and then the physical and psychological development into adulthood. Though, the Wisdom Teeth is often extracted even though these set of marvels serve a important purpose.
The human mouth was , and still is, meant to have a full set of thirty-two strong white bone-like structures made to grasp and chew food. The Wisdom Teeth are the toughest and strongest of the teeth in the human mouth because of it's distal posterior location. Fix stated in the back jaw corner, it aids to grind and manipulate food before swallow and be digested by the stomach. Despite this, the modern day skeptics often point to the human wisdom teeth as an example of a nuisance; an inconvenient, incompetent, inadequate, inconsistent body part."

In Con"s round #1 argument above there are points to which Pro concedes.

a.)That the third molars, or wisdom teeth are part of the naturally occurring human development is stipulated and therefore need not be further addressed. Con seems to depart next from the physiological growth of human teeth and, perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not, links the development of the third molars to the physical and psychological final development from adolescence to maturity in the individual. Pro disagrees with any connection if it was so intended, and does not believe there is any credible medical source which would make such a claim.

b.) Con states, "Though, the Wisdom Teeth is often extracted even though these set of marvels serve a important purpose." The importance of third molars is difficult to understate. Third molars are the most commonly removed teeth, usually due to complications resulting from their presence, including impaction, pericoronitis, periodontitis, and crowding resulting in tooth misalignment (1) (2) Thus, the statement that those who "point to wisdom teeth as an example of a nuisance; an inconvenient, incompetent, inadequate, inconsistent body part," are merely skeptics, is not borne out by medical facts. As for the importance of third molars, which might counterbalance the common known maladies resulting from them, anthropologists believe they developed to address early man"s rough diet and the need for them no longer exists. (3) Even if one does not subscribe to such evolutionary occurrences, it is unmistakable that the modern human diet does not require the existence of third molars. The hardest, toughest of foods accessible are commonly eaten by those without third molars without difficulty, as Pro can personally attest. We are then left balancing the known problems associated with third molars against nonexistent benefits.

Con"s position is refuted. Pro makes the case that wisdom teeth (third molars) should be removed.

https://en.webdento.com...
http://www.webmd.com...
http://scienceline.org...
Debate Round No. 1
overthemountains

Con

In our present time, people remove their wisdom teeth even though it is in a hygienic environment with healthy gum tissue, and has the potential to be strong, fully erupted, and functional wisdom teeth. Our oral surgeons express their own opinions based on the exaggeration of the true facts, popularity, Internet publicity, and merely the reason of economics- to make money. Each year millions (not thousands) of people, despite the numerous risks, lay under the bright light to have an unnecessary surgical procedure.
These days it is standard practice for a dentist to share his/her opinions on removing an emerging wisdom teeth, weighing more towards the extraction of the teeth, even though it does not pose an immediate problem to the normal operation of the mouth. According to one study, 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year from 5 million people. More than 60% of these removals are not needed, 30% of the extractions were caused by malpractice, which leaves just 10% to the obvious; poor oral hygiene, accidents, and malnutrition.
In a 2007 health study, Friedman reported in the American Journal of Public Health, that over 10 million extraction of teeth each year were "a public health hazard", citing the physical harm the surgeries could cause, from discomfort, pain, infections to nerve damage; the same reasons the removal was said to prevent. The inadvertent psychological damages are extensive, resulting in less visits to the dental office and even poorer exercise of oral hygiene.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
Throwback

Pro

In Con"s round #2 argument it is stated that third molars are routinely extracted without any medical or oral health necessity. Con cites statistics from a 2007 study within the American Journal of Public Health. Pro argues this article is an outlier, which seems reasonable to expect in the instance of a medical journal taking a stand in contradiction to the overwhelming majority of orthodontic experts. The outlier simply claims the majority of orthodontic professionals are falsifying their patient"s situation and fleecing them (my phrase), and the majority of experts are therefore unqualified to hold an opinion on the matter. Pro finds it more likely the article quoted above is agenda-driven. The fact the surgeons are paid for performing surgery does not validate the claim they are performing them unnecessarily. In the 2012 news article below (1) which has as its subject Dr. Jay Friedman and his article discussed by Con, he is referred to as a "rogue dentist", who relishes being an outcast. Pro finds this sufficient reason to suspect he is simply going against science for the sake of argument.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Wisdom teeth may not need to be removed if they are:
*Healthy
*Grown in completely (fully erupted)
*Positioned correctly and biting properly with their opposite teeth
*Able to be cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices
Many times, however, wisdom teeth " the third molars in the very back of your mouth " don't have room to grow properly and can cause problems. Erupting wisdom teeth can grow at various angles in the jaw, sometimes even horizontally.
Sometimes wisdom teeth only partially emerge through the gums. Other times, they remain completely hidden. Wisdom teeth that aren't able to emerge normally become impacted, or trapped, within your jaw.
If the wisdom teeth emerge partially through the gums, a passageway is created, which can cause problems. And because this area is hard to see and clean, it can become a magnet for bacteria that cause gum disease and oral infection.", and "According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience changes in the area of those teeth, such as:
*Pain
*Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
*Cysts (fluid-filled sacs)
*Tumors
*Damage to nearby teeth
*Gum disease
*Extensive tooth decay
The decision to remove wisdom teeth isn't always clear. Talk to your dentist or an oral surgeon about the position and health of your wisdom teeth and what's best for your situation." (2)

Pro argues that under any of these conditions, it would be a wise choice to remove these third molars, the very low risks attending surgery notwithstanding. There is no such thing as a surgery without risk. It is a calculated risk, much like most of the things we do in a modern, industrialized society. We all take risks daily to achieve some advantage. The benefit of the removal of third molars exhibiting any of the pathologies listed above merits the low risk involved in their removal.

(1) https://www.yahoo.com...
(2) http://www.mayoclinic.org...
Debate Round No. 2
overthemountains

Con

Counteraction:

The statistics do not lie. The true facts that answers the question, "Should Wisdom Teeth me removed?", answers for itself; that wisdom teeth extractions (other than a health risk) is not necessary. The obvious lies within legitimate published research and findings. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), Dental Hygienist, Orthodontist, Radiologist, and other oral health care professionals are required to provide and maintain necessary information about their procedures. In addition, they may also provide useful information about their patients' overall health and well being. It is the combined effort of the ADA; the world's largest and oldest national dental association comprising of it's 155,000 members, the countless surveys and data achieves from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, and some uniquely dedicated independent studies from private firms and doctors themselves that help to validate the integrity of this information.
Earlier, in the statement , "The outlier simply claims the majority of orthodontic professionals are falsifying their patient's situation and fleecing them (my phrase), and the majority of experts are therefore unqualified to hold an opinion on the matter." This is just solidifying the facts through due consideration. A quick find on any web search engine will show more than 123,000,000 websites with commercial dentistry suggesting to have the wisdom teeth removed. The results does prove, that most oral professionals do insist on wisdom teeth extractions, which regrettably to say, is an unnecessary procedure to persons with a perfectly comfortable and healthy mouth.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

http://search.cdc.gov...
Throwback

Pro

Con: "The statistics do not lie." Pro"s mantra, demonstrated by history, is: "Statistics-the great liar of mathematics." It is an established fact that statistics are only as honest and accurate as the individual(s) compiling them. They are easily massaged and manipulated to fit the needs of either, or any, side of a given issue. This is even demonstrated to be the case in medical statistics. (1) Mark Twain said, {Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."} (2) One can even research methods on falsifying statistical data. (3)

In Round #1, Con clearly established a position when offering this debate challenge. That position unambiguously denounced as improper the removal of wisdom teeth. Con"s opening implies some sort of ethereal, mystical significance which would making their removal improper. In round #2, Con began shifting away from the initial argument, claiming that many removals are unnecessary. In round #3, Con has now aborted their stated position and has usurped the Pro position, that removal of third molars for health reasons is the only acceptable practice. Pro believes this is an attempt to take both sides of the issue, and make it appear Con"s position is proven, no matter which position is in fact proven through the discussion, and thus the de facto winner. Con"s position in Round #1 was completely contradictory to the position they are currently taking. Although Pro appreciates the agreement from Con in Pro"s position, we believe it disingenuous to present it as somehow being in opposition to Pro.

If this tactic be regrettably allowed and successful by Con, Pro would secondarily argue against the idea that the majority of third molar extractions are contraindicated. Con has cited an article authored by a Dentist who runs contrary to accepted medical opinion as demonstrated in round #2 and had their article picked up by a government agency. Con most recently cited the CDC without pointing to any valuable information on topic. However, Pro would place more emphasis on our sources, medical professionals, who have no political agenda, however unintentional, as would CDC under the Department of Health and Human Services. It is objectionable to think that the doctors working at the discretion of bureaucratic overseers would be more altruistic in their assessment and presentation of statistics than would the professional medical staff at the eminent Mayo Clinic, whose sole purpose is the practice of medicine independent of current government administrative beliefs. Elected government officials, and their appointees who control these agencies, ought not be given such trust. A very famous quote, often attributed to George Washington, speaks to the once common knowledge that governments cannot and should not be trusted: "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master."

Pro stands on previous argument, as Con has presented no new information, excepting their new position mirroring the position of Pro.

http://www.theatlantic.com...
http://www.twainquotes.com...
https://faculty.washington.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
overthemountains

Con

Statistics as once said before can not be a lie. Statistics is the study of the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data. The thought that statistics can be managed and manipulated to fit ones needs as to help to resolve a given issue does not necessarily mean that its contents are wrong. The conception that statistics can be as honest or accurate as the individual compiling them, would theoretically imply that it is the human that is a liar not the numbers themselves, as numbers are simply a true collection of ten standard units of 0-9.
On the same thought, these statistics can help to support an argument that questions a persons merit (eg. The number of times dentist remove healthy wisdom teeth). Base on the collected data, statistics can be drawn to assist in understanding how necessary those extracts were, and from there the merit or creditability of a certain group of individuals. Of coarse, statistics can directly show how many times a certain dentist procedure was done. And, indirectly help one to understand a reason through mathematical intervention for getting a certain job done, in case, having the wisdom teeth removed.
Surely, one would be more likely to believe in information that can be scientifically proven, such as a statistics, than a line from a humorous story teller as famous and amusing as he may be. A person may express a quote, later to be popular among the crowd. But even Story Tellers use statistics too as they make money.
The main objective of that a teeth extraction is a unnecessary procedure has many tribitaries which inevitably stem into the same result; It is to make money.
Throwback

Pro

Con: “Statistics as once said before can not be a lie.” That statement is either true or false depending on it’s meaning. Even that fact itself creates an interesting analogy to the ambiguity and subjectiveness of statistical data. If Con means that empirical data is accurate when gathered accurately, we agree. But that only goes as far as the accuracy of the gathered numbers, and does not address their presentation. If Con’s meaning, on the other hand, is that the gathering of data for statistics necessarily leads to accurate data and/or their accurate portrayal, upon this we cannot agree. We have already shown that there are methods of instruction available on techniques for use of statistical data to convey false conclusions. Con dismissed the quote given by Mark Twain as merely a line from a humorous storyteller. Pro would point to the obvious, well known fact of effective humor-it must contain truth or it will not amuse. Here is a video example of using humor to illustrate a fact, the difference in thought pattern between the average male and the average female: https://www.youtube.com... Clearly if this video demonstrated something which did not ring true such as how men prefer hammers and women screwdrivers, or women prefer headaches and men sore throats, it would not be humorous. According to the Scientific American, we find things funny because they express and validate beliefs we hold. (1) If Mark Twain’s is well known and thought by so many to be humorous, it is because it validates what most believe of statistics.


This is the point of the quote provided by us above. However, it would also be worth noting, the quote of Mark Twain is not just humorous because it is true and from Mark Twain. It was a quote of Mark Twain quoting Benjamin Disraeli, a noted British historian, writer, and Prime Minister. (2)


Another interesting example of misleading use of statistics comes again from Con’s own argument, in Round #2: According to one study, 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year from 5 million people. More than 60% of these removals are not needed, 30% of the extractions were caused by malpractice, which leaves just 10% to the obvious; poor oral hygiene, accidents, and malnutrition.”


Here is demonstrated:

  • Firstly, the use of statistics without a verifiable source; and

  • Secondly, Con makes a leap from these unproven percentages of 60% not needed, 30% from malpractice, to the illogical conclusion to the “obvious” that the other 10% resulted from poor oral hygiene, accidents, and malnutrition. Con is demonstrating a fallacy of “If A, then B. A and B, therefore C.” In this argument Con uses numbers to arrive without basis that even if their percentages were accepted, none of the 10% could have been from disease or impaction. Most of us have seen the X-rays of third molars attempting to erupt horizontally into the 2nd molars. According to Con’s use of the numbers, this happens precisely 0% of the time.


Also, if the initial statement that 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted annually from 5 million people is true and, according to Con, these extractions are merely a means of extracting money from victims, why do we not see 20 million molars extracted from 5 million?


Con also defines statistics as follows: “Statistics is the study of the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data.” (Emphasis added) Pro lets Con’s definition speak for itself.


Con again reiterates their position these extractions are solely for the purpose of making money, absent any medical consideration. Given Con’s tendency to argue government statistics over medical opinion on medical matters, Pro suggests the proper course of action following that logic would be to consult a government statistician when a medical emergency arises. We prefer to leave to bureaucracy to the bureaucrats, and the medicine to the medical practitioners.


Another medical site, medicinenet.com, details the situations where it is imperative for oral health to remove third molars, as well as when they can be safely left in place. (3) This is contrary to the position of my opponent, that health factors are not the prime consideration, but the primary consideration is rather charging fees for surgery, whether necessary or not.



  1. http://www.scientificamerican.com...

  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk...

  3. http://www.medicinenet.com...

Debate Round No. 4
overthemountains

Con

Conclusion:

There have been numerous debates (this being one) and countless publications on whether or not it is appropriate to have healthy wisdom teeth removed form our mouths. The real question to be asked, "Is Clinically necessary to have the Wisdom Teeth removed?".

In 2008, The American Public Health Association (APHA) was heavily criticized by many independent studies, one from Jay Friedman, DDS, MPH, and Scott M. Presson, DDS, MPH for allowing doctors to remove healthy wisdom teeth. The APHA later adopted a policy in opposition to prophylactic removal of the wisdom teeth.

In 2009, reports stated that President Obama suggested having the tonsils removed but later retracted that statement. The real truth about the Tonsils (and Adenoids) is that it plays an important part of our immune system. The Tonsils are two large round lumps nodes or glands in the back of the throat and are the first line of defense against ingested or inhaled foreign pathogens. If the Tonsils are such an important part of the human body then why remove them?

Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare was established in 2010, there has been an increase in unnecessary surgeries; Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, and Tonsillectomy being just two of them. The service was meant to help people stay healthy by having affordable and adequate health insurance. A benefit to the patient but more to the doctors as more patients means more paying jobs from more spending of money. Is there a possibility that the service is being exploited for monetary gains?

The links below may help you to decide for yourself.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

http://www.apha.org...

http://www.nytimes.com...

https://www.youtube.com...

*Please note that the writer is not politically affiliated. The content is provided to support an argument and is not intended to divert a person from their political preference or incriminate oral health professionals.
Throwback

Pro

Pro Summation:

I thank my opponent for the opportunity to engage in a healthy debate on this topic. Pro acknowledges Con remained polite and civil throughout. I congratulate Con for their behavior. It is appreciated.

During this debate, no one took the position nor attempted to justify the removal of healthy third molars which do not pose a health risk. My opponent did propose that the majority of extractions are not medically indicated, which simply is not the case. Throughout, their argument was based upon the statements of a loud and proud contrarian Dentist, and to government statistics, as well as medical personnel who owe allegiance, even if it is unspoken, to the bureaucrats for whom they work. I have based my argument on the medical knowledge published by the practitioners of medicine absent a political agenda.

I would not argue the negative impact of the PPACA on public health. In Con"s conclusion they comment on the removal of tonsils and adenoids. I believe the same argument applies, that absent pathology these should not be removed, but when that pathology does exist the function of these glands is so minimal that removal is indicated. Yet the case against their removal is stronger than that against the removal of unhealthy third molars. There is no negative impact on health caused by the absence of third molars. They are simply not needed, and if they present a problem they ought to be removed without scruple.

There are as a matter of fact many cases where third molars present pathology which makes their removal reasonable. Admittedly third molars are a normal, naturally occurring development. What does not follow is the idea that it is offensive to remove them when they present pathology. Throughout the enormous majority of human existence, third molars were left in place no matter the conditions. Modern science and modern medicine have lead to more frequent removal of problem third molars. In the past people regularly survived unaddressed third molar pathologies. They are rarely fatal. Wooden teeth were also much more common than today. When choosing between keeping third molars at the risk of the rest of my teeth and having them removed, I would prefer their removal. I have not found a situation yet where I was forced to forgo eating anything due to the absence of my wisdom teeth, which were removed due to attempting to erupt horizontally. Had I kept them I might well wish I was capable of biting into an apple, due to the resultant damage to the rest of my teeth.

Excessive fear of complications from surgery ought not prevent one from seeking needed resolution to a known issue. When third molars present the conditions enumerated in my arguments, there is no doubt leaving them in place will result in negative health effects. Balancing the known problems against the rarity of complications makes the choice clear:

There are many cases where wisdom teeth should be removed.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 5 months ago
whiteflame
RFD:

Con, you have to decide on a topic and stick to it. The topic is not "In the majority of cases, wisdom teeth should be removed" or "Wisdom teeth should be removed even in the absence of pathology" or "Wisdom teeth are removed chiefly for medical reasons". It's "Should Wisdom Teeth me removed?" Ignoring the misspelling, this places a different burden on Con than the other resolutions.

Your burden is not to show that wisdom teeth are often removed for bad reasons or that there's some benefit to having wisdom teeth. I need to know why wisdom teeth should NEVER be removed, since you never specified a threshold in your opening round, none is obvious from the topic, and Pro's analysis of your burdens is the only one that appears in the debate. This means that all Pro had to do was show that some instances required their removal. He does so by showing that wisdom teeth can cause a number of health problems in some patients if they aren't removed.

Still, this wasn't a game over mistake. Con, you could have outweighed this by arguing that the harms of surgery outweigh, and/or explained how the benefits of keeping wisdom teeth, even in these instances, counteract the harms. However, I see no comparative weighing, and Pro gives me a lot more analysis on why these health-harming instances are really damaging. Con drops the surgical harms after R2 and all of Pro's responses to it, and never does much to shore up the benefits of wisdom teeth, making his only direct argument for their utility in R1 and spending much of the rest of the debate making tangential points about tonsils and what suffices as good sources, both of which distract from the central issue.

In the end, I can believe that the vast majority of wisdom teeth removals are harmful. I can agree that they impose unnecessary risks, and that they're used for the financial gain of dentists everywhere. That doesn't alter the outcome. I vote Pro because he showed that some wisdom teeth should be removed.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 5 months ago
whiteflame
overthemountainsThrowbackTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.