Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2021, February 5

“LDS Church Policy: Wisdom Teeth Removal and Vaccinations: Unnecessary and Burdensome Requirements for Going on a Mission? PART 2” by grego

“LDS Church Policy: Wisdom Teeth Removal and Vaccinations: Unnecessary and Burdensome Requirements for Going on a Mission? PART 2” by grego

Part 1 is here:

Years ago I found some research that might help with your decision about whether to get wisdom teeth removed for a mission. Here it is:

1. “The routine practice of prophylactic removal of disease free, impacted third molars should be discontinued on the NHS, according to new guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NOTE: not just those that are in normal, good condition–but even impacted ones)…

The guidelines are broadly in line with those published by the Royal College of Surgeons’ faculty of dental surgery in September 1997. They reinforce the currently accepted practice that asymptomatic wisdom teeth should not be operated on and that **surgical removal should be limited to those patients with evidence of disease, such as unrestorable caries, osteomyelitis, trauma, and tumours.**

The guidelines state that ONLY a second or particularly severe episode of pericoronitis (inflammation of the gingiva surrounding the crown of a tooth) should indicate removal (Caps mine).” (British Medical Journal)

2. “27 Mar 2000 … Doctors and dentists will be told today that there is no case for routine removal of wisdom teeth without symptoms of infection or disease.”

–Source: .

3. 2005 “Teens often have their wisdom teeth removed. But there’s no evidence this painful procedure prevents future trouble

–Source: .

4. 2007 “A report by dentist Jay Friedman in the American Journal of Public Health reveals that 67% or more of preventative wisdom teeth removals are unnecessary. The article explains that most of the pain and illness surrounding wisdom teeth are not caused by the teeth themselves as one would expect, but rather the symptoms come from the surgery that removes the wisdom teeth. Of the approximately 10,000,000 wisdom teeth removed each year in the United States, LESS THAN 20 extractions have proven medical indications which reference the requirement for extraction. (Caps mine; Footnote 1). In general, the preventative extraction of wisdom teeth has become a public health disaster and is a clear case of medically caused injury

Because of the clear harm done by unnecessary wisdom teeth extraction, the British National Health Service has adopted the following policy, “The practice of prophylactic removal of pathology-free impacted third molars should be discontinued.”

–Footnotes: 1. Friedman, DDS, MPH, Jay. “The Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: A Public Health Hazard.” American Journal of Public Health 97.September (2007): 1554. Print.
2. Ibid. 1555.”

5.   Note possible side effects from wisdom teeth removal surgery .

MY THOUGHTS: In other words, the Church is using outdated requirements for missionaries who want the opportunity to be called to a foreign mission. I understand that there is the potential for problems in the mission field should teeth have problems, but I think it’s fair to say that for all medical and dental conditions across the board. The few problematic wisdom teeth, which will for most missionaries result in moderate pain for a month or two at the most, are a far cry from life-threatening appendicitis, for example, but missionaries are not required to have their appendixes removed before being allowed to serve foreign missions.

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