Q: I had my wisdom teeth removed six months ago at the age of 21. My appearance seems to have changed. My jaw seems narrower and seems to sit a little higher on my face. Is this possible?
- Kyle S. from Springfield, Missouri
You are very observant. This is absolutely the case. Myself as well as many others have experienced this change in appearance after having wisdom teeth removed.
I inform my patients of this fact as I consider it to be part of informed consent. Informed consent is required to be given by a healthcare practitioner to the patient before any procedure is agreed upon so that the patient knows exactly what to expect.
Of course, before wisdom teeth surgery, we mention the obvious risks like infection, nerve damage, and broken jaw, but I feel it’s important to inform a patient that there is a change in appearance as well. The good news is that it’s usually something patients find to be an improvement.
Many people will find that their jaw structure and facial features are more defined after wisdom teeth surgery. In fact, many professional models have their wisdom teeth removed to give them the look of having higher cheekbones. The danger here, of course, is that people have teeth taken out for aesthetics reasons, and not health reasons. Of course, I do not recommend this.
Mark Burhenne DDS