There is much disageement regarding the wholesale removal of wisdom teeth/third molars. Statistics can be found to support a strong case against.
Go online, go to a library, talk to more than one DMD or DDS. Opinions and statistics are all over the map.
The term; "Dental Issues" is a red herring that does not exclusively mean problems from third molars. Comparing third molar issues with acute appendecitis for young adults age 18-24 ( probably the age range of the VAST majority of candidates and midshipmen) would be the relevant comparsion. That is what my triple boarded family doctor was referring to.
We (the responsible adult parents of a minor child) did not make this decision lighly. The rules for the Academy are clear and firm. Therefore, the only thing left for us to do was evaluate and weigh all options, for post high school education, as we advised our son about HIS choices and His preferences.
The teeth are out, the decison is clear. That does not mean anyone in our family is convinced it was medically necessary.
Is it medically necessary? Nope
Is it operationally necessary? Absolutely
There is a reason why the military has their own medical system. Although we practice medicine very similarly to the civilian world we have many issues that civilian doctors simply don't have to think about on a daily basis. Has your "triple boarded family doctor" ever had to think through whether he should allow someone who has a history of kidney stones be go on a deployment to the desert? Or how about allowing someone who is taking certain medicines to pilot his aircraft or not? What if that pilot is the only person who can perform a certain, time critical mission? How about whether it is safe to allow a helicopter crew to take off in terrible weather to medevac a person from a merchant ship because they are having uncontrollable pain due to impacted third molars?
I'm not here to question your family doc's credentials or thought processes; however, in the military there is more to the medical decision tree than "is this medically necessary?"
Could you apply this same theory to appendicitis, sure; however, the mortality and morbidity associated with an appy (laproscopic or open) is considerably higher than with third molar extraction which is a fairly benign procedure.
As to the whole debate about parental rights: well, once a child joins the military you can throw those out the window pretty much. The choice is made by joining the military.