September 4, 2014
Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop and appear in your mouth. They typically come in between the ages of 17 and 25, a time of life that has been called the “Age of Wisdom.” These teeth can often grow in crooked, sideways, or otherwise misaligned. As they grow in, they can push on other teeth, causing problems of overcrowding.
When wisdom teeth come in, they can be painful. You’ll feel wisdom teeth pain at the back of your mouth, behind your molars. If you look into a mirror, you may even notice that your wisdom teeth have begun to poke through your gums. The area might also be red, enflamed and tender to the touch. However some people don’t have any visible symptoms of wisdom teeth pain.
When a tooth doesn’t fully grow in, it’s called “impacted”–usually unable to break through the gums because there isn’t enough room. About 90% of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
An impacted wisdom tooth can damage neighboring teeth or become infected. Since it’s in an area that’s hard to clean, it can also invite bacteria that lead to gum disease. In some cases, a cyst can form around the base of the impacted tooth, which can lead to more serious problems.
Dr. Tillman recommends removing them when there are infections and/or periodontal (gum) disease, cavities that can’t be restored or there is damage to neighboring teeth and overcrowding. This is a common procedure that Dr. Tillman performs in the office and typically only a few days of rest are needed before returning to your normal routine.
Comments Off on Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
July 3, 2014
If you have a damaged or diseased tooth, extraction is not the only option. When possible, it is always best to save your teeth rather than lose them. Missing teeth may have negative effects on confidence, ability to chew, general health and oral health and the alignment of the remaining teeth. Consider the following treatment options before opting for an extraction.
Root canal remains the most popular alternative to extraction. A root canal procedure is performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. The implant emulates the shape of the root and is usually made of titanium and other materials that are well-suited to the human body. The implant is surgically placed into the jaw and incorporates into the bone over time to become a stable base for crowns. Dental implants have been used for several decades by patients of all ages. They can replace a single tooth, several teeth or support partial or full dentures.
An apicoectomy, or root-end resection, which is occasionally needed when inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure can also be performed to save a tooth. In this microsurgical procedure, the dentist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The very end of the root is also removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and few stitches or sutures are placed to help the tissue heal. Over a period of months, the bone heals around the end of the root. Local anesthetics make the procedure comfortable, and most patients return to their normal activities the next day. Postsurgical discomfort is generally mild.
Are there any other options?
For replacement of an extracted tooth, you may also consider a bridge or removable partial denture. These options require additional dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, and should be discussed with your dentist or specialist. Check with our office to discuss any concerns or if you just want more information.
Comments Off on Alternatives to Tooth Extraction