June 23, 2011
Wisdom Teeth – Why do we need to remove wisdom teeth? Often we don’t, but because they are hard to reach, they are harder to clean and more likely to get decay. Some wisdom teeth may be growing in the wrong direction and get stuck (impacted) and this leads to problems as well.
This young patient has an impacted lower wisdom tooth causing no pain. It is under the gum and can’t be seen in the mouth. Sadly, the lower picture shows the decay highlighted in black – there is decay in the upper and lower wisdom tooth, but also the second back tooth has decayed almost to the nerve. This tooth may now need very expensive root canal therapy or extraction. The pink line shows that the lower wisdom tooth is touching the nerve in the jaw and will need specialist attention. This will require time and careful planning but unfortunately the decay has made the situation urgent.
Even older patients can have wisdom teeth problems. Not long ago one of our dentists removed a wisdom tooth from an 89 year old!
This picture shows how a cyst is damaging the jaw.
Many people have wisdom teeth come through perfectly just like any other molar. Thank goodness we are all different. If you have any queries see your dentist and get an Xray to check.
June 6, 2011
Over the years I have been grateful to have studied under some great professors regarding denture making because full dentures. Many newer graduates are seeing fewer cases of full dentures and find it harder to gain experience. Nevertheless, even well made full dentures are often a nightmare for both dentist and patient. Bottom dentures especially have little going for them – the jaw atrophies when you loss teeth which leaves no support to bite against, no jawbone left to hold the dentures firm, and the end result is poor diet, discomfort, ulcers and unhappy people.
I have been excited to see mini dental implants as another option for us to help retain full dentures. Traditionally, full implants were required at great cost, and many patients don’t have enough bone to support these implants, or the money to pay for them. The mini dental implant is an in between option – aimed at stabalising the denture against loosening or falling out, but still being removable. I have just finished a case and the patient is thrilled. he lost his teeth 3 years ago and hasn’t been able to wear a denture since – now he is regained his confidence an smile.