Fractured Elevator Tip After Wisdom Teeth Removal

After or during having wisdom teeth surgery complications are a possibility. One of these complications listed on is displacement of a foreign body such as a dental instrument. Usually this is seen with a dental needle that breaks off but can also be seen with the dental drill bit or the blade of an elevator. A case is described in the article titled “A unique post-operative complication” written by Modgill and Mani appearing in Oral Surgery in 2016 (vol. 9, pp. 15-18) which describes a fractured elevator tip during removal of an upper wisdom tooth. In the article the authors say they are aware of only two prior cases of fracture of an instrument during teeth removal and that such retained fractured instrument fragments can cause pain or lead to an infection. In the article they describe the case … Read more

Unique Complications after Wisdom Teeth Removal: Case Reports

Complications can occur after having wisdom teeth surgery, see Some of these complications are pretty rare and unusual. Recently in Oral Surgery several case reports have been reported describing some rare complications after wisdom teeth surgery. In the article titled “Spread of infection to skull base via infratemporal fossa after dental extraction related to the use of a high-speed hand piece: a case report” by Moore et al. appearing in Oral Surgery in 2018 (vol. 11, pp. 121-124) discussion is made of a 36 year old woman who had a lower right wisdom tooth removed. The woman developed a deep fascial infection that required formal exploration and drainage. The authors speculate that the woman experienced swelling and infection because of the use of an air driven high-speed hand piece used in the extraction. Forced air from the hand piece … Read more

Wisdom teeth and periodontal damage of second molars

An interesting article titled “Third molars and periodontal damage of second molars in the general population,” written by Kindler et al. appears in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, (vol. 45, pp. 1365-1374, 2018). The article explores the association between impacted or erupted wisdom teeth and periodontal pathology using probing depth and clinical attachment levels. Additional information on periodontal probing depth and a wisdom tooth’s effect on adjacent second molars can be found on the Risks of Keeping Wisdom Teeth page on this website. In previous works impacted wisdom teeth have been identified as a risk factor for developing tumors, dental cysts, and other pathology in adjacent second molars. Even without periodontal symptoms, periodontal damage on the distal aspect of second molars can be present. In the article the authors looked at data from a population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (specifically West Pomerania, … Read more

Dental Care in Exchange for Community Service

Interesting work out of the University of Michigan discusses the concept of getting dental care for free by performing community service. A master’s thesis by Lorene R. Kline titled “No Cost Dental Care in Exchange for Community Service Hours: Participating Patients’ and Dentists’ Responses” (2016) discusses this concept. The article is located over at The work discusses a program to help low income Michigan residents where adult participants were offered $25 in dental services for every hour of volunteer work. The program was titled Pay it Forward and was a partnership between Care Free Medical and Dental and the Central District Dental Society of Michigan. Pay It Forward was geared toward low-income adults who fell between 133% and 250%  of the poverty level and did not qualify for Medicaid. The cost was based on Medicaid schedule fees. The thesis work focused on … Read more

Photoacoustic Imaging for Periodontal Health in Humans

Recently on this website research exploring using photoacoustic imaging for periodontal probe depths from University of California, San Diego, using swine models was discussed. This same group has since published an article titled “Photoacoustic imaging for monitoring periodontal health: A first human study,” by Moore et al. in Photoacoustics (vol. 12, pp. 67-74, 2018, published online November 01, 2018) where they show that a photoacoustic-ultrasound imaging approach can image the full depths and geometries of pockets in healthy human adults. Traditionally ultrasound uses the principle sound in and sound out but the photoacoustic-ultrasound approach uses light in, sound out. The advantageous of such an approach over traditional radiography is that it can image soft issue and that it does not cause ionizing radiation. The conventional method for dentists to monitor gingival health in humans is with a periodontal probe. This … Read more