Systematic Review of Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: From Brazil

Many reviews have been conducted in recent years to determine if healthy third molars (known as wisdom teeth) should be prophylacticly extracted as in removed before causing problems. A new study by Moacir Guilherme da Costa and four other researchers titled “Is there justification for prophylactic extraction of third molars? A systematic review,” appears in Braz Oral Res., (São Paulo) 2013 Mar-Apr;27(2):183-8. The article discusses how in the United States roughly 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted from around 5 million individuals each year. The article discuss how several reasons are usually given for extracting wisdom teeth pericoronitis periodontal defects in the distal region of the second molar caries in the third or second molars different types of odontogenic cysts and tumors crowding of the lower incisors indications for orthodontic, prosthetic or restorative purposes The authors state how the majority of dental surgeons feel when there is clinical, radiological or laboratorial evidence of acute or chronic periodontitis, caries, pericoronitis, harmful effects on second molars or disease the removal of third molars is justified. The authors mentioned how several controversies arise surrounding removing healthy asymptomatic wisdom teeth including inadequate study designs small sample size insufficient monitoring time methodological flaws Hence the […]

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The Correlation of Mandibular Incisor Crowding and Third Molars in Brazilians

An article written by Lilian-Harumi Karasawa and 4 others titled ” Cross-sectional study of correlation between mandibular incisor crowding and third molars in young Brazilians,” appears in Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal (currently in press the version I have looked at but was accepted in November 2012). The article sets out to examine the correlation between lower incisor crowding and the mandible third molar (lower wisdom tooth).  The ability of a lower wisdom tooth to have lower incisor crowding has been debated and looked at by many researchers over the years. See for example Review of the Wisdom Behind Third Molar Extractions. The possibility that a lower wisdom tooth can cause crowding is often given as a justification for removing a lower wisdom tooth to prevent abnormal orthodontic conditions. In this study the researchers took 300 healthy Brazilian young adults which include 134 men with mean age 20.4±2.40 years-old and 166 women with mean age 20.5±2.43 years-old. The young adults filled out forms regarding their age, gender, and characteristics of their wisdom teeth such as if they were present or absent. This information was confirmed by oral examination and a recent panoramic radiography. Those in the study wearing prothesisis, […]

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Dental Bibs May Harbor Oral and Skin Bacteria Even After Disinfection

Researchers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and the Forsyth Institute published a study on April 2, 2013, which showed that a significant proportion of dental bib clips harbored bacteria from the patient, dental clinician, and the environment after the clips had undergone standard disinfection procedures. A dental bib clip of course is that metallic chain that wraps around your neck and holds the dental bib that the dentist gives you when you see them. The researchers found that the majority of thousands of bacteria found on bib clips were removed after the standard disinfection procedure. Even so, the researchers found that 40% of the bib clips after disinfection retained one or more aerobic bacteria which is able to grow and live in oxygenated environments. Furthermore, the researchers found that 70% of bib clips tested after disinfection retained one or more anaerobic bacteria. The full study discussing the results is titled “Comprehensive Analysis of Aerobic and Anaerobic Bacteria Found on Dental Bib Clips at Hygiene Clinic” and will be published as a supplement to the April issue of Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry. It is currently available to view over at along with two infographics which I […]

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Dental Anesthesia May Stop the Development of Wisdom Teeth

An interesting study appears in the April 2013, JADA which looks at whether dentists giving inferior alveolar nerve blocks to young children may be stopping wisdom teeth from later developing. The article is titled “Inferior alveolar nerve block and third-molar agenesis: A retrospective clinical study,” and by Jerry Swee and et al., JADA, April 2013, vol. 144, issue 4, pp. 389-395. In the study the researchers looked at children who had received inferior alveolar nerve block (a local anesthesia) between the years of 2 and 6 at the Tufts dental clinic and also had a dental x-ray taken 3 years or after of being initially treated. The researchers arrived at 439 potential wisdom tooth sites from 220 patient records for their analysis. The control group consisted of 376 potential wisdom tooth sites where it was clear that the child never received anesthesia on the lower jaw near where the wisdom tooth could later develop. The other 63 potential wisdom tooth sites made up the study group. The researchers found that in the control group 1.9% of the potential wisdom tooth sites had x-ray evidence of no wisdom tooth buds. On the other hand, in the study group 7.9% of the […]

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Out of Court Settlement in Wisdom Teeth Removal Death Case

Previously I have discussed the case where a 17 year old female died unexpectedly after having wisdom teeth removed. She was a junior in high school and died on April 6, 2011, 10 days after the surgery due to suffering a severe brain injury. The autopsy report showed that she died due to lack of oxygen to her brain during the extractions. This is discussed in the blog post 17 Year Old Female Dies After  Wisdom Teeth Removal. Recently, it appears that this case was settled out of court on March 28, 2013. The parents of the female sued both the oral surgeon and anesthesiologist in the case claiming they had shown negligence in failing to revive her after her heart rate slowed to a dangerous level and thereby causing a lack of oxygen to her brain. Unfortunately the conditions and monetary value of the settlement are not publicly available. An issue of contention in the suit was the medical condition of the 17 year old female prior to the surgery. The attorneys representing the medical team argued that the female had preexisting mental and physical health conditions which included anxiety and stress and contributed to or caused her death. […]

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