Removing Wisdom Teeth May Improve The Periodontal Health of Remaining Teeth

An interesting article titled “Removal of Symptomatic Third Molars May Improve Periodontal Status of Remaining Dentition,” by Carolyn Dicus-Brookes and et al. appears in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (vol. 71, pp. 1639-1646, 2013). The article seeks to explore the impact of removing wisdom teeth on the periodontal status of adjacent second molars and other teeth located in the mouth specifically for patients who have mild symptoms of pericoronitis. As discussed recently over at Upcoming Changes to JOMS and AAOMS in 2014, select articles in JOMS will have press releases written by AAOMS staff to accompany them. This is one of those articles so that feature appears to have already been rolled out. To get an idea of what the press release entails I will briefly describe it. It is very short (less than 10 sentences) and fits on 1 page. It was released on October 1, 2013. The press release states 69 patients were followed with mild symptoms of pericoronitis. All patients had wisdom teeth prior to the study start and had an average age of 21. The main conclusion of the study as stated in the press release, is that at the beginning of the study […]

Continue Reading 0

Wisdom Teeth Caries Experience and Periodontal Pathology in Young Patients

An interesting article explored the prevalence of caries experience and periodontal pathology on asymptomatic wisdom teeth in young adults appears in a 2012 issue of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery by Rachel N. Garaas and et al. titled “Prevalence of third molars with caries or periodontal pathology in young adults” (J Oral Maxillofac Surg. vol. 70, pages 507-513, 2012). The article seeks to help inform young adults who are seeking advice about the extraction or retention of wisdom teeth about if these teeth can remain symptom free or not. The study includes 409 patients with an average age of 25. The authors define a periodontal probing depth of at least 4 mm as indicative of periodontal inflammatory disease. The authors found that a periodontal probing depth of at least 4 mm was detected more often on a mandibular wisdom tooth than a maxillary wisdom tooth (64% versus 20%). The authors found that fewer subjects were affected by wisdom teeth caries experience when compared to first and second molar caries experience (24% versus 73%). Caries experience was detected on a third molar exclusively in only 3 subjects (<1%). The authors further found that 229 of the patients had wisdom […]

Continue Reading 0

Updates on Anesthesia Provided by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Recently, it has come to my attention that the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) has released a new white paper titled “Office-Based Anesthesia Provided by the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon,” in 2013, located over at http://www.aaoms.org/docs/papers/advocacy_office_based_anesthesia.pdf. This data contains some important data from the OMS National Insurance Company (OMSNIC) which to my knowledge had been previously closed. This data is Anesthesia Morbidity and Mortality Data from 2000 to 2010¬† for a total of 29,975,459 in-office anesthetics (conscious sedation, deep sedation and general anesthesia) provided by oral and maxillofacial surgeons in their offices. It was found from this data that the ratio of office fatalities/brain damage per anesthetics administered is 1 to 365,534.¬† I had long wondered what this data showed as I have previously looked at numerous studies attempting to determine how many deaths occur when anesthesia is used in dental offices, see http://www.teethremoval.com/mortality_rates_in_dentistry.html. Due to the fact that OMSNIC covers more than 80% of all oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the U.S., their data is very meaningful. My previous estimate was around 1 death in 450,000 cases when anesthesia is used in dental offices if I deweighted some older studies; however, using equal weight I had […]

Continue Reading 1

What is the Prevalence of Patients with Asymptomatic, Disease-Free Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth)

An interesting article titled “How Many Patients Have Third Molars and How Many Have One or More Asymptomatic, Disease-Free Third Molars?” appears in the September 2012, supplement 1. (vol. 70, issue 9) of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery written by Thomas B. Dodson, DMD, MPH (pg. S4-S7). The article seems to attempt to arrive at an answer to the question of how many patients really have a wisdom tooth (third molar) that is not causing problems and that has no disease. In the article Dr. Dodson recommends that patients are divided into 4 different categories when having their wisdom teeth evaluated. symptomatic, disease present (based on history and radiological examination) symptomatic, disease absent (includes teething and vague pain symptoms unrelated to wisdom tooth) asymptomatic, disease present (disease is evident from radiological findings or clinical exam but not patient complaints) asymptomatic, disease absent In the article over 20 journal articles are assessed to determine how many patients have wisdom teeth of which a number ranging between 6.0% to 96% is arrived at. The range is so broad due to differences in assessments and definitions. Several articles are briefly described which attempt to show third molar prevalence. These articles sometimes […]

Continue Reading 0

Lessons from Medical Litigation of Dentists

Back in June of 2013, I discussed in the post Lessons from Medical litigation in oral surgery practice several lessons that can be learned upon exploring lawsuits occurring in an oral surgery setting. An interesting post on the same topic but applied to dentists as a whole was just written earlier today in DrBicuspid, titled “When a dentist becomes the defendant,” by Meghan Guthman (October 7, 2013, source: http://www.drbicuspid.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=pmt&pag=dis&ItemID=314397&wf=1660“) Apparently this article was already written in the American Student Dental Association in their summer 2013 issue and was just a reprint. The article discusses some data gathered by Medical Protective which is a malpractice insurance company. Their data shows that the average¬†payment to a plaintiff in a dental malpractice lawsuit is $65,000. Around 20% of their dental malpractice cases between 2003 and 2012 involved a tooth extraction with the average compensation to the patient reported at $48,600. A case study of an extraction related dental malpractice case is provided where a dentist failed to obtain adequate radiographs showing the entire tooth and it’s bulbous root. The article provides a figure by Medical Protective which shows that dental implant malpractice cases have the highest payouts with the average compensation being over […]

Continue Reading 0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes