Pandemic Precautions: How Safe is a Visit to the Dentist for Removing Your Wisdom Tooth?

The pandemic has made regular life difficult, and even something as important as going to the local dentist for a regular checkup has not been exempted from that effect. This brings us to a very real and tricky question: is it really safe to go to a dentist when COVID-19 is running rampant everywhere? Even more importantly, how safe is it to get your wisdom teeth removed right now? The Answer is Highly Variable There isn’t a singular “yes” or “no” answer to this question, which could be taken as applicable across all dental clinics in the US. It depends on multiple factors and variables that we cannot control. Fortunately, there are also multiple other factors that we can control to keep ourselves relatively safe in any environment, including the dentist’s clinic. As to the question of whether removing a wisdom … Read more

What is the Likelihood of Dry Socket After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

An interesting article titled “A re-audit to assess the incidence of alveolar osteitis within the Oral Surgery Department of a teaching hospital” appears in the 2017 edition of Oral Surgery written by Qalandari and Dargue (vol. 10, pp. e22-e29). In the article a discussion is made of determining the chances of experiencing dry socket after wisdom teeth removal in the oral surgery department of a hospital in Britain. Alveolar osteitis is the official name for what is commonly known as dry socket and is a common complication after wisdom teeth surgery. Dry socket is when there is pain in and around the extraction site after surgery which increases in intensity between one and three days after surgery and there is also a partially or totally disintegrated blood clot within the socket. The authors were interested in what the current incidence … Read more

Chances of Nerve Injury After Wisdom Teeth Removal

An interesting article titled “Investigation of nerve injury after lower third molar removal” written by Moosa and Malden appears in the 2018 edition of Oral Surgery (vol. 11, pp. 22-27). The article seeks to address how many patients develop inferior alveolar nerve or lingual nerve injury after wisdom teeth removal at a dental clinic in Edinburgh, UK. Nerve injury is a type of complication that is known to occur after wisdom teeth removal. Two nerves that are often damaged include the inferior alveolar nerve and the lingual nerve. When the inferior alveolar nerve is injured there can be tingling, numbness, burning, or painful sensations near the lower lip, chin, and teeth. When the lingual nerve is injured there can be tingling, numbness, burning, or painful sensations near the tongue and loss of taste can occur. According to the authors prior … Read more

How often do Deep Fascial Space Infections Occur After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

An interesting article titled “Incidence of deep fascial space infections following lower third molar removal” written by O’Connor et al. appears in the 2018 edition of Oral Surgery (vol. 11, pp. 17-21). The article seeks to explore how many infections of the deep fascial spaces occur after wisdom teeth removal. The authors say that while an infection is commonly disclosed as a complication following wisdom teeth surgery many patients may not be familiar with the fact that when an infection occurs they may have to be hospitalized, given intravenous antibiotics, and require surgery under general anesthesia which could lead to scarring. These systemic infections can involve deep fascial spaces of the neck, which can lead to endotracheal airway protection, systemic sepsis, and death. In the article a study is conducted using 723 patients who had lower wisdom teeth extracted in … Read more

Do You Need to Extract Wisdom Teeth Before Getting Invisalign?

More and more people now are choosing Invisalign over braces when it comes to straightening their teeth. Why not? No one can tell that you are fixing your teeth with its clear plastic structure because it’s almost invisible.  Aside from being a highly effective remedy for teeth straightening, it also corrects crowded teeth, irregular spacing, open bite, underbite, and overbites. One of its advantages is closing the gaps the fastest way, as you keep the same lifestyle. Plus, it proves to be the most hygienic solution because you can remove it when you eat. It’s also easy to clean, remove and put back again.  The Challenge? One of the challenges, however, is that a lot of people are getting Invisalign while they are teenagers – just before wisdom teeth start sprouting out of their gums.  Thus, the question of whether … Read more