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

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

3D Printing for Impacted Wisdom Teeth

An interesting article titled “The use of 3D model planning in the management of impacted teeth” written by Scott et al. appears in the 2018 edition of Oral Surgery (vol. 11, pp. 125-130). The article discusses using surgical planning using a 3D printed model for removal of an impacted wisdom tooth in a 61 year old man. 3D printing for wisdom teeth removal has been discussed on this site before see the post 3D Printed Models for Wisdom Teeth Surgery Planning. In the article by Scott a discussion is made of how computed tomography scans can be taken of the mouth to determine the exact position of a lower wisdom tooth in relation to the inferior alveolar nerve. Using stereo lithography it is then possible to manufacture 3D printed models from the scans. This allows one to simulate the exact … Read more

An Index to Assess Surgical Difficulty of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

An interesting article titled “Development of a New Index to Assess the Difficulty Level of Surgical Removal of Impacted Mandibular Third Molars in an Asian Population,” written by Zhang et al. appears in the 2019 edition of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The article discusses development of an index to determine the surgical difficulty of impacted lower wisdom teeth. The authors discuss how historically the Pell and Gregory classification and the Winter classification provide a simple judgment on the difficulty level of tooth extraction. They also discuss the Pederson scoring system which assesses the difficulty of extracting impacted wisdom teeth using three factors using the position of the wisdom tooth, the relative depth, and the relation with the ramus. The Pederson scoring system calculates a score from 3 to 10 based on these three factors and then assigns … Read more

Wisdom Teeth and Mandibular Angle and Condyle Fractures

An interesting article titled “The relationship between the lower third molar (M3) and mandibular angle/condyle fractures – a systematic review” written by Akadiri et al. appears in Oral Surgery in 2017 (vol. 10, pp. e7-e16). The article seeks to determine mandibular angle/condyle fractures risk when an impacted wisdom tooth is present or not. In some studies the the presence of impacted wisdom teeth has been associated with increased risk of mandibular angle fractures which those who suggest prophylactic removal of wisdom teeth like to use as a valid reason. However in other studies there has been show an increased risk for mandibular condyle fracture after removing a wisdom tooth. The authors performed a systematic literature review and explored articles from 1970 to 2015. Articles included in the review meet a set of author defined criteria including using Kelly and Harrigan’s … Read more