Tag Archives | Wisdom Teeth

Filing Billing for Dentists to Help Patients

An interesting article titled “You want me to do what?” written by Douglas Auld appears in the March 2016 issue of JADA. The article discusses a patient who has an an abscess on a mandibular right third molar which requires extraction. The treatment was done in December and the patient had already used their full benefits from their dental insurance for the year. So the patient suggested to the dentist to bill for the extraction in January and also suggested to file it as a surgical extraction and apply the difference to his balance. The article asks if it is ethical for dentists to do any of this. The article states that a dentist has a duty to communicate truthfully with third parties. It says “A dentist who submits a claim form to a third party reporting incorrect treatment dates for the purpose of assisting a patient in obtaining benefits under a dental plan, which benefits would otherwise be disallowed, is engaged in making an unethical, false or misleading representation to such third party.” Therefore the dentist should file the claim with the correct date of service or wait until January to perform the treatment. The article says “A dentist who incorrectly describes on […]

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Wisdom Teeth Facts – From Symptoms & Occurrence to Extractions & Precautions

What are Third Molars? A permanent dentition typically consists of 32 teeth and third molars or wisdom teeth are the most posterior teeth present on each quadrant. They are located the farthest in a dental arch and are usually the last ones to erupt. The third molars are formed due to evolutionary factors but with modern lifestyle and eating habits, they are no longer necessary. This is why smaller jaws have inadequate space to accommodate the eruption of third molars and all they do is cause pain, infection and discomfort. When Do Wisdom Teeth Erupt & Why? Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 16 to 25 but they may also erupt at a later stage for some. According to popular belief, wisdom teeth were used by ancestors for grinding plant tissues. Since our ancestors had a huge mouth which accommodated more teeth for digesting cellulose, third molars became a part of the tooth development process. This is why most of the time wisdom teeth either remain submerged under the gum or erupt only partially. Indications of Extraction If the jaw is large enough to accommodate the eruption of third molars and if they are aligned correctly, an extraction […]

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Can Science Solve Our Problems?

An interesting article titled “Science and Conscience” appears in the 2015 Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery written by Thomas Dodson (vol. 73, pp. 2255-2256). The article opens by discussing a study by the NIH seeking to explore the differences in people with a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg versus that of 120 mm Hg. The study was aborted with a year left in its duration. The study concluded achieving a target systolic blood pressure of 120 mm Hg reduced cardiovascular events by almost 33% and death by almost 25% compared with a group with a target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg. The authors question why such a study was ever needed to be done because it seems so intuitive but later explains that our society today relies on science to achieve it’s high standards. The author then goes on to discuss how there is a growing anti vaccination movement to not give kids the vaccines against diseases like measles, mumps, and whooping cough. He then goes on to discuss how there is also a movement to no longer fluoridate the water in communities. He states that cavities can help be minimized by adding a small amount of fluoride to drinking water. In both […]

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Can Providing Audiovisual Information Help Relieve Anxiety in Patients Having Wisdom Teeth Removed?

An interesting article titled “Effect of Audiovisual Treatment Information on Relieving Anxiety in Patients Undergoing Impacted Mandibular Third Molar Removal” written by Sung-Hwan Choi and et al. appears in the 2015 Journal and Oral and Maxilofacial Sugery (vol. 73, pp. 2087-2092). The authors set out to explore if providing patients undergoing wisdom teeth removal an audiovisual slide presentation that provided treatment information could improve patient knowledge of postoperative complications and decrease anxiety. It is well known that patients having wisdom teeth surgery can have anxiety due to the needles and drills involved. Studies have shown that a lack of information about surgery and complications can lead to increased anxiety. Typically a written informed consent document is provided to patients prior to surgery. However, it is not clear how well patients can understand this information. The authors of the article designed a study to provide treatment information using an audiovisual slide presentation to help improve patient knowledge of postoperative complications and decrease anxiety before and after the removal of impacted mandibular wisdom teeth. Patients included in the study were between 18 and 27 and treated in Seoul Korea. A total of 51 patients were included in the study who were randomly distributed into two groups. The first group received the Korean Dental Association Informed Consent document with […]

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Does the Use of Cone Beam CT for Wisdom Teeth Removal Change the Surgical Approach Compared With Panoramic Radiography?

An interesting article titled “Does the Use of Cone Beam CT for the Removal of Wisdom Teeth Change the Surgical Approach Compared With Panoramic Radiography?” appears in the Sept. 2015 Journal of Oral Maxilofacial Surgery supplement (vol. 73, issue 9, pg. e12) written by S.P. Aravindaksha. The present study looked at  if the additional information provided by cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images influences the surgical strategy in the treatment of patients with impacted mandibular wisdom teeth in high-risk cases. The study sought to explore if there is any difference in risk assessment for inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) when using CBCT or panoramic radiography. In the study patients with an increased risk of IAN injury, as diagnosed on panoramic radiographs, were enrolled in and underwent additional CBCT imaging. The study consisted of 52 impacted wisdom teeth from 36 patients (20 women and 16 men) with an average age of 24.6 years. Three board certified oral maxillofacial surgeons independently evaluated the panoramic radiographs in randomized order followed by the CBCT images. The surgeons were asked to answer questions based on the images. Some inconsistencies were found across the surgeons for how well CBCT findings matched panoramic radiographic findings. Even so, the […]

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