Why Should I Get My Wisdom Teeth Out?

Andra M

Andra Mahoney, RDH BSDH

Why Should I Get My Wisdom Teeth Out?

Teeth are generally predictable.  We know the first permanent teeth we will get are our first molars, also known as six year molars because we get them between six and seven years old.  We know they will be bigger than all our other teeth.  We know our maxillary central incisors, our two top front teeth, will come in about seven to eight years old and  be a particular shape and size.  Wisdom teeth; however, have a mind of their own!  They come any anywhere from 16-25 years old, and sometimes don’t even stick to that time frame.  They can be big as your other molars or small as your front teeth.  They can come in properly and vertically or angled and horizontally.  I have even seen X-rays of wisdom teeth going the wrong direction!  They were headed back towards the jaw bone!  Wisdom teeth do whatever they want.

Common recommendations for getting wisdom teeth removed:

Not enough room in your mouth.

Impaction.

Partially Erupted.

Why above reasons are problems:

Many of us do not have the space in our mouths to accommodate wisdom teeth.  Not enough room in our mouths can lead to the wisdom teeth causing pain.  It can also cause problems in keeping those teeth clean.  They are often hard to reach which means plaque is allowed to grow and cause cavities, tartar, and/or gum infections.

When teeth are impacted they are not coming in the proper direction.  This could be anywhere from tilted to all the way horizontal. This can present a variety of issues.  The major problem can be damage to other teeth.  If the wisdom tooth is tilted and now running into the back of your second molars, this can cause damage, decay, and potential loss of that second molar.  Impaction can also lead to cysts or infections around those teeth.  This can lead to long term damage of your jaw bone.

When teeth are partially erupted, only part of the tooth has grown into the mouth, the other is still covered with gum tissue.  This can be very hard to keep clean.  It is a great spot for food impaction and plaque bacteria to collect.  As mentioned before, this can lead to cavities, tartar, and/or gum disease.

Why get them out if they don’t hurt:

Size of wisdom teeth can play a big factor is health and recovery.  Most dentists like to get them out after the crown is fully formed, but before the roots are complete.   This helps extraction process to go easier and quicker, as well as reduces nerve damage.  Wisdom teeth, particularly those on your bottom jaw, can grow around or next to the nerve that runs through your jaw.  When the roots of wisdom teeth are allowed to grow close to that area, that increase risk for nerve damage upon extraction.  This damage can be temporary or permanent.

Stage of jaw bone growth plays a factor.  Dentist usually recommend wisdom teeth to come out in the teen years or early twenties.  This is because your jaw bone is still growing.  Once you hit your thirties, your bone is much more solid and recovery time after extractions can be longer and more difficult.

Why wait till it hurts?  Get them out on your schedule.  Spring break, summer vacation, fall break, long weekend, these are the best times for recovery. Don’t put yourself through tooth pain, its an awful experience, and one that is avoidable!

You’ve decided to get them out! Now what?

This is a great time for a chat with your dentist.  They can help you determine the appropriate avenue for you.

Different ways to get them out can include:

Just getting numb – Your appointment will be pretty straight forward.  The wisdom teeth may already be erupted and properly aligned.  You are not very nervous about the appointment.

Nitrous and getting numb – Nitrous, or laughing gas, can be administered before the local anesthesia.  This can help some people with anxiety.  It is also good to help people relax if there is a little more work involved in getting out the wisdom teeth – they are partially erupted or completely unerupted.

IV Conscious Sedation – This is a great option for a more involved procedure or those that have very high anxiety.  A dentist trained in this method, will administer medication through an IV that allows you to relax.  You are able to respond to questions (Can you open wider? Are you doing ok? Can you turn to the left?), but you will not remember the procedure.

Oral Surgeon Specialists – In some cases the removal of the wisdom teeth may be very complicated.  This can be due to position, age, nerve involvement, etc.  You may then be referred to a specialist to handle this situation.

Whatever way and method can be tailored to your specific needs through exam, xrays, and a visit with your dentist.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/wisdom-teeth

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/wisdom-teeth/should-you-have-your-wisdom-teeth-removed

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wisdom-teeth/expert-answers/wisdom-teeth-removal/faq-20058558

Nitrous Oxide

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Lora Cook, RDH

Nitrous Oxide 

What is it and how can it help you?  

Nitrous oxide, other wise known as laughing gas, is a form of sedation dentistry that our offices offer.

Nitrous is gas that you can breath. It was discovered in 1772 by Humphrey Davy. Humphrey did self administration to see if it would help on his own tooth ache he was experiencing at the time.

There is a lack of oxygen in pure nitrous so with longer periods of time using nitrous, this can lead to unconsciousness and even death. However, when nitrous is mixed with oxygen it is safe to use for longer periods of time.  The mix that is commonly used in dentistry is 70% oxygen to 30% nitrous.

Four Levels of Sedation with Nitrous Oxide

1.  Initial light headless, followed by a tingling sensation in arms and legs.

2.  Warm sensation

3. Feeling of well being or a feeling of floating

4.  Sleepiness, difficulty keeping eyes open.

Open communication 

Keep an open communication with your dental professionals on how you are feeling. Then goal is to remain in the first three levels of sedation.  If a nausea feeling comes over you this would indicate a overdose / over sedated.  Then dentist can simply adjust the percentages that you are receiving.

At the end of the procedure the dentist will administer five minutes of pure oxygen to clear any nitrous from your system.  All levels of sedation are then completely reversed.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/sedation-dentistry/laughing-gas/

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/n/nitrous-oxide

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/sedation-dentistry-can-you-really-relax-in-the-dentists-chair#1

Kids and Dentistry

I have to say that my favorite appointments are the ones with patients who are 18 and younger. No offense to the rest of the adult world, however, kids are the best. They are like little sponges soaking up all the dental knowledge I can share. Being a future parent I want to know all the information I can get to help my children have smooth transition into new experiences. Here are some kid tips for in office and at home to help our children have a great time at the dentist.

Office Tips:

When should my child first come to the dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) children should come no later than 12 months of age. That may sound early to most people. However, this helps create a dental home for the child. We can also answer questions that the parents may have. Your dentist and hygienist will give advice on snacking habits, teach oral hygiene tips and make sure your child’s teeth are coming in on schedule.

The first visit is called a “Happy Visit”, we show them the instruments and the dentist checks their teeth. Cleanings are dependent on the temperament of the child. Whatever they are comfortable with. We want a happy, calm visit.

Regular Check ups

Cleanings are to be 2 times per year. The dentist checks for dental decay, orthodontic needs, discuss sports guards and if sealants should be placed. Hygiene cleanings are performed. Fluoride treatments are given and oral hygiene instruction is tailored to the child’s needs.

What if my child has a cavity?

Then you are at the perfect place. At our offices we have wonderful doctors and staff who help each and every patient have a great experience. Start off by setting a good example to your child by being calm. The child will always be well-informed on what is going on during the appointment. Believe it or not we have had better experiences with not having the parent in the room during the procedures. This helps the child develop trust with the doctor and the child will more likely communicate with the dentist about his or her needs rather than the parent.

Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas is very effective for children. It is fast acting, calms the patient quickly, it is safe, reversible, and is affordable for most patients. Kids respond well to the nitrous. Just like adults your child will always have localized anesthesia to make the procedure virtually painless.

We may refer some patients to a pediatric dentist. This is decided by the child’s temperament, if there is a large amount of dental work to be done, or they need to be sedated. However, most of the time we can take care of all dental needs presented.

Home Tips:

Oral Hygiene Habits
Brush 2 times per day for 2 minutes. Make sure the brush has soft bristles. An electric toothbrush helps kids brush for longer and it is more fun.

It is recommended for parents to help children brush and floss until the age of 8.

Floss at least 1 time per day if not more.

Sequence-

  1. Rinse with mouthwash
  2. Floss
  3. Brush, spit in the sink and do not rinse afterwards. We want the fluoride to stay on the teeth.

Infants should have their oral cavity wiped with a clean damp cloth before bed at night.

Tooth brushing charts are a great motivator for kids who have a hard time brushing.You can find many online to print out.

Fluoride

Under 2 yrs smear fluoride toothpaste onto the brush. 2 yrs and above a small pea size should suffice. According to the AAPD.

Parents should dispense toothpaste to prevent from too much being digested.

Further questions about fluoride and its benefits consult your dentist or hygienist.

Diet

Have a balanced diet of veggies, fruit, meat and beans, dairy, and whole grains. Limit amounts of starchy and sugary foods.

Significantly decrease amounts of soda and fruit juices

Limit frequency of snacking.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that also helps prevent cavities. It is put in gums such at Ice Breaker Ice Cubes, Trident and others. It also can be bought to be used in baking. Xylitol is a great way to keep sweets in our lives with benefit of not getting cavities.

Dental Caries is the number one disease that affects children. The good thing is that cavities are preventable. Health in the oral cavity affects our entire bodies. With these tips and many others our children are on their way to a life of happy, healthy, smiles.

-Kara Johansen BSRDH

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask Your Dentist About Dental Care For Your Baby. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask Your Dentist About Nitrous Oxide. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask your Dentist About Diet and Snacking. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2011). Ask Your Dentist About Regular Dental Visits. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/