Dr. Kazemi | Oral Surgeon

Leading Oral Surgeon in Maryland

Author: Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi (Page 1 of 2)


The Three Main Types Of Anesthesia And What They Feel Like

Anesthesia is a term that refers to the partial or complete loss of sensation. Sometimes consciousness is lost during anesthesia while other times it is not. While anesthesia can be the result of an illness, the term is often used to refer to something administered by injection or inhalation to allow a doctor to perform a surgery or a test. Anesthesia is used when the surgery or procedure would be too painful for the patient to tolerate it. The body’s response to the pain without anesthesia could also prevent many types of surgery from being done.


It’s clear that anesthesia is an important part of a number of procedures, but there are different types of anesthesia. Which type you need depends on what kind of surgery you are having. Below are the three main types of anesthesia and how they feel:


1 ) General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is the type of anesthesia during which the patient loses consciousness, or “falls asleep.” General anesthesia consists of 4 stages, three of which a patient proceeds to go through during surgery. State 4 is an overdose and can lead to death. General anesthesia usually begins with an anesthetic being delivered through an I.V. into your arm. Sometimes it begins with a gas you breathe through a mask. Once you are asleep, an endotracheal tube might be inserted in your mouth and down your windpipe to ensure that you get enough oxygen. A patient of general anesthesia will have no awareness of memory of the surgery. The anesthesiologist will use a combination of medications to relieve anxiety, minimize pain during surgery, relieve pain afterward, keep you asleep, relax your muscles and block out the memory of the surgery.


2) Regional Anesthesia

For regional anesthesia, an anesthetic drug is injected close to a cluster of nerves, thus numbing a larger area of the body. One common example of this is an epidural, which numbs a woman giving birth below the waist. This method is typically used to make a person more comfortable during and after the surgery. It is not uncommon to combine regional and general anesthesia.


3) Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is a process in which an anesthetic drug numbs only a small, specific part of the body. Some example would be a hand, a foot or a patch of skin. The anesthetic drug can be administered in the form of a shot, ointment or spray. In this process, a person is awake or sedated, depending on what is necessary. Local anesthesia only lasts for a short period of time. It is typically used for outpatient procedures. The medicine can also be used to numb the area for a short time after the procedure to help control the patient’s discomfort post-surgery.


Anesthesia is an important part of surgery and other medical procedures. Depending on what you are having done, you will need to consult your doctor about what kind of anesthesia is necessary. One thing is for sure, you’ll definitely be thankful for anesthesia.



Large Numbers Of Young People In Bengaluru Affected By Oral Cancer

When it comes to cancer, young people tend to believe that they are in the clear. But in Bengaluru, India (also known as Bangalore), oral cancer is affecting young people at alarmingly high rates. A survey conducted by Indus Health in Bengaluru shows that 25 to 30 percent of the young people in Bengaluru are at risk for oral cancer. This is largely due to smoking cigarettes, which can cause a host of health problems. In fact, a study that surveyed 13,800 people in the age range of 25 to 35 between January 2015 and April 2016 showed that 10 to 12 percent of the young people surveyed were at risk of heart disease.

Smoking can be extremely damaging to a one’s health. An oral cancer patient may only have a portion of their original tongue and need to have the other parts of their tongue reconstructed with plastic surgery. Cancer of the mouth, cheek and jaw bone can also be caused by chewing tobacco. Every day, young lives are lost to cancer.

The majority of cases of oral cancer are linked to the use of tobacco or heavy use of alcohol. Using both tobacco and alcohol poses a much larger risk than using either substance alone. Possible signs of oral cancer include a sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in the lip, mouth or throat. Other signs include a feeling that something is caught in your throat, difficulty moving your tongue or your jaw, or numbness of the tongue and other areas of the mouth. Other signs are a white or red patch in the mouth, difficulty chewing or swallowing, pain in one ear without hearing loss or a swelling of the jaw that makes dentures fit poorly or become uncomfortable. While most young people don’t have to worry about dentures, they absolutely do have to worry about cancer if they’re tobacco users.

Of course, there are many other reasons not to smoke. For example, smoking while pregnant can allow the womb to be affected by harmful chemicals. The supply of blood and oxygen to the fetus can be reduced and therefore can lead to miscarriage, preterm delivery and growth restrictions. For a pregnant mother, smoking cigarettes can cause birth defects such as heart and lung disease, neurological disorders, and gastrointestinal complexities. Even passive smoking can affect the health of a mother and her baby.

Many women quit smoking during pregnancy when they realize the risks. However, there is a possibility that some women who are addicted to smoking will hide it from doctors due to stigma.

Addiction to cigarettes can also cause osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is characterized by the deterioration of bone tissue.

Overall, cigarettes can cause a number of health problems. The results in Bengaluru show that cancer is not limited to older people. Smoking tobacco increases one’s chances of getting oral cancer to a significant degree. If you are addicted to cigarettes, talk to your doctor about ways to stop before your health is seriously affected.

Using Acupressure or Accupuntcure to Allieveate Dental Pain

Kazemi Oral Surgery acupressure

If you are experiencing dental pain, the first thing you should always do is to contact your oral surgeon or dentist. In the case that you are suffering from pain and can not see your dentist immediately, acupressure and acupuncture have both been proven to help with dental pain relief.

A toothache is caused by nerve endings in the mouth just below the tooth, which create a painful throb. Though a cavity is the most likely culprit, it is only one of several possible causes of toothaches. Toothaches can also be caused by food particles stuck at the base of the tooth, a cracked tooth, sensitive teeth, or even sinusitis. Whatever the reason for your toothache may be, using acupressure helps to alleviate the pain and give you much needed relief.

There are different acupressure points for relieving toothaches and working on these points can help you to feel better quicker. You do not have to use all of these points, using just one or two of them whenever you have a free hand can be effective.

An article found on livestrong.com, suggests trying these simple steps to help alleviate your pain:

Step 1

Press the skin right behind your outer ankle bone and hold for one minute. Use your fingertip or knuckle to apply the pressure without pressing too hard, only using moderate pressure. You will feel the pain in your tooth start to melt away.

Step 2

Squeeze your thumb and forefinger together with the hand that corresponds the toothache location. A ridge will form once you have squeezed the thumb and forefinger together. With your opposite hand, apply light pressure with the tip of your finger to the middle of the ridge. The middle will be indicated by a dip.

Step 3

Grasp the toenail area of the second toe of the corresponding foot with your thumb and forefinger. Apply pressure to the side of the toe furthest from your big toe. Hold for one to two minutes until the pain is gone.

Step 4

Pinch the skin of the corresponding foot where the second and third toe separate, applying moderate pressure. Hold for one to two minutes and release, slowly.

Step 5

Apply pressure to the webbing located between the thumb and forefinger on the corresponding hand. You may use your knuckle, fingertip, or pinch with your alternate thumb and forefinger. Hold for one minute, and then release. Do not use this method if you are pregnant because this may cause uterine contractions.

No matter how conscientious you are about your oral care routine, at some point in your life you will probably experience the discomfort of a toothache, so carry these tips with you and use them the next time you experience dental pain.



Jaw Bone Fractures: Symptoms, Repair, and Recovery.

A broken or fractured jaw is a common facial injury. Estimates place it as the tenth most fractured bone in the human body. Jaw fractures are a consequence of direct and immense force applied to the jawbone. Because the jawbone is the chief bone in the face, and responsible for any chewing, talking, or other movements, any fracture or damage to the jawbone can be immensely distressing and painful.

In most cases, the patient is limited to soft foods and liquids in the healing period after the fracture. It can, in some cases, permanently affect how a person looks. Women are three times less likely to endure a broken jaw compared to men, but when taking both genders into account, people most prone to this kind of fracture injury are between the ages of 20 to 29. The most common reasons reported behind a jaw fracture are motor vehicle accidents, sports, falls, and assaults.

A fractured jaw can be recognized if one experiences symptoms like jaw pain, malocclusion (the feeling that your teeth do not fit together when your mouth is closed normally), difficulty in opening the mouth, difficulty in speaking, numbness in the chin or lower lip, and bleeding. Some of these symptoms may also indicate a dislocated, rather than broken, jaw. The best way to be sure of a fractured jaw is to get it evaluated by a professional. If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms then it’s best to consult an oral surgeon, orthodontist, or dentist as soon as possible. You should ice your jaw on the way to the doctor if you can. This will reduce swelling and make it easier for the oral surgeon or doctor to examine you. If your oral surgeon or orthodontist does not take emergency cases, your doctor may ask you to go to an emergency room for X-rays.

In rare but serious cases, breathing issues may present themselves due to lack of support from the tongue. In this case, get in touch with an oral surgeon or head to the emergency room right away.

Jaw fractures can cause secondary problems in infection, irritation, or inflammation of the gums. Such fractures are treated with antibiotics, and that is one of the many reasons you should go to a doctor for jaw pain right away. There may need to be surgical intervention in the treatment of a jaw bone fracture. There are several types of surgery that may be employed, and they depend on the type of injury sustained. The upper and lower teeth may be wired together, keeping the jaw stable and the mouth closed. This may prevent solid food from being consumed for some time but can improve the healing time and recovery dramatically. Your oral surgeon may need to use either metal plates or bars and screws to attach them to the bone across the fracture. This type of surgery will often result in the patient being able to eat solid food sooner in the recovery process. Patients may receive a tetanus shot before the procedure, based on the kind of fracture and the circumstances surrounding the accident causing the fracture. Make sure that the process of this surgery is only performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and not a regular dentist. If you have had surgery then it is mandatory to follow up with an oral surgeon to ensure that you are healing correctly.

The duration of the healing process will depend on the type of fracture. Some fractures are more serious than others, and may require different treatments. The average time for an uncomplicated fracture to heal is a minimum of six weeks. During this time antibiotics need to be taken regularly as instructed. Serious cases may take months for full recovery. Most patients lose a lot of weight, which happens because of the change in diet. Foods that need chewing are usually out of question, at least for a while, so pureed or mashed foods are more advisable. If the mandible is wired shut to speed up healing then the only option for food intake is through a straw. This issue can be countered by consulting a nutritionist or a dietician to design a filling diet which fulfils the body’s needs with a liquid diet until the jaw heals. 

For more details and info, it is advised to contact your local oral surgeon.

Make sure that you help prevent injury by driving safely, avoiding physical fights, and wearing full protective gear when playing sports.


The Pros and Cons of Different Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are very common and used in many kinds of procedures. The process of repairing a tooth or filling a cavity comes with a number of choices of filling materials, each of which has their own specific pros and cons. It is important to gain familiarity with all the types and their benefits/detriments in order to decide which one suits you the best. Make sure to always consult your dentist or oral surgeon as well, because they often have an office standard practice for fillings or a preference for material to work with based on experience. Here is a list of the different types of tooth filling, what their perks are, and the drawbacks they carry with themselves.



This is the oldest type and most commonly used filling of the last 150 years, and easily recognizable by its unique silvery color. Usually, people have the misconception that this filling is made of silver but it is actually a combination of half liquid mercury, and the other half is a powdered alloy of silver, tin, and copper. The mercury binds the alloyed metal dust into a material that is strong and durable.


  • It is inexpensive, saving a considerable amount of money as compared to other fillings.
  • It is durable and lasts for a long period of time, especially in teeth that experience more wear and force from chewing, like molars.


  • It has been losing its presence to other types of fillings because of the presence of mercury in the mix, which is known to be toxic when present in high doses. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluated amalgam fillings. They found only minuscule amounts of mercury released into the body from fillings over a long period of wear and concluded that amalgam fillings are completely safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.
  • The metal tends to darken over a period of time.
  • Removal of amalgam fillings in the case of wear or other causes can be difficult and may require the removal of healthy tooth material to extract the filling.
  • Because it is metal composite, some patients may see some cold or heat sensitivity, though that is not common.


Composite Resin

It is the second most widely used filling and is becoming a common choice because of the variety of improvements which are being brought in. It is a mixture of plastic and glass, and because it is tooth-colored, it can also be used to reshape disfigured teeth in addition to its use as a dental filling.


  • It is durable and more natural in appearance as compared to other fillings because the dentist or oral surgeon is able to mix composite that matches your tooth color.
  • It bonds to the tooth, which can help support the structure left behind after drilling a cavity or root canal, helping to prevent breakage later on.
  • The plastic in the filling can help to insulate and protect the tooth from extreme temperature changes.


  • It does not prove to be a good choice for larger cavities, as in large cavities the composite usually wears much faster than amalgam. It tends to perform equally in wear to amalgam in smaller cavities.
  • They take a longer time to fit in and are prone to tea and coffee stains.
  • The composite can cost up to two times more than amalgam fillings, and as technology improves the results of composite resin, the cost may continue to rise.



Also known as porcelain fillings, these are manufactured in a dental lab in a shape which will fit the cavity perfectly. They are not attached to your tooth unlike amalgam and composite fillings. Ceramic can also be used for veneers.


  • They perfectly blend with your tooth and are very natural looking.
  • The material is durable and can last up to 15 years.


  • These fillings are quite expensive.
  • Porcelain can be brittle, and may crack or break.
  • They may require removing a larger part of your healthy tooth.



This filling is manufactured in the same way as the porcelain ones and as the name suggests are quite expensive.


  • They are extremely durable tooth filling which is resistant to tarnish and corrosion. They are the longest lasting fillings available.
  • They do not shrink or wear like amalgam or composite, which prevents saliva, bacteria, and food bits from entering into the tooth cavity after the filling has been placed.


  • They are not natural looking.
  • The price may be prohibitive.
  • If placed near an amalgam filling in your mouth, can actually react with your saliva to cause discomfort.


Glass Ionomer

This type of filling is made of acrylic and a type of glass called fluoroaluminosilicate.  Glass ionomer is used most commonly as cement for inlay fillings. It can also be used in front teeth, at the “necks” of your teeth, or in the roots. As a filling material, it is often used in patients that have significant decay in the tooth extending below the gumline. It is also used for filling baby teeth.


  • Glass ionomer is close to the color of most teeth, but is not matchable like composite, so may not be a total match. Resin-modified glass ionomer is usually a better match than traditional glass ionomer.
  • These fillings are designed to slowly release fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay.


  • Traditional glass ionomer is significantly more likely to fracture or wear when compared to most other fillings.
  • A resin-modified glass ionomer filling needs to be applied in thin layers. Each layer must be fully cured, or hardened, with a special bright blue light before adding the next layer. This makes the filling stronger, but can lengthen the time of the dental appointment.
  • The lifespan of a glass filling is about five years or less, with a cost similar to composite resin.


Which of these options is the best for you will depend on many factors, including the extent of the damage to your tooth, the location of the filling within your mouth, your age, your price range, and your dentist or oral surgeon’s professional advice. Fillings are the only real solution for cavities and decaying teeth, and are necessary to save your teeth from further damage which could result in more serious dental or physical health problems down the road.


Porcelain Veneers And Dental Crowns: What’s The Difference?

Teeth need to be taken care of or else they can get damaged. Luckily there are procedures to fix or cover up this damage. Two such procedures are dental crowns and porcelain veneers. While they are both made of porcelain, they are quite different. It is important to fully assess your own personal situation before choosing which one is right for you.


Porcelain veneers serve a predominantly cosmetic function. When a patient goes in to get veneers, a thin shell is bonded to the front of one or more teeth in order to fix the appearance of said tooth or teeth. In order to place veneers, the dentist performing the procedure must remove a small amount of the tooth’s enamel so that the veneers fit properly. This is also important so that veneers don’t affect the patient’s bite.


Dental crowns are also porcelain shells, but instead of covering only one surface of the tooth, they fit over most of the tooth. Crowns fix a number of issues with the functions of teeth in addition to fixing cosmetic issues. Typically the tooth needs to be shaped so that the crown can fit over it while still sitting naturally with the other teeth.


An easy way to figure out which one you need is to look at what kinds of problems are resolved by each type of treatment. Patients typically get porcelain veneers for cosmetic issues that don’t have any effect on the functionality of the teeth. Veneers are good for solving stain-resistant discoloration, damage to the enamel, minor chips and cracks, minor misalignment, and eroded, short, or widely spaced teeth.


While dental crowns can fix these appearance-related problems, they are also an effective option for issues in which the tooth’s function has been compromised. Teeth that have been broken or cracked due to decay or trauma cannot be repaired with a veneer but they can be repaired by a crown. Crowns can also be helpful in building up teeth that negatively affect a patient’s bite. If a tooth has had root canal therapy, a dental crown can be used to protect that tooth.


After you get one of these restorations, it is important to take good care of them. Make sure to practice proper dental hygiene and to visit the dentist regularly. While both of these restorations are made of stain-resistant porcelain, staining is still possible if you don’t take proper care of your veneers or crowns. While natural teeth can be bleached, these restorations cannot. People with veneers or crowns also need to be cautious when eating. Try not to bite down on cherry pits or other hard substances. If you have a habit of chewing your nails or pencils it is a good idea to exercise restraint so as not to damage your veneers or crowns.
There is a big difference between veneers and crowns. If you still can’t decide which option is the best for you, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist. Both of these restorations are lifelong commitments, so it is important to think these decisions through carefully.

The Trouble With Tongue Ties

From trouble breastfeeding to stunted language development to receding gums, tongue ties and lip ties can cause a number of problems in children and adults, but sometimes are completely harmless. How can you tell the difference?

Gray1202If you feel in your own mouth, there are tissues that connect your upper and lower lip to your gums, and that connect your tongue to your jaw. These are called frenulum, (labial frenulum for your lips, and lingual frenulum for your tongue) and if they grow too long, too short, or too thick, can have many repercussions down the line. They are colloquially called “tongue ties” or “lip ties” because they limit the mobility.

In newborns, these can pull the tongue tight to the bottom of the mouth like an anchor, or pull the lips against the gums so tightly that they can’t achieve the “fish lips” that are most effective in breastfeeding. This can cause nipple pain, blocked milk ducts, and more issues in the mother, and can prevent the baby from getting proper nutrition.

In younger children, this can cause issues with brushing the teeth, and teeth can grow in around the tissue, causing a gap in baby teeth and even adult teeth that will need braces to correct, and can cause speech disorders that may last a lifetime.

In older children and adults, this can complicate social situations like kissing, eating in public, and keeping one’s tongue or lips clean with an inability to move the tongue with the agility of an average person, and can cause prematurely receding gumlines. It can also continue to cause oral hygiene issues as it can make parts of the mouth difficult or painful to reach.

There is a lot of debate on the best time to surgically correct or even if you should surgically correct this at all. There are very few urgent medical reasons to either cut the frenulum to create more give in the tissue, (which is called a frenotomy) or to remove it altogether (called a frenectomy) to prevent it healing back to where it was in the beginning. Because there are few urgent medical reasons, most doctors, dentists, and oral surgeons take a “wait and see” approach. Even though it is a fairly quick and non-invasive surgery, it is still a surgery, and no one wants to have an unneeded surgery that may prove to be less of a problem in time. Many children see a receding in the frenulum naturally between six month of age and six years of age.

There is also some evidence of children with a very tight frenulum actually injuring it in play and tearing it in the same way a doctor or oral surgeon would cut it, so sometimes the problem can remedy itself.

However, if your baby is unable to breastfeed properly, is having speaking difficulty, or is experiencing dental issues or pain due to a frenulum, or you know you have a frenulum that is particularly tight as an adult and are concerned about receding gums, you should consult an oral surgeon or ENT doctor.

Laser Procedure for Regenerating Bone And Tissue

Coherent_899_dye_laserEarlier in this blog I discussed How Technology Improves The Dentist Industry

Technological and scientific advances are changing oral surgery all the time. From 3D imaging and computer-assisted dental implants for safer and more precise procedures, which can eliminate risk to nerves and adjacent teeth, increase diagnostic for accurate treatment, avoid penetration into maxillary sinus, and decreases treatment time for patients, to the up-and-coming Computer Assisted Manufacturing, which is making it possible for some offices to literally make a crown in the office while you wait. The fields of dentistry and oral surgery have been quietly but steadily adapting to technology far ahead of some other fields.  

Now, a company in California, Millennium Dental Technologies, has received FDA clearance for a new procedure altogether. A laser-assisted procedure that stimulates regrowth of both oral tissue and bone. This is the first in a long line of steps towards actually regenerating tissues lost to disease. This could make bone grafts in the jaw less necessary, could make stitches passe.

“Dentistry has become a driver of innovation in the field of regeneration and this is apparent with the FDA’s first-of-its kind clearance of the LANAP protocol and device,” said Robert H. Gregg II, DDS, co-founder of MDT, inventor of the LANAP protocol and co-developer of the PerioLase® MVP-7™ variable pulsed Nd:YAG laser. “The mouth is an unforgiving environment and the fact that we can stimulate regeneration with the full functionality will advance a broader scientific understanding of the body’s regenerative capability.”

After thirty years of research, development and clinical testing, this laser protocol devised a way to stimulate and activate oral stem cells to build the cell components needed to turn into regenerated tissue (fibroblasts in particular). In addition to stem-cell activation, the laser kills bacteria to eliminate infection or inflamed tissue, which helps healing. After eliminating bacteria the laser activates hemoglobin to achieve stable clotting. These are the two biggest hurdles in oral surgery to tissue regeneration. They have even seen bone regrowth in trials with patients.

While this technique is newly approved by the FDA, and time will tell is the procedure is going to be consistent and cost-effective enough to be utilized in many offices nation-or-world-wide, this is a large step toward scientific advances that will make oral surgery less painful and more effective. And keep your eyes peeled down the line, because technology like this could have large ramifications for healing in other medical arenas or surgery and recovery as well.

What Should I Eat After A Wisdom Tooth Surgery?

wisdom toothWisdom tooth surgeries may seem annoying, but even more difficult than the surgery itself is figuring out what you can eat after. After the extraction, you should avoid eating foods that are spicy, crunchy or difficult to chew. These foods may increase pain and prevent healing. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat the same one or two foods. Here are some suggestions regarding what to eat after getting a wisdom tooth removed:


Milkshakes are very easy to consume and are a good choice of diet for immediately after the teeth are extracted. In order to get the right amount of nutrients, you can add a meal replacement powder or packet such as Carnation Instant Breakfast or GNC protein mix. Make sure you don’t use a straw, because this can dislodge the blood clot from its socket.


Fruit Smoothies:

For a nutritious cold drink, mix some fresh or frozen fruit with some yogurt and ice. If you’re looking to add nutritional value, you can add protein powder or other additives. Again, do not use a straw.


Ice cream:

For the first couple of days after the procedure, soft serve ice cream is preferable to other types of ice cream. Make sure to avoid cones. The Frostys at Wendy’s and similar desserts are a good idea, especially because they are served with a cup and spoon.


Instant Pudding, Yogurt, and Applesauce:

Pudding and other soft foods are extremely easy to eat, and it comes in a number of flavors, thus providing variety. If you’re tired of sweet foods, try lemon-flavored pudding or plain yogurt.


Mashed Potatoes:

Mashed potatoes are very easy to eat, requiring no chewing if they are well-mashed. Because they can be topped with gravy, sour cream, or butter, mashed potatoes can also be a good source of variety in your post-oral-surgery diet. If you get tired of regular mashed potatoes or desire a healthier alternative, you can also consider eating mashed sweet potatoes or cauliflower.



Most beverages are fine, although you may not be allowed to drink alcohol with your prescribed pain reliever or if you have a post-surgery antibiotic. You should also avoid very cold water, since it can increase pain. Remember not to use a straw!


Instant Oatmeal:

Instant Oatmeal is fairly easy to eat although oatmeal that has pieces of fruit in it can be chewy. An alternative that is even easier to eat is instant cream of wheat.



Pastina is a type of noodles that are very small and star-shaped. They are typically sold in a box at grocery store. They taste good with butter, and they are easier to eat than the majority of other noodles.



You should probably wait a few days before eating any soup. While some soups make have chunks of meat or vegetables which are too large, there are some acceptable soups. Two soups that are great to eat during this time are chicken noodle and cream of celery. Make sure they are not too hot, as hot foods can be painful and also impede the clotting process.


After the first few days of healing, other foods that you can eat that have more texture but are still easy to consume without much chewing include scrambled eggs, fish, pasta, cottage cheese, and beans. While some foods, such as macaroni and cheese, may seem soft, they can still be hard to eat if they are chewy. A good way to avoid this problem is to overcook pasta until it is very soft. You should also stay away from acidic foods, which may cause stinging in the area(s) where your teeth were extracted.
Depending on the severity of your wisdom tooth extraction, you may have a smaller or larger range of foods that you can eat. These tips will help you to maintain a comfortable and varied diet while your mouth is healing.

The Debate Over Third Molar Management


The removal of your wisdom teeth is a standard preventative practice performed regularly across the U.S. This procedure, regardless of its regular application, has been the subject of major debate for the last few decades. A recent statement issued by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recognizes this debate, while serving as a response to critics.

Wisdom teeth undoubtedly have the potential to be problematic; leaving them untouched can lead to cysts, gum disease, tumors, infections, and pain, among other ailments. Wisdom teeth need to be removed, because the average human jaw is simply too small to comfortably accommodate the third set of molars. These teeth are technically third molars, and are the last four to emerge, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. Not all individuals grow all four wisdom teeth, and some people are fortunate enough not to grow any. If your wisdom teeth demonstrate any type of ailments, they are diseased and must be removed. This is absolutely unanimous, but the debate is about non-diseased teeth.

With regards to the removal of third molar teeth, the AAOMS states,

“Predicated on the best evidence-based data, third molar teeth that are associated with pathology, or are at high risk of developing pathology, should be surgically managed. In the absence of pathology or significant risk of pathology, active clinical and radiographic surveillance is indicated.”

The threat of third molar teeth is very real, but some teeth are healthy; they can fully emerge and the individual may continue to clean and use their teeth normally. Some doctors also argue that while a tooth is non-diseased, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Asymptomatic third molars can present larger health issues in the future if they are left unassessed. The longer wisdom teeth remain, the more difficult they are to extract in the future. Therefore, early extraction is a great safeguard.

However, as Dr. Jay Friedman notes in a 2007 journal article, of the third molars left in a patient’s mouth, “about 12 percent of third molars may eventually cause some problems.” If all wisdom teeth are removed, this means that, “80 percent of third molar extractions represents … functionally unnecessary or remunerative surgery.” Considering the cost of this invasive procedure, patients could be saving money, and recovery time. Surgery also comes with its own risks, which can also be avoided by the patient. Nonetheless, if you have third molar teeth coming in, your safest best is to have them examined by a professional medical practitioner, who will recommend the best option for your health.

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén