Friday, January 25, 2013

When is the Best Time to Remove Wisdom Teeth?

Most dentists agree that wisdom teeth should be taken out when the dental roots are 2/3 developed. This usually coincides with the adolescent years when there is less risk of nerve damage and young patients also tend to heal faster. Another reason this is an excellent time is because removing the wisdom teeth will also clear the way for any future orthodontic procedures.
The teeth found in the very back of the mouth on both sides, in the upper and lower rows, are the molars. The first ones come in around age 6, and the next ones are present around age 12. The third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, are usually ready to emerge between the ages of 16 and 21. Unfortunately, even though the third set of molars are fully functioning teeth, when they are ready to appear, there may no longer be room for them.

Some people have room for the third set of molars and they cause no problems. However, for many, it is necessary to remove them.
  • When the wisdom teeth begin to poke through the gums, they should come out. Even though surprisingly, in some cases, this may not be causing the patient pain, it increases the risk of bacterial infection.
  • Removing them is also necessary when they are expected to grow in and crowd the existing teeth, which will cause them to shift.
  • Sometimes, a wisdom tooth becomes inflamed and a fluid-filled sac will surround it. This causes swelling and the surrounding tissue and bone matter may be affected.
  • Even when the other two sets of molars and the permanent teeth are in place, wisdom teeth that show no signs of coming in should still be removed before they become impacted or trapped in the jaw.
  • Wisdom teeth that have come in but prevent the patient from being able to brush and floss properly should be extracted.
If you have questions or concerns about wisdom teeth, it is best to visit your dentist for a thorough evaluation. Call Dr. Simon Melcher at 919-782-0548 or visit his website. You can also learn more here: Dental Treatments - Wisdom Teeth

Friday, January 18, 2013

What is a Root Canal?

Did you know that just like an orange, your teeth contain something called pulp? The pulp that is inside your teeth contains connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. Should the pulp or nerves within a tooth become inflamed or infected, a root canal treatment may be the best way to eliminate the problem.

The painful inflammation within dental pulp or nerve tissue can be the result of a few things. A deep, untreated cavity is one cause. A patient who has had a repeated number of dental procedures may develop diseased pulp within one or more of their teeth. Of course an injury resulting in a cracked or chipped tooth could lead to this type of problem. There is also the possibility that you may have injured a tooth and be unaware of it. That’s because not all injured teeth cause pain or exhibit signs of trauma.

If your dentist or endodontist determines that the pulp or nerve tissue is inflamed or diseased, the next step may be to remove it. A dental professional’s goals will be to save the tooth and alleviate a patient’s discomfort. Ignoring the problem could lead to painful swelling, bone loss, and infection. A root canal is the procedure that will alleviate all that!

During a root canal, the diseased tissue will be cleaned in an effort to save as much of it as possible. After the tissue is evaluated, the dentist will then clean and seal the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canal. To prevent the occurrence of further problems, a rubberlike substance called gutta percha, is put into the tooth’s root canal. To preserve as much of the tooth as possible, it is often fitted with a permanent crown.

If you think you may need a root canal or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Melcher, please visit our website or call us at 919-782-0548.