Radio Spot – Wisdom Teeth
Ben: Thanks for joining us, AM 1440 KUHL, and online, am1440.com. It’s Thursday time once again for Dr. Dino’s Cool Truth’s About the Truth with Dr.Dino Bonyadii, local dentist here in Santa Maria. Doctor, thanks for joining us again.
Dr. Dino B.: Thank you Ben, and good morning to our audience.
Ben: Well, today we are talking about wisdom teeth, and Doctor, before we talk about maybe what to do if we still have them, first of all, what are wisdom teeth? Give us some background here.
Dr. Dino B.: Yes. Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars. These are molar teeth that erupt all the way in the back of our mouths. We have four of them usually. One on each corner of the mouth on the upper and lower jaw.
Ben: Some dentists will recommend extracting all of them. Is that something that you recommend? What are your feelings on this?
Dr. Dino B.: Yes. Well yes, some dentists automatically recommend that all wisdom teeth get removed. My philosophy on this is a little bit different. If the wisdom teeth are erupted normally and a patients’ jaw has enough room to accommodate it, and also, they are easy to keep clean, then in my opinion I do not recommend extracting them because they will not cause any problems.
Ben: So, is there any drawback to perhaps taking them out when you don’t need to?
Dr. Dino B.: There’s no drawback to taking them out, but on the other hand if you have wisdom teeth that are impacted, that means they’re coming in sideways and/or there’s not enough room in the jaw to accommodate the third molars, the wisdom teeth, then in those cases we should take them out. And the reason is an impacted wisdom tooth can exert pressure on the remaining teeth, therefore possibly in some cases causing crowding of teeth and pushing teeth out of alignment. But the bigger problem we see with impacted wisdom teeth is when they push on the tooth in front of it, they resorb part of the tooth, and if they resorb enough portion of the tooth, a patient may end up actually losing that tooth. Another problem that we encounter with impacted wisdom teeth are cysts. Actually, cysts can develop around the wisdom tooth, which then will require the extraction of the tooth and removal of the cyst.
Ben: We’re speaking to Dr.Dino Bonyadii. We’re talking wisdom teeth or third molars, along with Dr. Dino’s Cold Truth’s About the Tooth. Well, Doctor if we’re faced with extraction, is this something that can be done for a young child or something that we need to wait for maybe for an adult?
Dr. Dino B.: Well, wisdom teeth form around age 16 and they are completely formed around age 24. Now, by completely formed means every time a tooth develops in the bone, it starts first by forming the crown portion of the tooth, and then as years go by, the root portion of the tooth forms. If wisdom teeth are diagnosed to be removed, it’s best to do it at early age, for example, any time from 16 years and up. And the reason is because the root hasn’t completely formed and it’s just the crown portion of the tooth, which actually lies in a little socket in the bone which is filled with fluid, so all you need to do is access it and just take the tooth out. As we get older, the roots form further, they grow into the bone. It’s not that we can’t remove it, but they become harder to remove. Also, patients who are younger heal much faster. An 18-year-old will heal much faster than a 40-year-old, and that’s why we recommend removal of these teeth at a younger age.
Ben: Sure. So, Doctor, I guess we have to look inside the mouth to see what’s going on. So, this would probably involve taking x-rays of some sort, so tell me about this process.
Dr. Dino B.: Correct. First, wisdom teeth can be missing congenitally. That means you don’t have it. So, you can look in the mouth and you will not see it, but that doesn’t mean they’re missing if you don’t see it. Either they’re missing or they are still concealed under the tissue, under the bone, and they’re not erupting. In order to see those, then we definitely need x-rays, radiographs. There are two different types of radiographs. We call intraoral, that means you take these x-rays inside of the mouth where the sensor or the film are placed inside of the mouth, or you can use extraoral, which are machines that take x-rays from outside of the mouth.
Dr. Dino B.: The ones that take the x-rays outside of the mouth are one, more comfortable because of the location. When you try to take them inside of the mouth, patients gag most often. So the ones that are taken outside of the mouth are far more comfortable for the patient and they give much better view of the surrounding tissue, the bone structure and especially with the lower wisdom teeth there’s a nerve down there that runs very close to the roots and we want to make sure that we don’t impinge and damage that nerve.
Ben: So, Dr. Dino, in terms of the x-rays, is that something you do at your office? And do you do extractions for wisdom teeth?
Dr. Dino B.: Yes. I do do extractions on wisdom teeth third molars unless they are complicated, which means they are severely impacted, or the root structure is lying very close to the nerve that’s in the bone. In those cases, I refer my patients to an oral surgeon. As far as x-rays go, in my office we have a digital panoramic machine where we can take x-rays outside of the mouth, and the machine that we have actually… It takes very accurate x-rays. So let’s say for example, we had a patient the other day, severe gagger, and he hadn’t been to the dentist just because he had been gagging, and he heard about CariVu, and he came in actually to be examined by the CariVu, but I offered the extraoral x-ray and we could get diagnostic quality images by just taking x-rays from outside. So, patients who are gaggers or some patients have toris … These are bony protrusions, and the patients who have it, they know what I’m talking about. X-ray taking is practically extremely painful for them. With this machine we can do that without any pain or discomfort.
Ben: It’s good to have those options.
Dr. Dino B.: Absolutely, yeah.
Ben: Yeah. Well, Doctor if folks want to get a hold of you and maybe send you an email about a topic, they would like have discussed here on the radio, what’s the best way to do that?
Dr. Dino B.: They can contact me directly through my website. It’s drdinob.com, or they can call the office at 925-7343.
Ben: And we can like you on Facebook.
Dr. Dino B.: Please do.
Ben: That’ll take care of things here for this week. Dr. Dino’s Cool Truths About the Truth with Dr.Dino Bonyadii. Doctor, we’ll see you next time.
Dr. Dino B.: Thank you very much. Bye bye.