Yearly Archives: 2012

When To Keep Your Wisdom Teeth?

Most young adults are faced with the decision of what to do about their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, are the teeth that grow in at the furthest back position in both the upper and lower jaw on both sides usually in late teens or early twenties.

Many patients will have third molars grow in that never pose any problems. This is because they have sufficient jaw space to accommodate these four teeth and they grow in without creating overcrowding of remaining teeth.

Unfortunately, many young adults will be faced with wisdom teeth that do not grow in straight or create an issue with overcrowding that can produce an overbite or a malocclusion of another nature.

In addition, wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection, periodontal gum disease with loss of additional teeth, and even tumors and cysts.   In addition to these problems, wisdom teeth that do not grow correctly can become impacted. This means that the teeth are present, but are not breaking through gum tissue or not growing in properly. Patients with impacted wisdom teeth are usually referred to an oral surgeon for extraction. This is due to the fact that an oral surgeon sees patients all day long with impacted third molars and will be able to provide the most expedient procedure offering the patient general anesthesia “sedation” and a surgeon’s expertise and advice on whether or not to move forward with the procedure.

There are many schools of thought on how a patient should proceed regarding the question of saving or removing third molars. It is recommended that patients have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent the problems discussed above.

For patients that decide not to undergo extraction of their wisdom teeth, it is critically important to adhere to excellent oral hygiene habits of daily flossing and brushing to make sure the areas surrounding the third molars stay as bacteria-free as possible. Plaque build-up can lead to infection so if third molars are to be retained a professional cleaning and exam twice per year is strongly recommended to monitor and preserve the health of wisdom teeth.

Contact the office of Dr. Judd E. Partridge, serving South Jordan Utah and the surrounding areas, to schedule your wisdom tooth consultation today.

When To Keep Your Wisdom Teeth?

Five Uncovered Myths About Sleep Apnea

There are two basic forms of sleep apnea, obstructive (OSA) and central. OSA occurs when the tongue, tonsils, or other throat tissue block the airway. Central sleep apnea, which is rare, occurs when the brain doesn’t signal to the body to breathe as it should. There are a lot of misconceptions about sleep apnea: what it means, what the risks are, and how to treat it. Let’s sort the fact from the fiction, and uncover some of the myths about sleep apnea.

Myth One: Sleep apnea is just snoring.

This is probably the most common misconception. Sleep apnea, while often the cause of snoring, is actually a condition where a person stops breathing up to 400 times during the night for 10-30 seconds each time. The snoring is the result of the breathing resuming.

Myth Two: If you snore you have sleep apnea.

This myth goes hand in hand with the first. While many with sleep apnea snore, and many snorers have sleep apnea, they are not the same thing. 30-50% of the US population snores at one time or another. Snoring can be obnoxious, and be caused by things like colds, etc. Sleep apnea on the other hand is a serious medical condition that is potentially life threatening, not just obnoxious.

Myth Three: Sleep apnea is not dangerous.

Sleep apnea can be dangerous, especially if left untreated. At the very least the interrupted sleep impacts energy levels, which can lead to accident and injury. Risks of undiagnosed sleep apnea include heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat, heart disease, high blood pressure, and decreased libido on the more serious end, and irritability, drowsiness, and lost productivity on the less serious end.

Myth Four: Only the elderly get sleep apnea.

While sleep apnea or OSA are more common among those over 40, it can affect people of all ages. It is estimated that more than 12 million Americans have sleep apnea. It is common for children to have sleep apnea, with one in ten suffering from it. However, it is typically mild, and a condition they grow out of. Those most at risk are people over 40, overweight, male, African-American, Latino, and those who have a family history of sleep apnea.

Myth Five: Sleeping pills and alcohol will help you sleep.

Many people think that they can treat sleep apnea with a nightcap or by popping a few sleeping pills. While it does make a person drowsy, it will not promote healthy sleep. In fact, it can actually worsen the apnea by relaxing the muscles in the throat, making it easier for the airway to become blocked. There are many options for treating sleep apnea, including surgery to remove tonsils or shrink or stiffen floppy throat tissues, use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which is a machine that blows a stream of air into the person’s airway in order to keep it open while sleeping, weight loss, smoking cessation, a mouthpiece that adjusts the position of the jaw and tongue to keep airways open, and lying on your side. The best treatment depends on the severity, and should be determined by a physician.

Teeth in a Day: Is it Possible? The answer is Yes!

In the past, dental implant patients with significant bone loss—a group that includes many denture wearers—needed to undergo an additional bone graft surgery before the implants could be placed. That surgery extended the course of treatment by several months.

Teeth in a day is a new technique that allows patients the opportunity to receive a new set of replacement teeth, often in just one appointment. The patient has an initial consultation in which the oral surgeon gathers the information needed to plan the surgery.

After the consultation, the surgeon places the implants, which are then topped with the fabricated arch of replacement teeth. There’s no need for temporary dentures that shift and slide out of place as the patient heals from the bone graft.

Teeth in a day take advantage of the mouth’s remaining jaw bone, rendering the bone graft unnecessary. With teeth in a day, the oral surgeon places a series of four to five implants toward the front of the jaw, where the bone recedes more slowly than in the rear of the mouth. The two outside implants are angled underneath the gum line, which allows them to be longer (and stronger) but still fit into the available bone.

The teeth in a day procedure is based on the same technology as other implants. That is, the implants fuse with the jaw bone, becoming a permanent replacement for the root of the missing tooth. Teeth in a day are appropriate for use in either the upper or lower arch, or both.

Additionally, unlike dentures, the implants prevent further resorption of the jaw bone. Because the shape of the bone is not expected to change over time, the fit of the replacement arch of teeth should remain constant. The teeth in a day procedure are much less invasive than a bone graft, so the healing process is streamlined.

Patients can leave the oral surgeon’s office with a new set of replacement teeth and even eat a soft meal later that evening! If you have been considering dental implants to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, consider Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah:  Judd E Partridge  801-943-8703

Teeth in a Day: Is it Possible? The answer is Yes!

What About Clear Choice Dental Implant Centers?

One of the most frequently asked questions by patients is about Clear Choice dental implant centers, their quality of care, and reputation among dental professionals. Here is what one of the readers asked: “There are really mixed reviews on the quality of care received from Clear Choice Dental Implants. A lot of people state that they feel they were “sold” on the treatment, and that the care itself was not great.  Clear Choice Implant Center heavily spends millions of dollars per year marketing all-on-four, teeth-in-a-day seen on TV and heard on radio stations throughout the U.S.

What patients are saying about corporate Implant Centers.   They were met by a sales person and were pushed hard to sign up for the treatment and pay a deposit. They were not given any treatment options except what they do which is mostly all-on-4, teeth-in-a-day treatment.

There are reports that the centers are very corporate-like and don’t offer an atmosphere for a true multi-specialty team approach. Doctors may be driven into offering all extractions and all implants with few other options. Also because of lack of internal resources for comprehensive dentistry, following completion of patients’ treatment, patients are referred back to their general dentist for cleaning and check ups. . This is of course not a good idea when it comes to continuity of care and taking responsibility for a patient’s care over time.

As a privative practice Implant specialist these corporate implant centers are actually doing a huge favor to potential implant patients on informing them on the possibility of full mouth reconstruction teeth-in-a-day, all-on-four implant treatment.  One major difference between corporate implant centers like clear choice and private practice implant specialist is price!  Who do you think pays for those millions of dollars spend on newspaper, radio and TV ads every year?  The patient of course.   Private Practice Implant Specialists can do the same teeth-in-day implant reconstruction for thousands less.

I suggest all patients ask the right questions when choosing any dentist for their implant care and make decisions based on proper criteria.   After all, the choice may not be so clear!

April is National Facial Protection Month

Get the word out! April is National Facial Protection Month (NFPM), and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), and Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD) are teaming up to remind parents, coaches and athletes to play it safe as young athletes prepare to suit up for recreational and organized sports.

Every year, dentists and dental specialists are called to hospital emergency rooms to treat children who have sustained knocked out teeth, broken jaws and other facial injuries during organized or neighborhood sports activities. For most of these children, these injuries could have been less severe or prevented entirely if they had worn a mouth guard, helmet or other protective head gear.

Wisdom Teeth: Why Do They Become Impacted?

Wisdom teeth are the last set of permanent molars to develop in the mouth. These teeth generally begin to erupt or grow into place between the ages of 16 and 21. By this age, most adults have reached an age of physical maturity and the jaw bone ceases to grow.wisdom-teeth_impacted

It is during this complicated time that the wisdom teeth can become symptomatic. Since these teeth are positioned at the very rear of the mouth, there is often a lack of space to accommodate these teeth. The wisdom teeth also have an inherent tendency to grow sideways, backwards, or even diagonally.
The term “impacted” is really an incomplete description of the condition. Your oral surgeon will need to perform a thorough evaluation using a clinical examination and x-rays in order to determine the status of the teeth. Teeth that are completely encased in the bone are termed “boney impacted.” Teeth that erupt only halfway through the gum tissue and bone are termed “partially impacted.”  A large percentage of the population will be diagnosed with one or more impacted wisdom teeth during their lifetime. Your oral surgeon will need to determine if the impaction poses a risk to your health.
When wisdom teeth are boney impacted and angled towards the neighboring teeth, damage to the surrounding bone and tooth roots can occur. Occasionally, a cyst may develop around the impacted tooth, putting patients at risk for unnecessary health complications. A wisdom tooth that is only partially impacted may be even more troublesome. A tooth that is partially concealed by gum tissue and bone is much more difficult to keep clean. Unfortunately, failing to keep all areas of the mouth free from food particles and plaque bacteria can result in a number of complications. Tooth decay, gum disease, inflammation, and halitosis can become unpleasant and uncomfortable realities.

We may never know exactly why wisdom teeth become impacted. No matter the reason, it is fortunate that your oral surgeon is prepared to address your concerns. To find out if your wisdom teeth have become impacted, contact Wisdom Teeth Specialists of Utah serving Sandy and Salt Lake City residents at 801-943-8703 today.