Q: My 21 year old son needs his lower wisdom teeth removed. The doctor said the roots are so long that they wrap around the nerve that runs through the jawbone, putting him at risk for permanent numbness of his lip, face and chin. What should we do? Gale in Stuart
A: First, congratulations that you have a 21-year-old son that still listens to you. (I’m 48 and still get advice from my mom. I have a sweater on as I type this.) Ask your oral surgeon if he can do a coronectomy. This removes the top part of the wisdom tooth, leaving the roots to rest, deep down in the socket left behind in the mandible (lower jaw). Removal of this “coronal” part of the tooth facilitates orthodontic tooth movement and prevents destruction of the adjacent second molars. The “entombed” roots will gradually rise up, away from the all- important alveolar nerve, which, as you mentioned, supplies sensation to the lip, chin and teeth. Occasionally, the roots over time will rise up to the surface of the gum, resulting in easy, safe removal. If not, they can stay put imbedded in the jawbone, and away from any problems.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Mitchell Josephs will be giving a FREE LECTURE on Incision-Free Dental Implant Surgery, Digital Crowns & Veneers, Choosing a Dental Office and NEW TOPIC: Laser Dentistry, at the Double Tree Hotel, PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday July 13th at 10:00 AM. Attendees will receive a FREE copy of his book: “Tooth Talk”. Only 16 seats remain! Call today to register at 561-832-2917
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Cosmetic, Implant and General Dentistry in Palm Beach and hosts “Tooth Talk” on WBZT AM1230 (www.radiotoothtalk.com) Dr. Mitchell Josephs is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry and completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.
44 Cocoanut Row, Palm Beach, FL 33480
Tags: chin, coronectomy, entombed roots, face, jawbone, lip, lower jaw, mandible, numbness, oral surgeon, roots, wisdom teeth, wisdom tooth