Ariana Grande Breaks Free – of Her Wisdom Teeth

Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”

With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will “wisdom teeth removal” become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.

Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.

But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.

In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.

So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”

We may Still be Able to Save Your Tooth with a Root Canal Alternative

Your tooth is in peril if its innermost layer, the pulp, becomes infected and inflamed. Deep tooth decay, repeated dental procedures or fractures can all expose the pulp and ultimately the roots to infection and lead to tooth loss.

But that scenario isn’t inevitable — we can often save the tooth with a root canal treatment. By accessing the tooth’s interior through a prepared hole, we’re able to clean out the infected tissue in the pulp chamber and root canals, and fill the empty space with a special filling. We then cap the tooth with a custom crown to protect it from a re-infection.

Root canal treatments have a very high success rate — chances are good your tooth will survive for many years afterward. But there’s a slight chance the tooth may become re-infected; in that case, a second root canal treatment may be in order.

In a few cases, though, a second root canal may not be advisable, and could even accelerate damage to the tooth. For example, if past dental work resulted in an extensive crown restoration, accessing the root canals the conventional way will require disassembling that restoration. This could weaken the tooth significantly.

We can approach the problem from a different route: instead of accessing the tooth’s interior through the crown (the visible part of the tooth), we instead perform a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy, which accesses the tooth at the root end through the gums.

In this procedure we numb the area with local anesthesia and then make a small incision through the gums at the level of the affected root. After access, we remove any diseased tissue around the root and a few millimeters of the root tip itself. We then insert a small filling in its place to seal the canal and prevent further infection. In some cases we may also insert a graft to encourage bone growth and aid in healing.

Over time, the affected area will heal and return to normal function. Even if a traditional root canal treatment can’t be used, an apicoectomy could be another option for saving your tooth.

If you would like more information on your options for preserving a problem tooth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Apicoectomy.”

What Dental Implants Could Do for You?

Tooth loss can easily be a thing of the past when you choose dental implants.

Losing a tooth, while a common part of childhood, shouldn’t be a common part of adulthood. However, there are certain issues that can arise that could cause tooth loss. Instead of spending your days afraid to smile, isn’t it time you talked to the professionals, at Northland dental implantsDental Centre in London, ON, about whether dental implants are the right restoration for you?

Implants Replace Teeth for Life

When deciding on the right dental restoration for you, one thing to keep in mind is that dental implants offer a wide variety of benefits that other treatments don’t. For one, the implant itself is durable and resilient enough to last the rest of your life, if you maintain good oral hygiene.

When you get a dental implant in London, which is made from a biocompatible metal like titanium, it is placed into the jawbone to act like tooth roots. Over time, the implant begins to bond with the bone and tissue to become a fixed part of your smile.

Implants Improve Jaw Health

Losing a tooth doesn’t just affect your smile’s appearance, but also the health of your whole mouth. Not only is there a gap where your tooth once was, there is also an empty area of the jawbone that isn’t being stimulated by tooth roots. Over time, the jawbone will start to deteriorate unless there is something to replace the tooth. This is where the dental implant comes in. This implant will actually not only prevent deterioration but also stimulate the growth of new cells, keeping your jaw healthy and happy.

Protect Healthy Teeth

All your teeth work together to support each other. So, when you lose even one tooth it can cause the other teeth to shift out of place. This, in turn, can affect the alignment of your teeth, which can cause excessive wear and tear on your teeth and even affect what foods you can eat. But by placing a dental implant, you don’t have to worry about teeth shifting around.

Contact Your London, ON Dentists

If you are considering dental implants, contact the professionals at Northland Dental Centre in London, ON at (519) 445-2551.