Posts for tag: wisdom teeth

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
November 10, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
ArianaGrandeBreaksFree-ofHerWisdomTeeth

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.”

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
April 27, 2016
Category: Dental Health

Ready to find out if oral surgery is the next best dental option for you?

Did your Pasadena periodontist Dr. Peter Cooper mention oral surgery the last time you came into the office for your routine cleaning? oral surgeryThere are many situations in which oral surgery is the best option for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. Find out more about the issues that oral surgery can handle and why it might be right for you.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Often times this third and final set of molars to erupt don’t actually erupt properly or fully. If this happens to you this means you are dealing with impacted wisdom teeth. Molars that only partially emerge from the gums leave an opening in the gums where food, plaque and bacteria can get trapped. Over time, this increases your chances of developing issues such as cavities, gum disease or an infection.

Problematic wisdom teeth can also affect the health of neighboring teeth and bones. If this is something you are dealing with then your general dentist in Pasadena will recommend that you get these teeth extracted.

Tooth Loss

No one wants to face tooth loss but millions of Americans are missing one or more permanent teeth. If you are dealing with this issue we have the solution for you! Dental implants are a long-term restoration for replacing one or more missing teeth. What makes implants so popular is that they offer so many aesthetic and functional benefits that other tooth replacements can’t. When you opt for dental implants, the implant will need to be surgically placed into the jawbone so it can fuse together with the bone to become one.

Dental implants are used to hold everything from a single dental crown to a full set of dentures. If you are dealing with tooth loss then it’s time to find out if you should consider getting dental implants in Pasadena.

Gum Disease

While some cases of gum disease can be treated non-surgically, there are some more severe or unresponsive cases that require surgery in order to improve gum health. Known as flap surgery, this procedure lifts the gums away to remove tartar buildup and to smooth surfaces to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that could cause further issues.

If you are dealing with any of these problems isn’t it time you found out your treatment options? Call Pasadena Dental Implants and schedule a consultation with Dr. Cooper today!

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
June 01, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
NeilPatrickHarrisWhattheOscarsHostTreasuresMost

A few days before the Oscars, Vanity Fair magazine asked Academy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris to name his most treasured possession. Was it his Tony award statuette for best leading actor in a musical? His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? The stethoscope he wore while playing teenaged doctor Doogie Howser on TV? No, as it turns out, the 41-year-old actor’s most treasured possession is… his wisdom teeth. Yes, you read that correctly. “Oddly, I still have my four wisdom teeth,” Harris said. “I refuse to let them go or I’ll lose my wise parts.”

How odd is it for a 41-year-old to have wisdom teeth? Actually, not that odd at all. While it is true that wisdom teeth are often removed, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this. It all depends on whether they are causing problems now, or are likely to cause problems in the future.

The trouble wisdom teeth cause is related to the fact that they are the last molars to come in, and that molars are large in size. By the time wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17 and 21, there often is not enough room for them in the jaw. Sometimes it’s because you may have inherited a jaw size that’s too small for your tooth size; and generally speaking, the size of the human jaw has evolved to become smaller over time.

If room is lacking, the adjacent molar (that came in earlier) can interfere with the path of eruption — causing the wisdom tooth to come in at an odd angle. The wisdom tooth can hit up against that other tooth, possibly causing pain or damaging the adjacent tooth. This is known as “impaction.” Sometimes the wisdom tooth breaks only partway through the gum tissue, leaving a space beneath the gum line that’s almost impossible to clean, causing infection. A serious oral infection can jeopardize the survival of teeth, and even spread to other parts of the body.

If a wisdom tooth is impacted, will you know it? Not necessarily. A tooth can be impacted without causing pain. But we can see the position of your wisdom teeth on a dental x-ray and help you make an informed decision as to whether they should stay or go. If removal is the best course of action, rest assured that this procedure is completely routine and that your comfort and safety is our highest priority. If there is no great risk to keeping them, as Neil Patrick Harris has done, we can simply continue to monitor their condition at your regular dental checkups. It will be particularly important to make sure you are reaching those teeth with your brush and floss, and that you keep to your schedule of regular professional cleanings at the dental office. All healthy teeth are indeed worth treasuring.

If you would like more information about wisdom teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”



Pasadena, CA Periodontist
Pasadena Dental Implants
175 S. El Molino, Suite 4
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 796-1241

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