Posts for: June, 2015
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.”
Invisalign Trematment in Worth, IL
Are you considering visiting All Smiles in Worth, IL for Invisalign? Invisalign is a fantastic tooth straightening method that many Worth, IL residents are using with great success. Here are four things you need to consider when determining if Invisalign is right for you.
1. When Do You Want a Beautiful Smile?
Both traditional metal braces and Invisalign will give you an amazing smile - the difference is how long it will take until you can reap the benefits. With traditional metal braces, you have to suffer through a mouth full of metal while you wait. Invisalign aligners from All Smiles in Worth, IL are practically invisible, however, so you don't have to make your smile look worse before it looks better.
2. How Crooked Are Your Teeth?
For extremely crooked teeth, you may want to choose metal braces, which have been shown to be slightly more effective. If your teeth are only a little crooked, however, Invisalign is a great option to get them in line.
3. Are You Committed to Wearing Your Aligners?
In order for your Invisalign aligners to work, you have to commit to wearing them approximately 18 to 22 hours a day. Are you sure you can keep this up? Forget to wear your aligners or cheat on your time and your teeth can start moving back into their original positions fairly quickly. If there's a chance you might not wear them enough, traditional metal braces may be the best way to go.
4. Can You Keep Track of Your Aligners?
Furthermore, are you the forgetful or responsible type? If you are constantly losing things, you may want to opt for traditional metal braces, which can't be lost since you never take them out of your mouth.
While many All Smiles patients choose and love Invisalign, whether traditional metal braces or Invisalign aligners are right for you is a question only you and your dentist can answer. Call All Smiles in Worth, IL and set up an appointment for an Invisalign consultation today!