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Face and Jaw Surgery

Pockets where wisdom teeth were removed.

08/30/2007

Question:

I developed periodontal problems in my twenties that was kept largely under control with regular periodontal cleanings. Recently, one of the pockets of which I had been aware progressed and my dentist called in a periodontist. In doing the checkup, he probed behind my remaining back molars, the spots where my wisdom teeth had been removed years ago. Because they measured 11, he recommended surgery. In none of the examinations I`ve had over the years (I`m 51 now) did anyone probe those particular spots. They`ve never been inflamed or anything and it seems like there`s a significant depression there because the wisdom tooth is gone. Does this sound like a legitimate recommendation?

Answer:

The area behind the second molars is a common place for periodontal problems, particularly because it is hard for anyone to clean back there efficiently.  If you had your wisdom teeth removed a long time ago, then this problem may be completely unrelated.  In terms of treatment for the existing periodontal, this seems pretty standard for 11 mm pockets.  I would have to trust the judgement of the periodontist on that.

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Response by:

Guillermo  E Chacon, DDS Guillermo E Chacon, DDS
Formerly:
Associate Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University