My Blog

January 18, 2018
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Often patients will say that root canals do not work.  As an implant surgeon you may think that I would like that statement.  The reality is that I do not care for that statement at all.  I do not like that comment because what it means is a loss of faith or trust in dentistry and what we recommend as professionals.  Root canals or endodontics are an important part of dentistry.  To allow a patient to base a decision on treatment because of an opinion that is not true just diminishes my credibility and motives.

The facts about root canals unfortunately are not often well understood by a patient.  The result is that treatment decisions are not always based on statistics and the likelihood of success.  Root canals cannot always work.  The indication for a root canal cannot be made just on a desire to save a tooth.  The literature has identified some very specific parameters that should be considered when deciding to have a root canal.

Did you know that when a root canal is done with a microscope and proper lighting with a structurally sound tooth that the success rate is 95% were as one completed without a microscope the success can fall as low as 53%.  Unfortunately, the root canals completed without a microscope may take a year before detectable symptoms arise.  In addition to this it has been reported that if bone is lost at the apex (end of the root) of a tooth the chance of success can drop as much as an additional 20%.  Taking these two statistics in mind it is not hard to see how the success of a root canal in certain situations can fall as low as 33%.  Who can fault the patient that has experienced 2 out of 3 root canals failing.  I believe the issue is not the root canal or the patient but the expectations created in certain situations when treatment is initiated.

The final contributor to this misconception is that patients are often made to believe that a root canal is a permanent solution.  This is not true.  Nothing in dentistry is permanent.  Root canals can extend the function and retention of a tooth on average 15 years.  Therefore, someone obtaining a perfect root canal under perfect conditions at 25 years old should not be upset if they lose that tooth at 45 years old.  The root canal lasted longer than expected.  Root canal life can be maximized if a patient and dentist work together to protect the tooth from the most common cause of failure in this situation, caries or fractures.  Both problems do not result because of the failure of the root canal but due to loss of mechanical or structural integrity of the tooth.  This can happen with a root canal verse another tooth because of our bodies natural protective stimulation, sensation has been removed and a patient does not know that the damage had occurred until after it happens.

Root canals have a place in dentistry.  Hopefully if you need a root canal you will be able to assess your risks and potential for success honestly, and if you have a root canal you will understand why it is so important to have it checked out.

Our goal at Sharma Oral Surgery to provide the highest standard of care.  We look forward to being your choice for dental implants and more.

November 13, 2017
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One of the most common questions a parent has after a child completes orthodontic care is “will orthodontics affect their child’s ability to have wisdom teeth come in”?  As we see patients during their fall and winter breaks we wanted to take a moment to address this question.

For most children orthodontics is complete before wisdom teeth begin to erupt and final growth of the jaws is complete.  This often makes it hard to know if enough space exists for wisdom teeth to fit in a mouth. Most orthodontics are not concerned with the development of wisdom teeth because they know that 87% of wisdom teeth will not have enough space once the remaining teeth are straightened and position is idealized.  Since statistically 9 out 10 patients will need to have their wisdom teeth removed there is no need to extend orthodontic care to ensure that wisdom teeth are straight.  This simple fact is often not shared at the start of orthodontic care or the completion because there may be several years between completion of orthodontics and when this reality can be confirmed.

A second part of this story is that since orthodontics are already a substantial financial and time commitment the need to share that future care may need to be considered is better let addressed when the situation is known for sure.  To clarify wisdom teeth development typically will not affect the position of orthodontically corrected teeth.  Orthodontically corrected teeth occupy space the wisdom teeth will not move the teeth that they properly position especially when proper retention is utilized.  The issue with a lack of space results in other dental problems.  Conditions that are not related to tooth movement which is the primary concern of an orthodontist.

If you are concerned about the need for wisdom teeth removal call our Ballantyne office today 704.541.6070.

October 16, 2017
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dental implants charlotte


The loss of a tooth may not seem like a big deal.  In fact, many people often choose not to replace a tooth when it is lost.  This decision is often for common reasons; it aesthetically does not show, their chewing is not affected by the loss of the tooth,  they are scared to replace it, and/or they don't want to spend the money.  All of these are vaild reasons to that individual.  I wonder however, if they would feel the same if they knew that losing the tooth would result in the creation of other problems...

I believe most people think that once they lose a tooth that the problem they were having is solved.  As an oral surgeon for over 20 years I see patients all the time that think this and I feel our team has the knowledge to help them understand the truth.  The loss of a tooth does not stop there.  The research shows that when we lose a first molar (basically any tooth other than your second or third molars which are the last 2 in the mouth) that problem will occur within the next 10 years. When a patient does nothing and just leaves a gap 12-18% will have problems with shifting of teeth resulting in an altered ability to chew in that area.  They will also be more prone to periodontal disease, and wtih the increased difficulty of cleaning the area adjacent teeth are more prone to cavities.  I agree that 12-18% may be a small number but it does not stop there. For patients that decide to fill the space with a partial they need to appreciate that they are at risk of losing additional teeth 22-28% because of the partial and how it attaches, the ability to keep the remaining teeth clean and cavity free.  Lastly,  the patient that chooses to fill the space with a bridge has an 8-12% chance of losing additional teeth because one of the crowns holding it in fails.

At Sharma Oral Surgery in Charlotte, NC we want all of our patients to be educated on the risks associated with not taking the proper steps to replace a missing tooth.  We value our patients and our referring doctors and want every patient to be educated on the facts so that they can be make the decision for replacement.  Dental implants offer the most natural solution without directly compromising other teeth.  Call our office today to schedule your consult 704.541.6070.


August 21, 2017
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It's a common question in the dental office and Sharma Oral Surgery has an answer.  Take a moment to learn the importance of this particular X-ray (panorex) at 14 years of age and beyond.

Third molar development begins between 12-14 years old.  Monitoring third molar development and the development of the jaws and face is important because coordinated growth is necessary to allow for the teeth to form properly.  The eruption (coming into the mouth)  of these teeth can occur from 14 - 22 years old.   Every person is different just like every person has growth spurts at different ages.  Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to come into the mouth.  Because they erupt last they can have issues with having enough room, damaging other teeth, forming cysts, and impingement of other important anatomic structures like nerves and sinuses.

The exact time that they develop is different and needs to be monitored for the protection of the child's jaws and teeth. This can be monitored with a panorex X-ray.  The problem a growing child has that once the child has a growth spurt or the tooth develops, the undesired complications could have already occurred. Annual X-rays are needed at this time to monitor for situation until development is complete or the necessity for removal of the teeth is established. If we could predict when a child is going to have a growth spurt or when a third molar is going to develop then we could limit frequency of when panorex are indicated.  

For many insurance companies these issues are not a concern and real time evaluations are not necessary since so many times their allowance for care are based on the existence of problems that have already occurred.  Preventative measures are not always indicated especially when symptoms from complications can be delayed in presentation.

Not sure if your child needs their wisdom teeth removed?  Call our office today to schedule an evaluation at 704.541.6070.

July 19, 2017
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How To Overcome Dental Anxiety

Let’s be honest most people would rather be sailing in a yacht or relaxing on a tropical island over a trip to the dentist, yet alone a visit to the oral surgeon.  Sharma Oral Surgery has a few tips to help overcome any dental anxiety you have.  These tips have proven to help our patients time and time again.

It’s All About Time

A great way to eliminate stress is simply arriving early to your appointment.  Running late causes extra stress and our team works to ensure we keep our patients seen on time as well.

Talk To Us

We encourage all of our patients to talk with both Dr. Sharma and his team.  Sometimes the easiest way to overcome your fears is to talk through them.  With years of experience and thousands of satisfied patients we have answered almost every question imaginable.

Sedation Surgery

While we offer several types of sedation services for different surgical procedures our goal is to make every patient comfortable while keeping patient safety our number one concern.  The use of sedation for procedures allows for our patients to be comfortable and provide services for complex procedures without a patient having extra stress for those procedures that require additional time.

We gladly invite you to tour our facility.  Our team is both knowledgeable and caring.  For more information or to schedule an office tour please call our office at 704.541.6070.

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