All About Wisdom Teeth

wisdom teeth sharma oral surgery charlotte nc

WONDERING WHEN IT'S TIME TO GET YOUR WISDOM TEETH OUT? OR, WHY YOU SHOULD EVEN HAVE THEM REMOVED IN THE FIRST PLACE? LET’S GO OVER A FEW REASONS AND SIGNS THAT IT’S TIME TO GET THOSE THIRD MOLARS OUT.

1.   Preventive

One reason to have your wisdom teeth removed - to prevent issues from even arising. Getting wisdom teeth, or third molars, out before the become a “problem” can save you from a slew of issues down the road.

2.   Damage to Other Teeth

Did you know that your wisdom teeth can cause damage to surrounding teeth? That extra set of molars can push your other teeth around - causing mouth pain and bite problems.

3.   Alignment

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems with crowding of other teeth and even make treatment to straighten other teeth necessary. You do not want your wisdom teeth to crowd your mouth and throw off the alignment of your smile.

4.   Sinus Issues

Complications from wisdom teeth can lead to sinus issues like pain, pressure and congestion.

5. Inflamed Gums and Cavities

Tissues around your wisdom teeth can swell and may be hard to clean. Swollen gums can create pockets between teeth that help bacteria grow and cavities form.

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If you feel like you have been experiencing any of these issues, or want to prevent them before they start, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sharma to evaluate your wisdom teeth.

Oral Cavity Cancers – What Is It and Risk Factors

Did you know - April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

One type of cancer we see the most of in our office, and have helped patients treat, are Oral Cavity Cancers. In our office, when a suspicious oral lesion is found, a biopsy is often used to detect or rule out oral cancer — a disease that is treatable if caught early. A biopsy involves removing a very small tissue sample for laboratory analysis.

There are generally three types of tumors that can develop in the oral cavity:

  • Benign Growths
    These are not cancer – they do no spread to other parts of the body or invade other tissues

  • Pre-Cancerous Conditions
    Harmless growths that can turn into cancer overtime

  • Cancer
    These are growths that can spread to other parts of the body and grow into other tissues

While anyone is at risk for oral cancer, there are a few factors that can put individuals at a higher risk. 80% of oral cancer is linked to tobacco use – including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff. The best way to eliminate this risk is to cut out the use of tobacco products completely.

Poor nutrition and oral hygiene practices also can put an individual at a higher risk for oral cancer. Diet wise, be sure to include an ample amount of fruits and vegetables into your everyday diet. Additionally, practicing simple oral health habits such as proper brushing, flossing, and routine cleanings will reduce your risk of oral cancer.

A few other factors are gender, age, and exposure to UV light.

How to Diagnose

Early signs of oral cancer can seem like typical problems – such as a toothache or cold. If symptoms persist for several weeks or months, it is important to see your doctor so that, if oral cancer is present, it may be diagnosed as soon as possible

  • Some of the most common oral cancer symptoms and signs include:

  • Persistent mouth sore that does not heal 

  • Persistent mouth pain

  • A lump or thickening in the cheek

  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth

  • A sore throat or persistent feeling that something is caught in the throat

  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing

  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue

  • Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth

  • Jaw swelling that makes dentures hurt or fit poorly

  • Loosening of the teeth

  • Pain in the teeth or jaw

  • Voice changes

  • A lump in the neck

  • Weight loss

  • Persistent bad breath

If any of these symptoms appear or persist for weeks, your doctor may recommend tests to check for oral cancer. Here at Sharma Oral Surgery – we examine each patient and take a biopsy, if necessary, so we can treat the problem correctly and effectively.

Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns, 704-541-6070.

 

Why Sharma Oral Surgery?

Maybe you’ve wondered, who is Dr. Sharma? What is it he does exactly? Why should I go to Sharma Oral Surgery?

Well, let me, Dr. Priveer Sharma, tell you a bit about ourselves.

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Meet the Doctor
I have been a practicing oral surgeon for 22 years now, 15 of those years being right here in Charlotte. My wife and I are the proud parents of our daughter Divya, who is playing tennis this year at Washington University, and our son Daiven, who is still in high school also playing tennis. We are proud to be a part of the South Charlotte community and call this neighborhood home.

I am a graduate of the University of Florida for both my undergraduate degree as well as my dental school education. After that, I completed surgical training at the Washington Hospital Center and Children's Medical Center in Washington DC.

I pride myself on being a board certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon and a diplomat of the Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.  I am also a member of the Charlotte Dental Society and the North Carolina Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Additionally, I am an advocate for continuous learning. I am the director of the Outer Loop Education Study Club, an affiliate of the Seattle Study Club, which actively provides national, regional, and local continuing education to the dental community of Charlotte.

What is an Oral Surgeon

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An oral surgeon is a dental specialist – meaning they took an added four to six years of training after dental school. An oral surgeon focuses on performing dental surgical procedures.  These procedures include simple and complicated teeth extractions (including wisdom teeth), dental implant placement, repair of broken bones in the jaws and face, removal of cysts and tumors of the jaws, soft tissue biopsies, jaw realignment surgery to correct bite discrepancies, and cosmetic and TMJ surgeries.

Oral surgeons routinely perform procedures like those listed above. They are also trained and exposed to a variety of complications that may arise from performing these dental surgical procedures. Typically, your family dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon when they see one of these conditions arise. However, it is important you see a surgeon you feel like you can trust.

Why Sharma Oral Surgery

At Sharma Oral Surgery, we are committed to a singular promise of caring for you by supporting an outstanding facility with highly trained individuals. Every member of our team is dedicated to you understanding every step of your care while seamlessly coordinating your treatment.

You will see the motto “Caring is Our Reputation” on some of our advertisements as well as our website – but it is so much more than a motto. We are committed to caring for patients in the safest possible manner with the highest surgical standards. 

We are so happy to be a part of this community and strive every day to continue to not only provide the care you deserve, but to be an exceptional neighbor.

Dental Hygiene and Our Genetics

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Our dental hygiene and the health of our gums seems like a simple part of our dental care. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as two cleanings a year. Patients will often ask, why do I need to do more? Why do I have gum disease? Why am I losing my teeth?

So many factors can affect the health of our gums. Sometimes our own genetics effect our ability to keep our mouth healthy.

Do you know your Biotype? Your Biotype is determined by your genetics. Your Biotype is the best indicator of your ability to resist gum issues. What is a biotype? Your Biotype is a measurement of the thickness and elasticity of your gums. Biotypes are measured as Thin-Medium-Thick. A thin Biotype can be thought of as wrapping a gift in tissue paper, and the gift is your teeth. A medium Biotype can be thought of wrapping with wrapping paper. A thick Biotype can be thought of as wrapping a paper in cotton sheets.

If you know your genetic Biotype, you would know how to hold your gift, which is your dental health. Do you have to care for the gift with the worry that it might tear or can you pack it with your suitcase and know it will be fine?

Next time you are at the dentist, ask your hygienist what your Biotype is and begin to understand how your genetics can dictate what you and your dentist have to do to maintain your dental health.

A Note From Dr. Priveer Sharma

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Big data is a very helpful tool in healthcare. It allows patients and doctors to evaluate treatment, treatment options, and the outcomes. Big data allows everyone to look beyond themselves and their specific situation. 

From real-time results and instant access to your doctor - big data has made getting healthcare information as instant as sending out a tweet.

This has also played a role in how new findings in the health and dental field are shared with the public. With many journals now going digital, patients have instant access to hundreds of medical resources right at their fingertips.

For example, Orthodontic care has become more and more common in the United States. The continued influence of not removing teeth and creating big, broad smiles when teeth are crowded or crooked has an effect on the last teeth to grow in, the second and third molars.

A large, multi-institutional meta-analysis evaluated this situation and found that 87 percent of patients that did not have teeth removed as part of their orthodontic treatment did not have enough space for their wisdom teeth to fit in their mouth at the age of 18 years old and should be evaluated to understand what the potential impact this might have in their mouth.

Big data can make information available so that all patients can understand the impact of decisions that they make several years prior to a problem occurring - like not having enough room for your wisdom teeth.

There are several benefits to big data being implemented in the healthcare field.

1.    Patients Predictions for an Improved Staffing
It’s a question all medical professionals face – how many people do I need to staff at any given time? You do not want to be overstaffed, besides the extra labor costs, employees do not want to feel like they are not needed or wanted during their shifts. Additionally, you do not want to be understaffed and face any customer service or emergency situations. A Forbes article details how four hospitals which are part of the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris have been using data from a variety of sources to come up with daily and hourly predictions of how many patients are expected to be at each hospital. Forbes states: “The result is a web browser-based interface designed to be used by doctors, nurses and hospital administration staff – untrained in data science – to forecast visit and admission rates for the next 15 days. Extra staff can be drafted in when high numbers of visitors are expected, leading to reduced waiting times for patients and better quality of care.”

2.    Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
This is probably the most widespread use of big data in medicine. Each patient has their own record, now in many cases digitally, that allow doctors to see all their information in one place. Every record is comprised of one modifiable file, which means that doctors can implement changes over time with no paperwork and no danger of data replication. These files are also able to be shared between medical professionals for when patients need to be referred elsewhere. It makes the transition quick an easy. 

3.    Enhancing Patient Engagement
Several patients already use or have an interest in smart devices that track their movement, heart rate, sleeping habits, etc. Tracking this data can help identify potential health risks the patient may not have been aware of before. 

4.    Telemedicine
With instant access to technology right at our fingertips, medical advice and even consultations are available right from our homes. Either through video conferencing, phone calls, or even text messages – doctors are able to consult, monitor and educate their patients without a formal office visit. 

While these are just a few of the examples of how big data is being utilized in the healthcare field, we are seeing new things each and every day that will only improve the care we give to our patients.
 

Facts About Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth removal gets brought up, what generally comes to mind? Getting your wisdom teeth taken out for many young adults has become the norm. Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars develop between 17 and 25 years old. Read a few fun key pieces of information about wisdom teeth. 

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Fun Facts

Wisdom teeth get their nickname because of the time they develop. Today we don't require wisdom teeth in order to survive, which is why we are able to get them removed. Did you know that in 35% of today’s population wisdom teeth don't even appear? There is a lot of history behind wisdom teeth. In-fact it's believed by biological anthropologists that the duty of wisdom teeth was to grind down high fiber foods such as roots, leaves, nuts and meats that were regularly consumed by prehistoric humans as a part of their diet. 

Is It a Must to Get Wisdom Teeth Removed? 

According to AAOMS, also known as the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, it will be necessary for 85% of today’s population to get their wisdom teeth removed. Although you may think there is no urgency or need to get your wisdom teeth removed, there are in-fact several reasons as to why you should. For example: 

Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth live embedded in your gums. If teeth are unable to emerge properly, they'll eventually be impacted into the jaw. This could result in multiple things like infection, affected bone support, or even the ability for a cyst to form, which is harmful to the roots of your other teeth. 

Partially Erupted Wisdom Teeth
Partially erupted wisdom teeth will make it more difficult to keep the tooth and surrounding teeth properly clean. This can allow bacteria to become trapped, which can cause an oral infection or gum disease. 

Although it's recommended to get your wisdom teeth removed, if your wisdom teeth are healthy, fully erupted, properly cleaned to continue great oral hygiene and are in the correct position, it's okay to live with your wisdom teeth. 

When it's time to get your wisdom teeth removed contact Sharma Oral Surgery located in South Charlotte. Call 704.541.6070 and consult with a professional today; one of our skilled team members will be happy to answer any questions. 

All About Dental Implants

Of all the ways modern dentistry has to replace missing teeth, dental implants are by far the best. There is no tooth-replacement option that will give you a longer-lasting result. Implants also help preserve tooth-supporting bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost. Loss of bone is one of the major hidden consequences of losing teeth.

A dental implant most often takes the form of a small, screw-shaped titanium post that replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. The surgical procedure used to place an implant is actually quite minor and routine, requiring only local anesthesia in most cases. After a healing period, the implant is topped with a lifelike crown custom-made to match your existing natural teeth. Implants have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option.


How Implants Work

During a minor surgical procedure, your dental implant is inserted directly into the jawbone in the space vacated by the missing tooth. It will then be left to heal for a period of months before the final crown is attached. During this healing period, the implant actually fuses to the bone surrounding it.


Tooth Replacement Options Using Dental Implants

Implants can replace missing teeth in a variety of ways. They can be used to:

Replace One Tooth 

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When you have one tooth missing, a single implant is inserted into the bone to replace the root part of that tooth; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth. Even if the initial cost is slightly higher than other options, it is the most cost-effective solution over time. An implant will never decay or need root canal treatment, and feels just like the tooth that was there.

Replace Multiple Teeth 

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When you have more than one tooth missing, implants provide an ideal replacement mechanism. You don't even need one implant for every missing tooth. Instead, implant teeth can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, we can place two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath. That way, you won't need to use any of your remaining natural teeth as bridge supports, which could weaken them and make them more susceptible to decay.

Replace All Teeth Permanently

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Implants can support an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth that are fixed into the mouth and are never removed. Sometimes the new teeth can be supported by as few as 4 implants. It's comparable to the structure of a table, which only needs 4 legs to hold it up. In cases where jawbone density and volume have deteriorated, 5 or 6 implants might be needed to support a row of 10 to 12 teeth. Dental implant replacement teeth protect your jawbone, won't slip, and should last a lifetime.

Support Removable Dentures 

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Implants can even make removable dentures more comfortable, effective and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures rest on the gums and put pressure on the underlying bone. This accelerates bone loss so that the jaw shrinks and the dentures slip, particularly on the bottom. But today dentists can attach a removable denture onto implants, transferring that pressure into the bone structure rather than the bone surface. This prevents the dentures from slipping while you eat and speak, and preserves the bone directly beneath them.


Implant Care and Maintenance

There are only two ways an implant can lose attachment to the bone and fail once it has successfully fused: poor oral hygiene or excessive biting forces. Poor oral hygiene and/or a lack of regular cleanings can lead to a destructive bacterial infection called peri-implantitis. Flossing and brushing your teeth on a daily basis, along with regular professional cleanings, can prevent this. Excessive biting forces can come from either a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, or an insufficient number of implants to handle the forces generated by your bite. You should receive the correct number of implants so this does not happen. And if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, a nightguard will be recommended to protect your implants. After all, implants are a long-term investment in your smile, your health and your well-being, so it's best to protect your investment.


If you have any questions about dental implants or interested in seeing if this is the right treatment for you - please give us a call at 704-541-6070 to set up a consultation with Dr. Sharma.