Kate: Rich in Wisdom…Teeth
Kate’s lower molar began hurting not too long ago, so she went to visit her dentist. When her dentist told her she would have to get her wisdom teeth removed, she was filled with fear. From what her peers have told her about their personal wisdom teeth extractions, she was not looking forward to going through the same ordeal. Kate went to a different dentist for a second opinion and was told that she does not have to get her wisdom teeth removed. These two different responses can be very puzzling, so let’s take a more in-depth look into wisdom teeth!
◇ Wisdom Tooth- a name that sounds cool but is actually scary. Why are these teeth named wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25, late compared to the rest of our adult teeth. In Korea, it is said that you learn about love between the ages of 17 and 25, so instead of calling them “wisdom teeth”, they are called “love teeth”. In America, they are called “wisdom teeth” because it is believed that people because more knowledgeable and wiser between the ages of 17 and 25. Scientifically speaking, wisdom teeth are called the third molars.
◇ Does everyone have wisdom teeth?
No, not everyone grows wisdom teeth. Evolutionarily speaking, the human jawbone was very large and people had a total of 12 molars, used for grinding up grains and meat. The excessive use of their molars grinding up food has refined the teeth over time, resulting in the molars we have now. Due to the continuous use of our molars, our “third molars” or “wisdom teeth” are gradually degenerating. In Korea, about 7% of the adult population does not have wisdom teeth at all. The number of wisdom tooth eruptions varies from one to four teeth per person.
◇ “But it doesn’t hurt….” Can we just keep our wisdom teeth?
For those who do have wisdom teeth, it is not necessary to get them removed. If your wisdom teeth are not impacting your other teeth, you just need to maintain them. The reason some people get them removed is because the gums around the wisdom tooth can become inflamed, which can cause tooth decay. If the upper and lower teeth are not aligned, that can also cause pain or discomfort. There are times when wisdom teeth grow in the jaw space, which can lead to gum inflammation and jawbone cysts. It is best to remove wisdom teeth as soon as possible so you do not run into problems later.
◇ Are there different types of wisdom teeth?
◇ Is a CT or Pano image better for wisdom teeth extractions?
Our mouth is three-dimensional. Pano images are good for determining the order and distance between structures, and for clinically identifying important structures, such as the maxillary sinus or neural tube, but a CT image is preferred over Pano images. If you look at the image below, it shows the relationships between tooth structures A, B, and C.
◇ What is Vatech’s CT equipment like?
Both of the clinics that I visited used Vatech’s 3D devices and both dentists agreed that their satisfied with the CT image quality. -Kate
It is reported that dentist dedicated Vatech CT can accurately diagnose issues pertaining to the nerves near the wisdom tooth, which can be very useful in either extracting the tooth or for implanting procedures. Vatech also possesses the technology to quickly take CT scans in order that patients do not have to stand motionlessly for too long, which allows for good quality scans to be taken.
◇ Beyond “Technology”, putting “Patients” ahead
It’s not all about the quality of the scans. Vatech is a company that focuses on the technology to reduce the dosage of radiation. Theoretically, as more X-ray radiation is applied, the sharper the image is produced.
However, that can be harmful for the patients. Especially when taken repeatedly. Vatech developed high sensitivity/high resolution detectors and noise reduction algorithms to develop the Green CT. It reduces the exposure dosage up to 75% but also maintains a high-resolution image quality which is comparable to other existing products. Thanks to Vatech Network’s philosophy, perhaps going to the dentist can actually be enjoyable.