Case of the month: The power of 3D imaging
The power of 3D imaging for the safety of third molar removal (wisdom tooth removal)
A patient presented for the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth. Such case is quiet common as 90% of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Impacted third molars are teeth at the back of the mouth that don’t have enough room to emerge or grow normally. The teeth either become stuck under the gum or are only able to partially break through it. As a result, this can cause feelings of pain, damage other teeth and lead to other dental problems. In such instances, impacted third molars need to be removed.
The sign of concern: Impacted wisdom tooth at close proximity to the inferior alveolar nerve. Injuring this nerve is a risk associated with the performance of oral and maxillofacial surgeries including wisdom tooth removal, dental implant placement and orthognathic surgery.
When conventional X-ray images show signs of concern, the team of surgeons at Seaforth Oral Surgery uses 3D imagining for better prediction, better diagnosis and to ensure safety of procedure.
Description of images
Image A. A panoramic X-ray demonstrating the presence of an impacted third molar in the lower left mandible, which seems to be at close proximity to the inferior alveolar nerve (arrow points to impacted wisdom tooth)
Image B. Demonstration of the cross sectional image of the Computerized Tomography scan (CT scan), obtained to better identify the location of the nerve with regards to the tooth. The arrow points to the location where we can see the alveolar nerve and the root of the tooth.
Image C. On this scan image, the alveolar nerve is highlighted in orange. This dot illustrates it’s location.
Image D. With 3D simulation or virtual modelling, we are able to produce this 3D image to demonstrate the actual relationship between the nerve and the impacted tooth.
“The power of 3D imaging allows for safe and predictable surgical removal of the tooth. This helps diminish the risks of complications. Most importantly, it helps us provide the best possible care to our patients!” Dr. Marc Shenouda
The impacted wisdom tooth was safely removed by Dr. Marc Shenouda.
And this was a case worth sharing!
Ps. Did you know that your wisdom teeth must be professionally examined regularly and X-rays should be
taken every year to make sure that your teeth and gum tissue are healthy?
Contact us today to book a consultation!