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David J. Campbell DDS
7110 Highland Road
White Lake, MI 48383
(248) 887-8387
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Posts for: February, 2016

By David J. Campbell DDS
February 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

Find out some of the most common warning signs that wisdom teeth need to be extracted.

When wisdom teeth start to come in, it can be challenging to know whether your teen will need to have their teeth out. But when they come in for their six-month visits, your White Lake, MI family dentist, Dr. David Campbell, would be happy to examine this last set of Wisdom Teethmolars to determine if they need to come out soon. Find out why wisdom teeth so often need to be removed and whether there is a better time for an extraction.

While wisdom teeth don’t always need to be removed if they fully erupt, are healthy and don’t cause issues for the rest of your smile, most of the time these molars don’t have enough room to properly come in. This can cause other issues for surrounding teeth and your bite.

Your dentist in White Lake will often recommend that your teen have their wisdom teeth out if they are dealing with any of these dental issues as a result of these teeth coming in:

  • Tumors
  • Damage to neighboring teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Pain
  • Persistent infections around the tooth
  • Cysts
  • Impacted wisdom teeth (teeth that don’t fully erupt through the gums)
  • Wisdom teeth that grow near the nerves of the jaw

It isn’t always clear whether wisdom teeth need to be removed, so it’s always best to talk to your general dentist in White Lake to find out if your wisdom teeth are healthy or if they will need to be extracted. You may not even be experiencing any problem yet, but if your wisdom teeth are already erupting crooked or may cause issues in the future we will recommend removing them. After all, we want you to maintain a healthy smile for the rest of your life.

If it’s time to schedule your child’s next six-month cleaning or if you want to talk to our White Lake, MI general dentist, Dr. Campbell, about your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to call our office today and schedule that much-needed appointment.


By David J. Campbell DDS
February 20, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
ArianaGrandeBreaksFree-ofHerWisdomTeeth

Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”

With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.

Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.

But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.

In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.

So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”


ClosingtheGapBetweenFrontTeethCanCreateaMoreAttractiveSmile

Many otherwise attractive smiles have one noticeable blemish — a large gap between the two upper front teeth. If you have such a gap, there’s a solution that could transform your smile.

The most likely reason for the gap is an issue with a bit of muscle tissue between the gums and upper lip known as the frenum, part of the face’s muscular system. The frenum, though, can overdevelop and grow between the two front teeth into the front part of the palate (roof of the mouth). This can keep or push the teeth apart to form a gap.

To correct the issue, it’s first necessary to consult with an orthodontist, a specialist in bites and tooth alignment. It’s possible for there to be other factors contributing to the spacing including tongue thrusting or finger sucking habits, or missing or misaligned teeth. If the examination reveals an overly large frenum, then the treatment usually commences in two stages.

First, we would need to close the gap by the moving the teeth toward each other with some form of orthodontic appliance like braces or clear aligners. Once closed, the next stage would be to surgically remove the excess frenum tissue and cosmetically alter the gums if necessary.

The order of treatment is important — if you remove the frenum tissue first, any resulting scar tissue could prevent closing the gap with orthodontics. Further, cosmetic surgery on the gums beforehand could result in the loss of the papillae, the small triangular gum tissue between teeth, which results in an unattractive “black” hole.

A frenectomy, the procedure to remove the excess frenum, is a relatively minor procedure that can be performed by a periodontist (gum specialist), oral surgeon, or a general dentist with surgical training. The area is numbed with a local anesthetic, the tissue dissected with a small scalpel, and the resulting small wound closed with a few stitches (another option is to use a surgical laser to remove the frenum). Healing should be complete in about a week with only minor discomfort.

Depending on your individual circumstance, full treatment can take time. But in the end these otherwise routine dental procedures can have a huge impact — a more attractive smile without the noticeable gap.

If you would like more information on treating abnormal teeth spacing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Space between Front Teeth.”