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Question
Hi Dr. Teig, as I told you before that I got my horizontally- impacted wisdom tooth extracted. My wisdom tooth used to prevent my second molar from fully grown. I wanted to ask about my 2nd molar which is partially grown and it is sloping towards the side of my tongue. Does it ever fully grown? if so, how long does it take? my second molar at the top jaw faces towards my cheek and it is too high. So the two molars do not bite properly. It has been five months since my surgery, but I cannot see any difference in the growth of my bottom 2nd molar. When I saw my dentist last month he used cold-air tester on my teeth and he said that my bottom 2nd molar is dead and I need it get extracted. I did not understand what he meant by 'dead'. He said it is a healthy tooth but it is dead. by the way, I am 31. I do appreciate any help. Thanks.

Answer
April - First of all, I don't understand why the lower second molar has been deemed dead.  Blowing cold air does not determine if a tooth is vital or dead.  The only way is to have a pulp tester electronic device measure the nerve within the tooth.  

The chances of the second molar to straighten by itself is very small.  Throughout life, our teeth erupt and move forward.  A tooth that is tipped to the tongue needs orthodontic assistance to upright it properly.

To fully determine the life of the second molar, it is probably best to see an endodontist (root canal specialist).  

I hope that I've answered your question.  If you have more, contact me again.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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