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Dentistry/12 year-old molars

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Question
Hi Dr. Teig,
I'm a 15 year old girl with two impacted twelve year old molars on the bottom jaw. The orthodontists say that I need to get them surgically removed, but the insurance hasn't given the ok yet and I'm starting to experience some pain. What can I do to help the pain? I think I'll get the surgery in four-six months.

Answer
Cecilia - There is not a definite way to hold off the discomfort unless you follow the instructions I am going to give you.

Begin warm salt water rinses for 3-5 minutes, 4-5 times a day.  The warm salt water will help reduce inflammation and should help reduce discomfort.  You need to do the rinsing every day to quiet the tooth  Even with than, if any food debris gets stuck under the gums. it will begin to break down and cause inflammation plus infection.  Even with the rinses, you need to be meticulous with brushing your teeth after every meal and at bedtime and in the morning,

There is no guarantee this will definitely prevent a problem, but it is the best.  You need to brush your teeth at every meal, in the morning and at night before bed.  You should gently brush the surface of your tongue gently 2-3 times per day.

I hope this holds off any problem, but you need to be prepared.  I wish you well.

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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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