Hello. I had a wisdom tooth partially removed with the roots still intact. The dentist could not pull out my tooth. It was pretty excruciating. I sat for four and a half hours before he called it quits. He partially removed some bone to try to extract it the tooth but it didn’t work. He broke the tooth and took out what he could and cleaned up the bone as much as possible before sewing me up. He stated that he cut down the tooth enough for the bone to grow back over the roots that was left and that tissue will heal and start to grow back over the wound. My question to you sir is it OK for the roots to still be there? Am I still prone to serious infection if the bone grows over the roots, and will tissue grow back over some of my exposed jaw bone? I appreciate the help.
– Darian from Belgium
I was surprised to read what had happened to you. I have heard of general dentists attempting wisdom teeth extractions and other difficult extractions, and finally giving up because they became too difficult. But in the situations I have heard of, the dentist then referred the patient to an oral surgeon to complete the work.
I don’t know how much of the tooth was left in your jaw, but the larger the piece, the greater the risk of subsequent infection, or cyst formation, or other complication. In some cases, it is wise to leave a root tip in the jaw when it is in a risky position such as near a nerve or near the sinus. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here – it just seems like it is a matter of the tooth being beyond the difficulty of your dentist. Yes, if enough of the tooth was removed, bone will probably grow over the roots, and it is possible that you won’t have any further trouble with this. But it is also possible that you will.
And four and a half hours – what an awful experience for you! Most wisdom teeth should come out in about 15 minutes – half an hour for the difficult ones.
I would suggest going to an oral surgeon in the next couple of days and having him or her x-ray this tooth and examine you, and see what they think should be done.
PS – The following was not part of my e-mail to Darian:
I get frustrated when I hear Americans complain about health care in the United States. There are a number of stories I have heard from people in Europe and Asia that are like this and reveal a much lower standard of dental care than would be considered acceptable in the United States. This corroborates what I saw in my practice when I had to re-do foreign dental work. I guess it is just a human tendency to not fully appreciate the good things we have.
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