(TM) Theodore J. Grellner DDS, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Tampa, FL


A common problem caused by impacted wisdom teeth:

 A common problem cause by impacted wisdom teeth

On the bottom of page 12 of TPGTWT you will read about this very common problem caused by leaving an impacted wisdom tooth in until it causes problems. The unfortunate result is that this patient could end up losing an additional tooth because of his/her negligence.

(After reading the book, you may also spot a second problem that is developing because of delay)

Ever heard of someone suffering a permanent injury after having a lower wisdom tooth removed?

 A difficult case with the risk of a permanent injury

On page 21 you will read why this case carries a high risk of injury to a vital structure in the lower jaw. Find out what kind of problem this patient could experience after the surgery and why.

Find out also how this patient could have avoided this problem and why it occurred. This is a case that demonstrates how Nature can create such bizarre problems for us that could never have been anticipated, yet could have been avoided.

A question that might occur to you might be: "If removal of this wisdom tooth now carries with it serious risks, then why take it out?" Good question.

Answer: If you develop an infection in the gum over this tooth, you will have no alternative but to remove it, accepting all surgical risks associated with it's removal and at a time in your life when it might be totally inconvenient.


A bonus problem caused by the wisdom tooth

If the problems that wisdom teeth themselves cause is not enough for you, here is an example of an extra little "goodie" that can form around a wisdom tooth. On page 25 you will find out what this is and why it can spell trouble, especially if ignored for too long.

Something you probably don't realize is that these "goodies" don't generally cause the patient any symptoms early on to warn them of their "growing" problem.


This issue is actually not yet included in the book, yet is a very real problem.

In this era of planned pregnancy, too often it is not and there is almost nothing more difficult that dealing with an infection caused by an impacted wisdom tooth in a pregnant patient.

Obstetricians much prefer elective treatment to be done in the second trimester (the middle period of pregnancy) but an infected wisdom tooth cannot be put off for weeks.

Often an infection will not resolve with the limited number of antibiotics that OB's traditionally sanction as "safe" for the unborn child nor can the new mother be given an NSAID (anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen) which is a far better pain reliever than a narcotic alone.

OB's also prefer a general anesthetic be administered in the second trimester, but if treatment cannot be postponed, general anesthesia is preferred to local anesthesia alone for a mother experiencing the anxiety of a difficult surgery.

If you are a woman of child-bearing age, be sure that you have consulted with your oral surgeon about your wisdom teeth BEFORE you have an encounter with one of those "little aliens" (I have always considered infants to be aliens until they reach that age when they can begin to commmunicate with you!).

Dealing with wisdom teeth can be challenging enough later in life without adding the complication of pregnancy to your list of problems. (The best choice is having put the wisdom tooth issue well behind you in your teens so it is one less problem to worry about as an adult.)


Why Timing is Important!

A wisdom tooth case that presented several difficult challenges for the oral surgeon.

This is a 22 year old whose case dramatically demonstrates why TIMING can be so critical to how easy or difficult, and risky a wisdom tooth case can become.


Oh, you can't read the x-ray?

Of course you can't, unless you know what you are looking at, and looking for.

The purpose of this website is to introduce you to The Parents Guide to Wisdom Teeth (TPGTWT), a book that will help you to recognize and understand the problems that this x-ray is demonstrating and much more.

After reading it, you will understand:


  • why not removing these wisdom teeth soon, especially the lower ones, would put her at risk for gum infections over these teeth later,
  • why removing the wisdom teeth now had the potential risks of nerve injury and fracture of the lower jaw! yet...
  • why removing the wisdom teeth now was the smartest thing she could do, and...
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: how to avoid even getting into this difficult situation!

As it turned out, none of the complications occurred that I had forewarned the patient about. She was lucky in that her jaw bone had not fully "hardened" which helped considerably, but difficult cases such as this one don't always turn out this well. Nature can play some very cruel tricks on us that we cannot overcome.

To improve her chances for a good outcome, her surgery required extra care that added at least 30 more minutes of surgical and anesthesia time than would have been required at an earlier age. Not only did the procedure cost her more to do now but she worried more about the outcome because of the greater surgical risks.

Although there were a couple of uncommon features that added greatly to the difficulty of this case, how do you know what problems will show up in your child?

When you gamble to "see what develops" you sacrifice the opportunity to remove the wisdom teeth when it could have been easiest and least risky.

These are only a few of many potential problems that the wisdom teeth can cause.

You need to know about all of the problems and risks associated with wisdom teeth in order to intelligently decide whether delaying their removal is worth the gamble.

As you will read, delay can potentially carry with it a heavy price in some cases. The question that is difficult for anyone to answer is, will it in yours?



"What valuable information, especially knowing the PROBLEMS wisdom teeth can cause later in life.

Makes sense to have them removed in the younger years.

This book should be available to all dentists to have in their waiting rooms."

Muriel H. (parent)


"I read your "Parent's Guide" and was impressed with your style and clarity. 

 It's really good, and the x-ray illustrations are obvious even with minimal dental knowledge or experience. 

 I most certainly will place it in the reception room.... You are right, the window of opportunity isn't that large, so maybe this will have more people seeing and realizing that fact.

It will be a good service for everyone who needs the Guide." 

(Tampa Pediatric Dentist)