CASE STUDY: Surgical removal of wisdom teeth to treat Pericoronitis
A 24 year old male patient presented with an infected lower right wisdom tooth. For three weeks, he’d experienced discomfort and, for one week, he’d been limited by trismus (reduced opening of the jaw caused by spasm of the muscles of mastication). He had no relevant medical history.
On examination, tooth 18 and tooth 48 were found to be partially erupted. The mucosa surrounding tooth 48 was tender. Trismus had progressed to the limiting state of 1FB mouth opening. The patient’s OPG (orthopantomogram – a wide view x-ray of the lower face) was reviewed.
Pericoronitis (inflammation of the gingival tissue surrounding the coronal portion of tooth 48), necessitating the removal of tooth 48. The main risks associated with leaving the tooth in situ were nil improvement and formation of an abscess.
The agreed treatment was the surgical removal of tooth 18 and tooth 48. The teeth were removed whilst the patient was under general anaesthesia.
The procedure to remove teeth 18 and 48 was successful. The area healed well and the patient’s pain and trismus were eliminated. The patient was pleased with the treatment outcome.