Outcome of Not Following Doctor's Advice for 10 Years

Katherine grew up in Atlanta, Georgia.  When she was 18 years old, a wisdom tooth, also called 3rd molar (Fig.1: #3), was impacted.  It should be removed.  But the patient has ignored the advice, since there is no pain.  Now she lives in the West Coast.  When she returns to Atlanta for holiday, she experiences sudden severe toothache.  A new X-ray film shows that there is a big cavity in the 2nd molar (Fig.3 *).  In the last 10 years, there has been food impaction between the 2nd and 3rd molars (Fig.2 arrow).  The latter creates an environment for cavity-causing germ to grow.  To save the 2nd molar, the 3rd molar is removed first (Fig.4).  In fact the 2nd molar seems difficult to save (root canal and crown) because of the big and deep cavity.  It appears the longer a patient does not follow doctor's advice, the more severe outcome would be.

Return to Child Dental Child

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 02/16/2018, last revision 02/16/2018