A surgeon at Louisville Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, Christopher C. “Chris” Babcock, DMD, MD, earned his medical and dental doctorates from the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He focuses on dental implants and extractions at the practice. One reason that oral surgeons like Dr. Chris Babcock perform tooth extractions include treating dentigerous cysts.
Dentigerous cysts are smooth sacks filled with fluid that form in the jaws and gums around impacted teeth. They most commonly appear around the crowns of impacted wisdom teeth in the lower jaw, but can also develop around other teeth. Although sometimes painless and benign, these cysts can grow when left unchecked and become infected and painful. This may result in damage to the roots of teeth or the destruction of the supporting bones.
The slow growth and typical location of dentigerous cysts often makes them go unnoticed, and most individuals with these cysts do not know that they have them. However, cysts do become large enough for people to feel them on rare occasions. Dental professionals identify cysts during regular checkups or during consultations for orthodontic devices.
People who develop cysts should have them removed to safeguard the integrity of their teeth. During the procedure, an oral surgeon applies an anesthetic to the affected area and extracts the cyst. They take out the tooth as well, unless the cyst is small enough for them to either remove it by itself or drain it. In severe cases with large cysts, the surgeon might need to perform a bone graft to repair any bone loss or damage.