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Jaw Bone Cyst
Old 05-21-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
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Jaw Bone Cyst

I had my wisdom teeth extracted on Tuesday. There were no problems with the extractions. They took a panoramic xray. The xray contained a dark area that concerned the oral surgeon. He compared the panoramic xray from Tuesday to another from 2006. The earlier xray did not show a problem with a cyst. He also took another xray of the area. He recommended a CT scan.

I got the CT scan and went back to see him today, Saturday. According to the oral surgeon, the CT scan shows a jaw bone cyst. The cyst is large and is affecting four teeth. He recommends a biopsy to determine the type of cyst and whether it is cancerous. He says the only way to do this is to extract a tooth in the area. To me, that seems drastic. He said that four of my teeth could fall out within two to three months. I have not had any symptoms or problems in this area of my mouth- no pain, no tingling, no numbness, no discoloration, no sensitivity to hot/cold. And now, all of a sudden, I am going to loss four teeth and I may have cancer.

I said there is no way to anesthetize me, and get a biopsy through the gum? He said no. I said, you can't put me on an antibiotic in the event it's an infection? He said not a good idea- need biopsy to diagnose. I asked about second opinion- He said fine. According to him, I would have to go into the hospital and it would involve multi-day/part procedures. I would be without teeth for a period of time.

I take care of my teeth and I see a dentist on a regular basis. I am angry and confused about all of this.

Has anyone here had experience with this problem? I plan on getting a second opinion. What else do you think I should do?

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Old 05-21-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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I haven't had a similar experience (fortunately) but I think in your shoes I would do exactly the same thing - get a second opinion ASAP. Be sure to take both sets of x-rays (2006 and recent) to the 2nd opinion doctor. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 05-21-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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No experience here. I did just have 4 extractions in January for reasons that were not obvious to me. But I'm a sheep that just always does what the doctor recommends, without any serious question. If it were me, if dentist says extract, I say okay, just get it over with.
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
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Dear Midnighter,

What a terrible thing to be told. I empathize with your frustration and fear. Do get that second opinion, and best of luck.

It is perilous to compare one's own medical situation to another's, but I have always regretted being rushed (in my 20's) into getting all 4 wisdom teeth extracted with zero symptoms, based on one surgeon's assessment of "what could happen, if you wait." I wish I had gotten 2d and 3d opinions.

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Old 05-21-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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I'd get a second opinion pronto. Good luck with this. Hope it turns out to be nothing serious.
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:47 PM   #6
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No special knowledge here but agree with the consensus for a second opinion. Is there a school of dentistry in your area?

Another good question to ask is whether watchful waiting is appropriate. Perhaps a CT every 3 months for a year would prove helpful. If it progresses you will feel more confident in proceeding with biopsy; if not, at some point it will be clear that it is not progressing and you might avoid surgery. Just some things to discuss with your dental surgeon.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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I have now special knowledge either but I did have a co-worker who had cancer of the jaw and it wasn't a pretty picture. Frankly I would go straight to Sloan Kettering (you are in NJ, correct) were I in your shoes, or at least get the name of a jaw surgeon from them ASAP.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:30 PM   #8
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I had a jaw cyst last year. I woke up one morning with a terrible toothache. Went to my regular dentist who took an x-ray (not panoramic) and said he needed to pull my tooth after several days of antibiotic. On the day of tooth pulling, he was unable to get me numb but I told him to go ahead and pull anyway. The tooth broke off, I was in pain, so he called an oral surgeon who agreed to see me immediately. Go to oral surgeon and he takes a panoramic x-ray and says, "Well, there's your problem, you have a jaw cyst". He pumped me full of paid meds, drilled out the roots of my broken tooth and scraped as much of the cyst as possible. He explained it could be cancerous and was necessary to do a biopsy. He also explained that the cyst was so big that if I was accidentally hit in the face, my jaw would most likely break. The cyst was benign. It took 9 months before my jaw began to fill in the void. I had to return to the oral surgeon every 3 months until it began healing. The oral surgeon had said that if it didn't show signs of healing that I would have to go to the hospital to have jaw surgery. It was not one of my top 10 life experiences.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:50 PM   #9
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Good golly Miss Molly!

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