Cutting-edge dental surgery for the U.S.

Wisdom teeth might not be so useless after all.

Dentists at the UNC School of Dentistry now use a technique called autotransplantation to relocate a child’s “throwaway” tooth — such as a wisdom tooth — to another spot in their mouth and repair their smiles.

The procedure has been conducted in other parts of the world, but Carolina is bringing it to the forefront of pediatric dentistry in the U.S. for the first time.

“This is exactly what we’re about at Carolina,” said Jessica Lee, distinguished professor and chair of the pediatric dentistry department at the UNC School of Dentistry. “We’re able to take this innovative technique that’s great for patients, and we’re teaching our residents and students how to do it and serving a community that needs it.”

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