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St. Paul Invisible Braces Expert Detects Tumor in Patient with Panoramic X-ray
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St. Paul invisible braces expert Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth took a panoramic X-ray of a 12-year-old female patient’s teeth as part of a routine check-up prior to initiating orthodontic treatment and detected an aggressive dentigerous cyst that had gone undetected by the patient’s family dentist.

Different types of X-rays can make a huge difference in detecting abnormalities, and this particular case drove home that point, said Eisenhuth, an Eagan and St. Paul braces provider.

Eisenhuth ordered the X-ray because the patient had a baby tooth that should have already fallen out. She hoped the X-ray would reveal why it was still intact and not loose, said the St. Paul orthodontist. That is when she saw the cyst and noticed it had pushed the patient`s mandibular wisdom tooth to the wall of her jaw- toward her jawline- and her second molar was pushed into her first molar.

"This was the first time I had seen a cyst this size and this aggressive," she said.

This type of cyst, which resembles a large, black balloon with a white shell, basically is full of air and mucus. In this patient’s case, it had eaten away much of the left side of her mandible. Surprisingly, it had caused no pain or discomfort. In fact, the cyst had caused no symptoms at all.

Eisenhuth referred the patient to a surgeon.

"The surgeon was concerned because her mandible was just a shell," Eisenhuth said. "For that reason, the surgery to remove the cyst was performed in an operating room instead of his office. He was concerned about the mandible fracturing during the procedure."

A dentigerous cyst- also called a Follicular Cyst- is an odontogenic cyst associated with an unerupted or partially erupted tooth. Some experts believe the forces of an erupting tooth may be the culprit in causing the cyst, Eisenhuth said.

Dentigerous cysts can become quite large and can even cause teeth to move, but it is more common for them to remain small, according to information on the topic posted on Although it is common for a person to experience no symptoms from the cyst, it actually can be quite dangerous, in that these systs can increase a person’s risk of fracturing his/her jaw.

There are a couple of reasons why the cyst may have gone undetected by the patient`s family dentist, said Eisenhuth, who owns an Eagan and St. Paul orthodontics practice.

"Because these cysts can grow quickly, it isn`t surprising that the family dentist wouldn’t have noticed it,” she said. "This cyst could have grown over the last six to twelve months, and a patient would normally see their dentist every six months."

This patient`s cyst grew as her third molar developed.

Another reason for going undetected prior to her appointment with Eisenhuth is due to the type of X-rays dentists take, versus those used by orthodontists. Most family dentists take bite-wing X-rays, which are views of the biting surfaces of the teeth that show whether any cavities exist between the teeth.

Orthodontists, on the other hand, primarily take panoramic X-rays of the upper and lower jaws. This type of X-ray offers a two-dimensional view of a half-circle from ear to ear.

Panoramic X-rays give a great overall view, but are not so great with details such as showing tooth decay, said Eisenhuth, who also is a St. Paul Incognito braces expert. A dentist typically would want an X-ray that would show those types of details.

"At the end of the day, we are elated that we detected the tumor," Eisenhuth said. "The patient`s surgery went well, and we are confident that soon we will be able to begin the patient`s orthodontic treatment, which will be successful."

Eisenhuth added that the surgeon believed the cyst to be benign, but a biopsy will confirm that. If it is benign, the bone will heal and fill the cyst space quickly- probably within four to six weeks.

About Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth
Dr. Eisenhuth attended the University of Minnesota Dental School and graduated in the top of her class. She earned the Minnesota Association of Orthodontic Achievement Award and several academic achievement awards. She entered her orthodontic residency at the University of Minnesota and earned a certificate in orthodontics and a Master of Science degree.
Dr. Eisenhuth is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
She takes pride in caring for the orthodontic needs of residents in the Twin Cities- St. Paul and Minneapolis, and their surrounding regions, including St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights, Burnsville, Eagan and Eagan, Minnesota.
Her office is located at 3340 Sherman Court, Eagan, Minn., 55121.

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If you would like to learn more about orthodontic treatment or St. Paul invisible braces specialist or St. Paul orthodontics expert Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth, please call: (651) 406-8100 or visit her website:  
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