Siouxland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Podcast 2 on KELO Radio, March 27 2017

Bill Zortman: Dr. Denis Miller, Dr. Lou George, Siouxland Oral Surgery. Gentlemen, thanks for being with us again.

Dr. Lou George: Our pleasure, Bill. Thanks for having us.

Dr. Denis Miller: Thanks for having us, Bill.

Bill Zortman: You know, one of the things that people keep putting off thinking, maybe it’ll get better, is wisdom teeth. But we’re getting to that point that people probably ought to make their plans and then follow through with them.

Dr. Lou George: This is definitely that time of year now — end of March, beginning of April — where, of course, the snow is going away, and people are getting into their busy routines and getting ready for the nicer weather. This is also a very popular time for wisdom teeth removal, whether it’s patients who are being sent for orthodontic reasons, patients who are now starting to experience pain with their wisdom teeth, or those folks where our general dentist friends have finally gotten through to them and said, “Look, you need to get these teeth out before they cause any trouble.” In any event, this is that classic time, so absolutely. We please want you to reach out, contact us; we’d be happy to discuss treatment plans and treatment options for you, and it’s never a bother — it’s always a pleasure — so please give us a call at 800-952-0066, or you can reach us on our website if you want some further information at

Dr. Denis Miller: Yeah, and I can jump in a little on that too. There’s a number of different reasons for the removal of wisdom teeth. There’s orthodontic reasons — sometimes they’re inhibiting the eruption of other teeth; sometimes they’re eroding the posterior or back aspect of the teeth that are adjoining; sometimes they actually need to be left in a little while longer as back stops so the orthodontists can do their job right. From a dental standpoint, your dentist is probably looking whether or not there’s periodontal problems that are starting or will start shortly; whether or not there’s cavities on the wisdom teeth or whether or not they’ll predispose the teeth next in line to cavities or gum disease; and then, of course, there’s the oral surgery perspective. Are these teeth standing a good chance of erupting and crashing into the teeth next door and dissolving parts of their roots? Are they standing a good chance of forming a cyst? Are they just going to be in such an awkward position later on in life that once the roots do form, it becomes a monumental task to remove them? In the kids 14, 15, 16, somewhere around there, depending on the child and their growth, it’s relatively easy because the routes of the teeth are about one-third to one-half formed, and that’s the optimal time with the lowest complications rates (generally speaking), and you swell up for about five to seven days, your muscles are sore for two or three weeks. In the adult, everything’s double, and remember when you’re a kid or young person out of college, you have some time off; when you’re an adult, you have a family, you have bills to pay, you have limited vacation time, and all of a sudden, this is a much bigger economic hardship. Dr. George and I talk with everybody before surgery to make sure that this is the right choice for them, and sometimes, based on the vocation of the student let’s say, or of the adult or even the kid, sometimes we’ll recommend not to have them out for various reasons, so it’s not like we take them all out all the time. A story I remember is I had a gal who was with the London Opera company, and they said she needed her wisdom teeth out, and I went, “Oh my gosh, no! Because if you end up with complication like a numb lip or joint problem, that’s the end of your career.” So, she went back to London. Six months later, wisdom teeth really started to bother her, and she got a trip to come back cause the Brits take them out differently than we do. They literally take a hammer and bang them into the tongue side and break the bone and have about 10–15% numb tongues, which would be terrible for an opera singer. So anyways, this gal comes back, and this is probably the one I sweated the bullets the most because I had to take them out, and they were right on top of the nerve. After I was done, you could see the nerve going through the extraction site. Luckily, everything was fine — I looked like a hero — but that goes to show you, there’s reasons for taking them out and then there’s qualifiers maybe for delaying taking them out early or maybe not doing them at all, and that’s what Dr. George and I are here for — to help you and guide you through that kind of maze. But with the summer approaching, appointments will be limited, and so it’s a time to think ahead two or three months and see when you’d like to come and visit us.

Bill Zortman: Dr. Denis Miller, Dr. Lou George, Siouxland Oral Surgery. Let me ask this about your study club: that seems to be a pretty important to you — had a chance to meet some of the folks — but dental care in an area, being able to take care of the patients, do it in a way that everyone is educated to the best of their ability seems to be one of the goals. Dr. Lou, can you kind of explain the study club itself and why that has become so important to the two of you.

Dr. Lou George: Well, the study club, like any continuing education venture, is a chance to get together with a speaker and have them educate our guests on certain topics and go into further detail on others. The way we like to do our study club is not only bringing in speakers who are very renown in their particular field — maybe someone that wouldn’t be accessible otherwise — but it’s also to get the whole group together and that does not just include our dental friends (meaning our dentists, orthodontics, endodontist, periodontist, etc.), but their staffs. Now, that’s very important to have, say, the hygienists or the assistants or front desk people. They are hearing the same lecture so that we can all discuss similar problems that we all face every day regarding that particular topic. So yes, our study club is a chance for folks in the dental community to get CEs, but it’s also a chance to visit with us and each other directly so that we can all approach treatment the same way and work together as a team. And as you know, in any branch of medicine or dentistry, teamwork is essential, and Dr. Miller and I pride ourselves on that.

Bill Zortman: The other thing you pride yourself in, you’re not afraid to put your hand inside the mouth of a tiger. How did all of that happen? And weren’t you a little scared?

Dr. Denis Miller: Yeah. We’ve had the great opportunity of helping the zoo and recently, one of our old friends — the first tiger we operated on — broke another tooth. So, we had the opportunity to help out by doing a root canal again. And I’ll say the same thing that I thought last time is that you’re really focused on your work — like sure, there’s a tiger there, and you’ll never get that close to that kind of an animal ever in your life again — but you’re focused on your work, trying to do your best job, and so there’s not really a lot of other time for dilly-dallying. You just want to do the best for the tiger and you do your job and say thank you for the opportunity. And as far as I know, our patient is still doing well two weeks later. I always worry for about two weeks.


Dr. Denis Miller: After we’re out of that two-week window, you know you did a decent job.

Dr. Lou George: It’s always an honor, Bill, getting to work with the zoo. Whenever they call, for whatever one of their house guests is having an issue, we’re always honored to step up and do what we can to help out. They’re just beautiful animals, and it’s a wonderful opportunity.

Bill Zortman: And there are some great pictures that are available on your website, that you guys have shared with social media — the Argus did a nice story on you. How do people find more information about some of the work that might surprise people?

Dr. Lou George: Absolutely. Like I said before, you can call us directly at 800-952-0066. You can reach us on our webpage There’s a lot of great information on there, including videos. Or, if you happen to be on Facebook, type Siouxland Oral Surgery into the search engine, and our page will pop up. And that page is very readily maintained and updated all the time, so there’s a lot of interesting information on there too, Bill.

Bill Zortman: One of the things that I’ve had noted to me is, if I have an emergency, how quick can you get me in?

Dr. Lou George: We will get you in that day. Dr. Miller and I take emergencies very serious. Nobody likes to be in pain; we wouldn’t want to be in pain, so we certainly don’t expect people out in the community to be thrilled about being in pain, either. So you can contact us, and we will get you in for an appointment that day and get you taken care of. That’s a big part of our practice philosophy.

Bill Zortman: Dr. Lou George, Dr. Denis Miller, Siouxland Oral Surgery. Thanks for visiting, gentlemen.

Dr. Lou George: Thanks for having us.

Dr. Denis Miller: Thanks, Bill.