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Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the “+” to the right of each question to display the answer.

What does “3TBA” stand for?

3TBA stands for 3rd molar Tooth Bud Ablation, the 1 minute microsurgical procedure that TriAgenics is developing to predictably block wisdom tooth formation in children generally age 6 to 12.

Is Zero3 3TBA available for human use?

Not yet…but TriAgenics is working diligently to finalize product development to make Zero3 3TBA available for human use. TriAgenics is going through the extensive process of demonstrating the safety and efficacy of its Zero3 3TBA system with the expectation of FDA approval by 2021.

What is the difference between a wisdom tooth and 3rd molar?

Nothing…these are the same names for the same teeth! Dentists refer to wisdom teeth as 3rd molars because these are the 3rd and last permanent molars to form after the 1st permanent molars (aka “6-year molars”) and 2nd permanent molars (aka “12-year molars”) have formed and erupted.

How does the Zero3 3TBA procedure work?

The Zero3 3TBA procedure blocks wisdom tooth formation by gently warming 3rd molar tooth bud tissue from the center of the tooth bud outwards in a highly controlled fashion. In multiple animal trials this gentle warming prevents the tooth bud from being able to form a wisdom tooth with 100% success and no significant long-term adverse side effects.

Does Zero3 3TBA technology work?

TriAgenics has worked hard to assure that all aspects of the 3TBA procedure works predictably. In multiple animal trials Zero3 3TBA technology has demonstrated 100% success at clinically inducing complete molar agenesis with no significant long-term adverse side effects. TriAgenics expects to demonstrate this same level of success in planned first-in-human clinical trials by 2020 with the goal of earning FDA approval by 2021.

Is there any residual scarring or long-term adverse side effects following 3TBA?

Based upon multiple animal studies, we believe there will be no detectable adverse side effects or any form of scarring when 3TBA is used in humans. Across multiple animal studies 3TBA treated tooth buds are no longer detectable on x-rays just 4 weeks later; the normal post-operative healing response is for bone to quickly grow into the area where the tooth bud used to be.

Will dentists recommend 3TBA over conventional wisdom tooth management approaches?

Go ahead…we dare you to ask your dentist which option they would choose for themselves or for their children; have their wisdom teeth form and then be surgically extracted…or never have them form! We expect that dentists will strongly recommend 3TBA over conventional wisdom tooth surgical extraction, quickly making 3TBA the new standard of care for managing 3rd molars. We expect the clinical outcomes following 3TBA therapy to be far superior to conventional 3rd molar management strategies while at the same time eliminating all the associated risks and complications these problematic teeth carry.

Dentists know there are significant surgical risks and long-term adverse side effects associated with prophylactically extracting wisdom teeth in adolescents; this is why over 80% of these difficult teeth are removed by oral surgery specialists. Dentists also know that nearly 99% of those who do not have their wisdom teeth prophylactically extracted as adolescents will have a wide range of serious disease and complications associated with these problematic teeth as they age. Unfortunately, many of the problems experienced with wisdom teeth later in life are serious, much more expensive to treat, and result in substantial long-term adverse side effects following surgical extraction. In sharp contrast, those individuals whose third molars naturally never form – approximately 7% of the population – have a better life-long oral health profile because they don’t experience any of these problems. Successfully preventing the formation of wisdom teeth in the 93% of the population with third molar tooth buds will allow them to mimic the risk-free and significantly improved oral health profile of those that naturally do not form them.

Will 3TBA be less expensive than conventional management of wisdom teeth?

When the true costs of conventional wisdom tooth treatment (prophylactic surgical extraction and monitor and treat in the future) is compared to 3TBA, we believe 3TBA will be significantly less expensive over the life of the patient.

For instance, we expect the recovery time for children following 3TBA to be no longer than having a 1-surface filling placed. In sharp contrast, adolescent recovery time following conventional wisdom tooth extractions is generally 3-5 days. Parents have to deal with missing work, pain management, infections, dry socket issues, and other complications that are a routine part of the post-extraction recovery process for their children. Unfortunately, for adults treatment is no longer elective because active disease is present, is more expensive, and involves a longer recovery time of generally 5-7 days.

Even worse is the common scenario where older patients have incurred the repeated costs of first treating decay, gum disease and other pathology associated with their wisdom teeth… and then finally make the decision to have their wisdom teeth extracted to resolve their chronic disease conditions.

How fast is the Zero3 3TBA procedure?

The 3TBA procedure is a two-appointment process. At the first appointment dental impressions and x-rays are obtained, which takes 10-15 minutes. At the 2nd appointment (approximately 2 weeks later) the 3TBA procedure will be performed. At that time patients are anesthetized just as they would be when having a small 1-surface dental filling placed. Once the patient is numb the 3TBA procedure is very fast – just 60-90 seconds based upon extensive animal testing. The dentist places the patient-specific surgical guide, triggers the 20-40 second tooth bud warming process…and the procedure is over. Animal testing shows the 3TBA procedure to be much faster than placing a small 1-surface filling in a child. For more information go to 3TBA Treatment

Do wisdom teeth form in everybody?

Approximately 7% of us do not form a single wisdom tooth while 75% of us will form all 4 wisdom teeth. Natural absence of wisdom tooth buds is largely hereditary and cannot be conclusively determined until age 14. The goal of using Zero3 3TBA to block wisdom tooth formation is to allow everybody that starts forming wisdom tooth buds to mimic those lucky few that never form these problematic teeth naturally.

What are post-operative recovery times like for 3TBA compared to conventional surgical extraction?

Based upon extensive, multiple 3TBA animal trials there is no “recovery time” following 3TBA because it is just like having a 1-surface filling placed. Several days following bilateral 3TBA in multiple animal studies there is no trace that the procedure was ever performed. In very sharp contrast, recovery from impacted wisdom teeth extractions is generally 3 to 5 days in teens and 5 to 7 days in adults because of the invasive nature of this surgery. The absence of any significant recovery time following Zero3 3TBA procedures will be great news for parents, who will no longer have to take time off from work to be home with their kids to deal with their painful recovery.

What does gum healing look like for 3TBA compared to conventional surgical extraction?

Based upon extensive, multiple 3TBA animal trials there is a small puncture made with no significant bleeding or gum tissue damage. As a result, there is no evidence of the 3TBA procedure several days later. In sharp contrast, conventional surgical extraction is highly invasive, creates a significant hole in the bone that is exposed to the oral cavity and results in extensive gum tissue damage that generally requires 4 to 6 weeks to heal. However, if extensive bone removal was additionally required to complete the surgical extraction, then full healing can take up to 6 months at each extraction site.

What is the normal age when wisdom tooth buds are first identified for 3TBA treatment?

Wisdom tooth (aka 3rd molar) buds are the only tooth buds that start formation after birth. Tooth bud formation generally starts as early as age 4 or 5 and can be first identified between the ages of 6 to 12. The natural absence of wisdom tooth buds cannot be ruled out until age 14.

What screening is required for 3TBA?

It is normal for dentists to begin screening adolescents around age 14 for wisdom teeth development and make a preliminary determination as to whether or not these teeth have the potential to erupt normally. In contrast, screening for 3TBA will require dentists to begin looking for wisdom tooth bud formation starting at age 6. There are new screening technologies, such as x-ray-free ultra-sound imaging technology for dental use and ultra-low-dose x-rays, that will make routine screening for 3rd molar tooth buds safe for children.

Why is it so common for dentists to recommend removal of wisdom teeth in adolescents?

It is well known throughout the dental profession that wisdom teeth cause lots of trouble once they have completely formed. These teeth have a long-term disease rate requiring future treatment of nearly 99%! They are the most likely teeth to:

  • become impacted, fail to erupt normally and become acutely infected
  • become decayed
  • have gum disease form around their roots
  • form cysts and other pathology that require invasive surgical intervention
  • adversely affect the adjacent teeth which requires extraction of both 2nd molars and wisdom teeth.

Because of the predictably high rate of long-term pathology and significantly more expensive treatment costs later in life, dentists recommend early removal of wisdom teeth because it is a safer and lower cost alternative to waiting for problems to develop. We expect Zero3 3TBA to be an even safer and lower cost alternative to prophylactic extraction in teens or waiting for problems to emerge later in life after wisdom teeth fully form. To appreciate the wide range of problems wisdom teeth routinely cause go to Wisdom Teeth Extraction Risks to see just how damaging these teeth can be!

What are the risks of having wisdom teeth prophylactically removed in adolescents?

Unfortunately, there are significant risks associated with surgically extracting wisdom teeth. Additionally, these risks go up dramatically with age. As a general rule, when wisdom teeth are prophylactically removed in adolescents the extraction procedure is less invasive, the surgical sites heal faster, and there are significantly fewer long-term adverse side effects compared to later-stage extraction in adults. By comparison, when 3TBA is performed at an even earlier stage in children generally ages 6 to 12 virtually all significant surgical risks and long-term adverse side effects are expected to be eliminated. To learn more about the wide range of risks and adverse side effects possible when surgically extracting wisdom teeth go to Wisdom Teeth Extraction Risks

What happens when wisdom teeth are allowed to fully form instead of being prophylactically removed early in life?

It is well known throughout the dental profession that wisdom teeth cause lots of trouble once they have completely formed. These teeth have a long-term disease rate requiring future treatment of nearly 99%! They are the most likely teeth to:

  • become impacted
  • fail to erupt normally and become acutely infected
  • become decayed
  • have gum disease form around their roots
  • form cysts and other pathology that require invasive surgical intervention
  • adversely affect the adjacent teeth which requires extraction of both 2nd molars and wisdom teeth.

Because of the predictably high rate of long-term pathology and significantly more expensive treatment costs later in life, dentists recommend early removal of wisdom teeth because it is a safer and lower cost alternative to waiting for problems to develop. We expect Zero3 3TBA to be an even safer and lower cost alternative to prophylactic extraction in teens or waiting for problems to emerge later in life after wisdom teeth fully form. To appreciate the wide range of problems wisdom teeth routinely cause go to Wisdom Teeth Extraction Risks to see just how damaging these teeth can be!

Pro Forma Website

This is a pro forma website based solely upon animal study data. TriAgenics’ Zero3™ 3TBA procedure is not approved for human use.