Dental Tips Blog

Aug
10

How to Find a Good Oral Surgeon

Posted in Oral Surgery

Your full mouth reconstruction treatment might include a variety of procedures such as:

  • Extractions
  • Restorations
  • Periodontal (gum) therapy
  • Implants

It could also require the specialized skill of an oral surgeon. As you plan out your full mouth reconstruction, you might wonder about how to find an oral surgeon who will help you feel comfortable.

What an Oral Surgeon Does

Whether you have an advanced oral issue that is congenital or caused by disease or trauma, an oral surgeon can correct it using anesthesia, both local and general, if needed.

In line with your reconstructive needs, an oral surgeon’s skills will come in handy in:

  • Treating facial trauma
  • Removing cysts and tumors
  • Extracting teeth
  • Correcting the alignment of your jaw
  • Rebuilding facial structures

Your oral surgeon should work closely with both your primary doctor and your dentist in designing your full mouth reconstruction treatment plan.

Meeting an Oral Surgeon

Your dentist will likely know several individuals whom he or she could refer you to. You can do a little research of your own, as well. Ask about the personality of a particular surgeon you are being referred to. Look up their professional information online to find out whether they belong to any professional dental societies. When you meet a surgeon in person, ask him or her about how much experience they have had with cases like yours.

Find Out More Before Surgery

You’ve met with a surgeon and you feel the office is a good fit. Great! Don’t forget to follow up by asking detailed questions about your treatment plan. Ask about how the office works with your insurance and whether they offer some sort of financing. Talk with your local general dentist for more information and recommendations.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Aug
13

Managing Discomfort After Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Oral surgeries encompass a wide range of procedures. From wisdom simple extractions to gingival grafts, oral surgery procedures are designed to enhance your oral health and improve a person’s smile. Managing discomfort after an oral surgery is important, especially if you plan to return to work or school in a short period of time. Although some types of surgeries can take as long as 2 weeks for complete healing to take place, discomfort should not last for more than a few days.

Keeping your mouth clean

Rinsing with warm salt water throughout the day plays two important roles. One is that salt water helps remove inflammation in the soft tissues throughout the mouth. Two, the water helps remove food debris or bacteria from the areas around the surgical site. This is more comfortable and gentler than brushing or using an alcohol-containing mouth rinse when your tissues are still recovering. 

Using warm or cold compresses

Alternating a warm and cold compress against the side of the face for 5 minutes at a time will minimize swelling, inflammation, and minor discomfort. Most discomfort is caused by inflammation, so preventing inflammation from occurring in the first place is a great way to avoid unnecessary discomfort. Only hold the compress against the skin for a few minutes at a time, alternating the cold and hot each time. 

Taking the right medication

Always take any prescription medication as directed. Don’t take just any medication! Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic (for infection) or pain medication. Or, you may be advised to take ibuprofen as needed after a certain point. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication as well as pain reliever.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Jun
10

Bone Grafting

Posted in Oral Surgery

Bone grafting is a procedure that is used for patients that need to preserve bone height or create new bone height in certain areas of their mouth. Bone may be lost due to gum disease, age, anatomy of the mouth, or lack of healthy teeth. Most of the time, bone grafting is used prior to the placement of dental implants, so that an implant can be placed and supported securely for several years as a means of tooth replacement.

Types of bone grafting used can include:

  • Placement of a bone graft in the socket of a tooth that has been removed.
  • Improving the height and width of bone in the jaw, where an implant is to be placed.
  • Altering the bone quantity near the nasal sinuses if a sinus lift is needed before the implant is placed.
  • In areas of bony defects around otherwise healthy teeth, or for minor bone loss needs.

A successful bone graft will not only place new bone in the desired area, it will also encourage new bone formation around it. This strengthens the bone in the jaw for implant support or delaying damage from gum disease.

How do you know if you’ve suffered from bone loss and need a bone graft? A periodontal examination by your dentist or hygienist can be used to determine areas of bone height that is lost along each tooth. Routine x-rays will also reflect overall bone height, as well as pinpoint areas are localized concern that could jeopardize other teeth.

Your dentist will discuss the different types of bone graft materials that can be used. To find out whether or not a bone graft can help you, contact your dentist today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Dec
5

Are Hard or Soft Bristles Best?

Posted in Oral Surgery

There are so many types of toothbrushes available on the oral care aisle, not to mention the selection of bristle types. Which type of bristle is best – hard, medium, or soft? Even when their dentist tells them which one to try, many patients go with the complete opposite. Does it really matter which one you choose, and does it affect your oral tissues?

One type of bristle can actually do physical damage to your tooth enamel and gum tissues over time. Which one is it? Hard bristles – especially when someone scrub brushes very firmly, a hard bristled toothbrush can physically wear away tooth enamel and cause gum recession which may require gum graft surgery. Both of these conditions are irreversible and lead to sensitivity and aesthetic concerns.

The best type of toothbrush to use is one with soft bristles. Softer brushes are gentler on the gum tissue, tooth enamel, and provide just as effective plaque removal as other types of brushes. Gently massaging the gumlines can remove plaque from below the surface without causing irreversible gum recession due to excess forces. Even though you’re choosing a brush with soft bristles, you should still make sure that you’re not pushing too firmly when you brush. Scrubbing hard with a softer brush can still cause some dental wear.

Medium bristled toothbrushes are still too firm to use on your teeth. If you’re unsure whether or not you have enamel abrasion and gum recession from hard brushing, you can ask your hygienist to check. The areas around your premolars or canines are typically the most susceptible, and damage is first evident in these locations. Catching wear as early as possible can prevent dental problems later on.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics

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Nov
6

Foods to Eat When Recovering From Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

After an oral surgery procedure like an extraction, wisdom tooth removal, or gum grafting, you’ll need to take it pretty easy for a few days when it comes to what you eat. Here are some great ideas for helping curb your hunger while also being gentle on your healing oral tissues:

Pudding or Yogurt

A classic “go to” food after dental surgeries, yogurt and pudding are easy to eat because they don’t require any chewing, and they’re smooth when you swallow them. The cool temperature can also help sore areas in your mouth feel better if they are still inflamed.

Soups

As long as they aren’t too hot, warm or room temperature soups like potato or chicken broth can be satisfying and be easy to eat as long as you’re not still numb.

Eggs

Soft and full of protein, eggs can help you feel fuller when you’re not up to eating much solid food. Scrambled eggs are quick and easy to make, and will help you feel satisfied more than a soup would.

Oatmeal or Grits

As you introduce a little more texture into your diet, warm cereals can help you test the waters when it comes to deciding if you can handle solid foods yet or not.

Canned Peaches

Softer than fresh fruits, canned peaches can be eaten even if you’re not comfortable with a lot of chewing. They’ll also help you make sure you reach your goal of total fruits that day.

Smoothies

Cool fruit smoothies are easy to make, can be packed with important vitamins and minerals, and make a great mean no matter what time of the day it is.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Nov
5

Why You Should Choose a Specialist For Your Dental Care

Posted in Oral Surgery

If you’ve thought about having a major dental therapy completed, you’ve probably asked your general dentist about the procedure as well as how much it will cost. In many cases, your general dentist may even offer this procedure at their practice, or in other instances they may prefer to refer you to a specialist for the treatment. What does a dental specialist have to offer that your routine dental provider does not?

Dental specialists receive an additional 2-3 years of formal dental education after their 4 years of dental school. This training is focused on a particular area of dentistry, such as endodontics, oral surgery, orthodontics, or other specialty based on the preference of specialization by the dentist. After completing intense hands-on training as well as certification in appropriate area, the specializing dentist begins providing expert patient care in the related field.

By selecting to have your dental procedure performed with a specialist such as an oral surgeon, you know that you’re receiving efficient treatment by a doctor with extensive experience in your given procedure. This improves the quality of care you receive, as well as the success of your treatment. In many cases the office is also set up to better handle specific types of treatments in the number of techniques that are used, as well as the equipment available.

Choosing specialist care may come at a slightly higher investment in treatment costs, but in most cases your dental insurance can still cover a portion of your fees. Making the investment in specialist care is one that can assure you’ll receive the most advanced, successful treatment-specific care available to the modern dental patient.

Posted on behalf of Dr. John Carey, North Metro Oral & Implant Surgery

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Oct
9

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Posted in Oral Surgery

While oral surgery is a specialized field in dental health care, many general dentistry practices offer oral surgical services, including wisdom teeth extraction and removal of other impacted teeth.  At some point in their lives, just about every adult will experience the removal of their wisdom teeth and or an impacted tooth.  The removal of these teeth is critical to a person’s overall oral health.  Impacted teeth can result in serious, painful, and expensive oral health issues including infections, abscessed and overcrowded teeth.

The surgery tales place in the dentist’s office using either normal local anesthetic, which is injected into the area where the surgery is to take place or a combination of a local anesthetic and sedation.  If sedation is used, the patient will be in and out of consciousness, but will be breathing with out assistance during the procedure.  The dentist, who performs the surgery, will be a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.D.S) and is highly trained in the most current advanced surgical techniques and dental technology.

In most cases, an initial consultation will be required followed by another appointment where the actual procedure will take place.  During the initial consultation, the dentist will explain in detail the procedure, as well as what to expect during and after the procedure.  In addition, pre-surgery instructions will be given as well.  On surgery day the dentist and the staff will do everything to make sure that the patient is comfortable during the procedure.  Once the surgery is complete, the patient will be sent home with specific aftercare instructions and perhaps a prescription or two.  A follow up appointment will take place to check on the healing process.

While oral surgery is not necessarily a great experience, the dentist and their staff is dedicated to making it as comfortable and pain-free as possible!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Sep
12

Oral Surgery for Wisdom Teeth

Posted in Oral Surgery

Oral surgery is generally needed to remove wisdom teeth. There are a few lucky people whose mouths have room for their “third molars,” but for the rest of us our wisdom teeth must be taken out. When there is not enough room in the jaw line for wisdom teeth to emerge in proper alignment they become impacted between the jawbone and the gum line. Impacted teeth can cause swelling, infection, and severe oral pain. Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause damage to nearby teeth as well as overall jaw deformation. Therefore, dentists recommend that people with impacted wisdom teeth have them surgically removed.

Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common forms of oral surgery. It is generally an out patient procedure that will allow the patient to recover at home. The surgery is typically performed while the patient is under a general anesthetic that will prevent any pain and allow the patient to sleep through the entire procedure. To remove the impacted wisdom teeth, an Atlanta oral surgeon will open up the gum tissue, take out any bone covering the teeth, separate connecting tissue, and then remove the impacted teeth. After removal, the dentist will stitch up the hole left behind in the gum and place gauze in the mouth to help stop the bleeding.

In most cases, the recovery time of wisdom teeth removal is only a few days. The patient can expect moderate discomfort (alleviated with a prescription for pain medication) and swelling. Your dentist will give you specific tips to help with your recovery, but generally you will change your gauze pads periodically, eat soft foods, apply an ice pack, rinse your mouth, and avoid drinking from a straw.

While no one wants to undergo a surgical process, having your wisdom teeth removed is one of the most common and easily recovered from procedures. Your oral health can be maintained by wisdom teeth removal. Talk to your dentist at your next appointment.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Jul
28

The Benefits of Ridge Augmentation Treatment

Posted in Oral Surgery

Ridge augmentation is the treatment procedure that replaces missing gum or bone tissue that is lost when a tooth has been extracted or fell out. The actual procedure helps to recreate a natural bone and gum ridge so that a replacement tooth can be structurally supported as well as have an improved aesthetic appearance. Otherwise, replacing teeth in areas where there is a lack of proper bone density, the area of tooth replacement will not look normal or cosmetically pleasing.

By recontouring the bone support, tooth replacement options will have increased stability for long-term function and health. The procedure is useful for patients undergoing dental implant therapy, dental bridges or other tooth replacement treatments. By using advanced technology, your dentist can create a naturally contoured area of bone that reflects what you would naturally see when you smile. Poor bone contours can create the appearance of dark, irregular shapes around the teeth. You may have noticed an area like this before in someone with a dental bridge, but not enough healthy bone support in the area in the middle of the bridge where the false tooth is placed. Augmentation of the bone would improve the appearance of this area so that it appeared more as a natural tooth, and prevent wide spaces between the bridge and gums where food may lodge.

Most ridge augmentation treatment is performed by a periodontist, which is a dentist who has received advanced training in the treatment of periodontal disease and caring for supporting structures around the teeth. The treatment itself is a minor surgical procedure that is customized based on your individual needs and future tooth replacement plans. Your care provider will keep you comfortable during the procedure, as well as ensure that your recovery is as pleasant as possible.

Posted on behalf of North Point Periodontics

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Jul
25

Bone Grafting

Posted in Oral Surgery

When supporting bone is lost due to severe gum disease, it can prevent necessary restorative treatments like the placement of dental implants. Without enough supporting bone, it may be impossible to create a dental prosthesis that replaces missing teeth and fits comfortably in the mouth.

Bone grafts are an effective therapy that helps recreate bone structure in the area of bone loss. This bone can come from the dental patient’s own body, or even from a donor. Once this bone is placed, it should typically fuse with existing bone and become an area of healthy support. Once healing has occurred, the prosthesis such as a dental implant can be placed.

Grafts are performed by placing the donor bone into the site where initial bone loss has occurred. This is done through a surgical procedure that directly accesses the jawbone. They are then re-covered with gingival tissue and sutures are put in place during the healing process. Anesthetics or sedation services are available to help ensure patient comfort throughout their procedure.

Areas where grafts may be needed include extraction sites where a dental implant is to be placed, areas of severe bone loss that compromise the stability of adjacent teeth, or alongside nasal sinus lift treatments. Within just a few short months, the new bone graft is usually completely fused with surrounding bone and is healthy enough to support what other bone tissue can.

If you’ve been told that you can’t have procedures such as dental implants due to a lack of adequate bone levels, ask your dentist about bone grafting. Bone grafting can make you a candidate for many dental treatments and restorative procedures that you may otherwise not have been able to receive.

Posted on behalf of Muccioli Dental

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