Dental Tips Blog


How to Prepare for Your Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Whether it’s wisdom tooth extraction or dental implant placement, your oral surgery will be an important date on your calendar. Help your surgery be as successful as possible by planning well in advance. Good preparation can also ensure a quicker recovery.

The following tips will help you prepare for most upcoming surgical procedures.

Phone a Friend

Never plan to get yourself home from an oral surgery! Have a trusted friend or family member bring you home after your appointment.

Go Grocery Shopping

You may need to stay on a soft foods or liquids-only diet for a few days. Prepare beforehand by buying things like protein shakes, soups, pudding, yogurt, juices, and cottage cheese.

Pick Out an Outfit

Loose, comfortable clothing is best for any surgery. Don’t wear your nicest clothes or anything that’s too restricting. Layers are best.

Get Some Rest

Plenty of quality sleep can help you remain calm, rather than anxious, right before your appointment.

Watch What You Eat

You’ll receive specific instructions from your dentist on what you can eat before the procedure. If you’re going to be sedated with anesthesia, then it’s generally advised to avoid food and liquids for around eight hours beforehand. Make sure you get hydrated with plenty of water before you reach that cut-off point.

Say No to Smoking

You should refrain from having a cigarette for at least 12 hours before your surgery. The surgeon or dentist will also remind you to avoid smoking for at least a day after the procedure. Smoking cuts off circulation and can lead to healing complications.

Talk with your dentist or surgeon for more tips on preparing for a successful oral surgery.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767


Are You “Tongue-Tied?”

Posted in Oral Surgery

Many of us occasionally wind up in situations where we just don’t know what to say. This is where we get the metaphoric term “tongue-tied.” But did you know that some people actually do have tongues that are literally tied down?

What It Means to Be Tongue-Tied

The thin piece of skin that attaches your tongue to the floor of your mouth is called a frenulum. There are also frenula (the plural of frenulum) which attach the base of your lips to your gums.

Some people are born with a very short frenulum under their tongue. This secures the tongue close to the floor of the mouth in a condition known as ankyloglossia.

Tongue-Tied Problems

Having a slightly shorter-than-average frenulum isn’t usually a big problem. It may keep someone from being able to stick out their tongue out very far.

But ankyloglossia can cause serious trouble with eating, speaking, and even oral hygiene.

The resulting complications can sometimes lead to social anxiety because of atypical speech patterns. Babies with tongue ties may find it difficult to nurse. Ankyloglossia isn’t always a serious medical problem, but it can affect individuals differently.

How to Fix a Short Frenulum

Whether you are someone just now looking to do something about your tongue-tie or the worried parent of a new baby with ankyloglossia, there is hope.

A simple minimal procedure to snip the skin is all it takes to free a tied tongue.

Your dentist can safely trim, snip, or treat the frenula with a laser. This procedure is minimally invasive, fast, and allows the patient to recover quickly with minimal discomfort. To learn more, call a dental professional near you.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751


Types of Bone Grafting Used in Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Bone grafting is used to rebuild sections of the mouth that were lost to injury, disease, or even a birth defect. Without a solid foundation of bone, the jaw can’t close properly, and teeth won’t stay in place.

There are different kinds of bone grafts typically used in oral surgery.


Allografts are bone tissues donated by another person, made available upon their passing. These grafts are sterilized and thoroughly screened before placed in a new person, but they are not living bone cells. An allograft simply provides the framework for new cells of your own to grow on.


An autograft is a section of tissue taken from your own body. When it comes to a bone graft, the sample is usually collected from bone somewhere on your chin or hip in a separate surgery. Autografts are very common and extremely successful. They contain live tissue which makes healing and new bone growth happen the fastest, because it’s so well accepted by your body.


Xenografts, or xenogenic bone, are taken from the nonliving bodies of animals, most often cow bone. These grafts work similarly to those taken from a human cadaver – they only supply structure, not new bone.

Which Bone Graft for You?

The kind of graft you receive will depend on a few factors:

  • How easy it is to obtain the graft material
  • How much time you can invest in the procedure
  • Whether or not you can handle additional surgeries to harvest a graft

Your dentist or oral surgeon will discuss your options with you.

Are you missing a tooth or have severe gum recession?

A bone graft may be right for you. Contact your local oral surgeon, periodontist, or dentist for more information.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618


Tips for a Successful Recovery from Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Are you ready for your upcoming dental implant placement, tooth extraction or other oral surgery procedure? These reminders will help you recover quickly and keep discomfort to a minimum.

Rest well.

Avoid physical activity for at least 2-3 days after your procedure. This will help your body heal quickly and avoid disrupting any bandages, sutures, or blood clots. If you’re used to regular workouts, take things slow.

Take meds as directed.

Your dentist or surgeon may prescribe painkillers and/or antibiotics. But always ask before taking any over-the-counter drugs so that you don’t experience any unexpected interactions.

Eat soft foods.

Stay away from hard, crunchy, sticky foods or anything that has small bits that can get stuck in the surgical site. Opt for things like soup (not too hot), smoothies (not made from berries with seeds), pudding, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and yogurt.

Expect some swelling.

Swelling is a normal outcome from surgery. You can reduce it by keeping your head elevated even when you rest, and placing an icepack on the outside of your face.

Have a friend drive you home.

Even if your surgery was a small procedure, you absolutely cannot drive yourself home if you’ve had sedation. You MUST have plans in place for a friend or family member to transport you back home safely to rest after your surgery. 

Have someone stay with you.

You will likely be on some high grade pain medication after your operation. You may even still be feeling the effects of the sedation or anesthesia. It’s a good idea to make sure someone can stay with you for the first few hours after the surgery.

Your companion can also make sure you take medications as directed, do cooking for you, and contact help if you experience an allergic reaction or some other emergency.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Denture and Implant Specialists
203 Woodpark Pl #102
Woodstock, GA 30188
(770) 926-0021


Smile Destroyed in an Accident? Here’s How to Restore It

Posted in Oral Surgery

At first, you were just grateful to still be alive. You were lucky that you didn’t suffer much more than some jaw damage.

But now that some time has passed since the accident, you realize that the damage to your smile has made day-to-day living a nightmare.

Things like missing or broken teeth or a poorly-aligned jaw can interfere with your speech and eating ability. You may even be embarrassed to show your teeth in a smile.

What can you do to repair your smile?

Full-mouth reconstruction (FMR) may be the answer.

An FMR case is a series of procedures to get your mouth as close to a healthy state of function as possible.

Your unique treatment plan may include things like:

  • Crowning multiple teeth to even out their fit and appearance
  • Gum tissue grafts
  • Extracting teeth that can’t be restored
  • Replacing missing teeth with dentures or implants

Full-mouth restoration focuses on restoring function so it’s more medically-necessary than a simple smile makeover. But an FMR will also take aesthetics into consideration. You will end up with a beautiful set of teeth that you can chew comfortably with by the time the process is over.

Getting FMR is usually a process of several months to a year. It does take time to complete everything on your list, but it’s best to do it all back-to-back so that you don’t lose progress.

If you were recently in an accident, you may first need an oral surgeon’s help to reconstruct facial features. Once such injuries are stabilized, you’ll work with a dentist to rebuild your smile.

Contact your dentist today if you think full-mouth restoration is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224


When Should You Visit an Oral Surgeon?

Posted in Oral Surgery

While oral surgeons are known for extracting teeth, most people aren’t aware of what else they can do.

What occasions necessitate treatment with an oral surgeon?

Procedures commonly offered at oral surgery centers include:

  • Sleep apnea treatment
  • Facial reconstruction
  • Jaw surgery
  • Removal of tumors and cysts
  • Oral cancer diagnosis
  • Repairing birth defects

So what’s the difference between your dentist and an oral surgeon?

General Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon

General dentists and oral surgeons both complete at least four years of education. Individuals who want to specialize in surgery go on to study for another 3-6 years. A surgeon then focuses on treating conditions in procedures like those listed above.

Your regular dentist is often your first line of defense when it comes to dental care. He or she is the one you’ll visit for a checkup, or dental cleaning. If you need a more complicated procedure requiring surgery, your dentist will refer you to a reputable oral surgeon in your area.

When to Go?

In rebuilding facial structures, you want a surgeon who knows the anatomy best. After a car accident, for example, you may need to go to an ER right away. But once you’re stabilized, it’s time to call in an oral surgeon.

If your dentist says you should see a surgeon for something like a biopsy, then you probably shouldn’t put it off. But if your condition isn’t urgent and you just want to make an esthetic change or two, then you have a little more freedom in choosing when to go.

You can also do a search for oral surgeons in your area and contact one if you’re interested in finding out more.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115


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


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



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



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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