Oral Facial Surgery Center
Whether you are missing a tooth, or at risk of losing many, dental implants may be a great solution for you. Dental implants are an increasingly popular fix for missing or dying teeth, and have many benefits.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are high tech teeth. The root of your current tooth is removed, and replaced with a screw attached to a ‘cap’ that looks identical to a natural tooth. Many people report higher confidence and comfort after receiving their new tooth.
What’s so Great About Them?
The cool thing about implants is that if taken care of, they can last for life. Usually all that needs to be replaced, if anything, is the cap. The other great thing about implants is that they can’t die like natural teeth. You still have to clean and maintain them like your other teeth, but no roots are any longer at risk of causing that tooth to fail. In addition to that, many implants can last a lifetime!
What is the Surgical Process Like?
The process is done either all at once, or in steps. This depends on the recommendations for your particular case. The first step is to remove the root of your natural tooth, and place the implant in its place. If there is not enough bone to place the implant, we may encourage you to have bone grafting first. The gum is then stitched closed and allowed to heal. This can take five to six months. The next step is to reopen the gum and place an abutment on the implant, along with a temporary crown so you can heal while the permanent crown is made for you. You then return to get your permanent crown attached in a few weeks. In other cases, all of these steps can be done in a single visit, but it depends on your specific case.
If you have any questions, please call our office for more information, we would be glad to help!
Oct 19th, 2016 7:12 am
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Dental Implants 101
Having your impacted wisdom teeth removed is a serious surgical procedure, and post-operative care is extremely important! Read on for instructions on how to care for your sore mouth, and how to minimize unnecessary pain and complications.
Immediately Following Surgery
Keep a firm, yet gentle, bite on the gauze packs that have been placed in your mouth to keep them in place. You can remove them after an hour if the bleeding is controlled. If the surgical area continues to bleed, place new gauze for another 30 to 45 minutes.
• Rinse vigorously
• Probe the area
• Smoke (hopefully you don’t!!)
• Participate in strenuous activities
• Brush gently (but not the area)
• Begin saltwater rinses 24 hours after surgery (mix 1 tbs of salt with 1 cup of water). Make sure to swish gently. These rinses should be done 2-3 times a day, especially after eating.
Enjoy some down-time!
Keep activity level to a minimum! Enjoy a day of couch or bed-rest, as being active could result in increased bleeding. Avoid exercise for 3-4 days, and when you do begin exercising again, keep in mind your caloric intake has been reduced so you may feel weaker.
As you’ve just had surgery, some bleeding will occur and it’s not uncommon to ooze blood for 24-48 hours after your procedure. REMEMBER-the blood you see is actually a little blood mixed with saliva, so don’t panic!
If excessive bleeding persists:
• Try repositioning the packs. They may not be putting enough pressure on the site.
• Sit upright and avoid physical activity.
• Use an ice pack and bite on gauze for one hour.
• You can also try biting on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes (the tannic acid in tea promotes blood clotting).
• If bleeding persists, please call our office at 985-879-1972.
Unfortunately, some pain is to be expected after surgery. Try not to let the anesthetic wear off before taking your prescribed pain medication. Dr. Saal or Dr. Baughman will have discussed a plan to manage your pain, make sure you follow these instructions.
Eat nourishing food that takes little effort.
• Extremely hot foods
• Straws (for the first few days)
• Chewing (until tongue sensation has returned)
• Smaller foods that can become stuck in the socket area
• Skipping meals—while eating may seem like a lot of work, you need your nourishment to be able to heal and feel better!
Day 2 and 3 Following Surgery
Swelling is a completely normal occurrence. Keep in mind, swelling will usually be at it’s worst in the 2-3 days after surgery. You can minimize swelling by applying a cold compress (covered with a towel) firmly to the cheek next to the surgical area. Apply the pack with 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off for the first 24-48 hours. Also make sure to take the medication prescribed by Drs. Saal or Baughman. This helps with pain and swelling.
Keeping your mouth clean
Keeping your mouth clean is very important! Continue saltwater rinses as often as you’d like, but at least 2-3 times a day. Begin your normal oral hygiene (remember to brush softly and don’t do anything that hurts)!
Everyone heals differently, but your timeline should look similar to this:
• Day 1-2 will be the most uncomfortable and you will experience some swelling.
• Day 3 you should be more comfortable and while still swollen, you should be able to begin a more substantial diet.
• Day 4 and on you should see a gradual and steady improvement.
Other Normal Things
• Discoloration. Bruising is a normal post-operative occurrence you may notice 2-3 days after surgery.
• Stiff jaw muscles. You may find it difficult to open your mouth wide in the days following your surgery. This is normal and usually resolves itself within a week after surgery. Stretching these muscles may help to speed up recovery.
Since no two mouths are alike, do not take advice from friends (even well-intended advice could cause a healing set-back). The advice given to you from Drs. Saal or Baughman and the Oral Facial Surgery Center team are tailored to fit your needs. Please call us at 985-879-1972 if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery. Happy healing!
Dental implants are a safe and effective replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. The implant is placed in your jawbone and integrates with your natural bone. This implant then forms a stable, sturdy base for your new teeth.
What They Are
• Implant: The implant itself is a rod that is screwed into the jawbone.
• Abutment: This is the connection between the implant and the crown.
• Crown: A tooth shaped cap that is attached to the abutment. It is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line.
What They’re Made Of
• Titanium: Most implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.
• Zirconia: Often used for crowns and bridges and can be used as a metal-free option. Zirconia is biocompatible just like titanium.
Where They Go
• Endosteal Implants: Placed in the jawbone. These implants are typically shaped like small screws, cylinders or plates, and they are the most commonly used.
• Subperiosteal Implants: Placed under the gum, but on or above the jawbone. These implants are mostly for people with smaller jaws or shallow jawbones.
What Happens To Them
• Osseointegration: Creates strength and durability by fusing directly to the bone and is bio-compatible. Bone cells attach themselves directly to the titanium/zirconium surface, essentially locking the implant into the jaw bone. Osseointegrated implants can then be used to support prosthetic tooth replacements of various designs and functionality. Anything from a single tooth, to all teeth in the upper and lower jaws. The teeth/crowns are usually made to match the enamel color of the existing teeth to create a natural appearance.
• Bone augmentation: Some people do not have enough healthy bone to support dental implants, so bone must be built. Procedures can include bone-grafting which means adding bone to the jaw.
Talk to us today at Oral Facial Surgery Center to discuss your options with an implant specialist!
We are all unique, and so is your mouth! Sometimes, your jaw needs to be beefed up a little, and we’re not talking a hefty workout at the gym.
You may have lost teeth due to gum disease which has resulted in bone loss, or you could just have been “born that way” and need a little help expanding!
Don’t let life get you down! We’ve got these options for you:
Sinus Lift or Sinus augmentation:
A sinus lift is often performed on people who have lost teeth in their upper jaw or are lacking adequate bone density. This procedure adds bone between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses (which are on either side of your nose), the area of your molars and premolars. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or “lifted.”
The new bone means implants can be placed. This procedure does not affect speech, intonation or cause sinus problems.
Sometimes this procedure is required in the alveolar ridge. The alveolar ridge is the part of the gums immediately behind the upper front teeth. Alveolar ridges contain the sockets, or alveoli, of the teeth. You can feel it on the upper palate if you say words like “tight”, “dawn” because the consonants are made with the tongue tip or blade reaching for this alveolar ridge.
Ridge Expansion or modification:
If your jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, bone graft material can be added to a small ridge, or space that is created along the the jaw. Malformation in the lower jaw can result in not enough bone to place dental implants and it can also cause an unattractive indentation in the jaw line near the missing teeth that may be difficult to clean and maintain.
During ridge expansion, the bony ridge of the jaw is increased and bone graft material is inserted and allowed to heal before placing the implant.
Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come. It can enhance your restorative success both aesthetically and functionally.
Whether you require a lift or expansion, the bone usually will be allowed to develop for about four to 12 months before implants can be placed. However, in some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the ridge is modified.
What are you waiting for? Ask us today what your implant options can be!
Your jaw consists of two parts; the maxilla or upper jaw and the mandible or lower jaw . Sometimes these are misaligned and need to be put back into place for bite reasons, or for aesthetic purposes. Corrective jaw surgery straightens or aligns the jaw, and is often referred to as “orthognathic” surgery; “orthos” meaning to straighten and “gnathic” relating to the jaw.
There are a few different types of jaw surgery, depending on which part of your jaw requires correcting;
• Maxillary Osteotomy (Upper Jaw)
This type of surgery corrects a significantly receded upper jaw, cross bite, or when you have too many or too few teeth showing. It also can adjust an open bite.
• Mandibular Osteotomy (Lower Jaw)
This surgery corrects a significantly receded lower jaw. The surgeon moves the jawbone forwards or backwards depending on the best adjustment and bite alignment.
• Genioplasty (Chin)
A deficient chin often accompanies a severely receded lower jaw. Typically, surgeons can alter the jaw and restructure the chin during the same surgery.
Once your jaw is aligned, tiny screws and plates hold the bone into position. These screws and plates are osseo integrated and are specially formulated to be compatible with your body. They become integrated with your bone over time and do not have to be taken out.
Extra bone can also be added to your jaw if there is insufficient bone. This can be grafted from your hip, leg, or rib.
Often these types of jaw surgeries are performed entirely inside the mouth without any evidence on the skin surface as to what procedure has been performed. There are no facial scars on the chin, jaw or around the mouth.
Often with extensive jaw surgery, the process is carried out after you have had braces, so your teeth are aligned and ready for your jaw to be moved. Braces are placed anywhere from 9 to 18 months before jaw surgery.
Jaw surgery can take up to 2 years to complete, but the results are for life! Know your jaw facts; Talk to us today to discuss your options!
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) recently found that individuals infected with the hepatitis C virus are two to five times more likely to develop head and neck cancers. The JNCI study found that the risk for hepatitis C patients of developing head and neck cancers more than doubled for oral cavity and oropharynx cancers, and increased nearly five times for larynx cancers. As well, patients that are hepatitis C virus-positive were also more likely to test positive for human papillomavirus (HPV).
The question remains, how does hepatitis C virus increase oral cancer risk?
The JNCI research found that patients infected with the hepatitis C virus had a higher odd ratio of having cancer of the oral cavity, oropharynx, or larynx than those without hepatitis C virus infection. Enhanced replication of hepatitis C virus in oropharyngeal tissues may in fact contribute to chronic inflammation, ultimately prompting cancer development. Human papillomavirus is known to suppress local immune response, which may accelerate the production of hepatitis C virus in oropharyngeal cells. The JNCI notes that human papillomavirus and hepatitis C virus may play a “synergistic role” in the development of oropharyngeal cancers by stimulating loss or destruction of tumor suppressor proteins p53 and retinoblastoma protein.
The JNCI notes that one of the study’s limitations is that it didn’t include individuals with hepatitis C virus who didn’t have oral cancer. All and all, it is important to take away from The Journal of the National Cancer Institute’s study that it is important to educate Hepatology (study of liver, gallbladder and pancreas health) and infectious disease specialists. These doctors who treat patients with hepatitis C virus need to understand that the hepatitis C virus not only drastically affect liver health, but it’s also a systemic infection that can drastically affect oral health.
Your oral health is important to us.
If you suspect that your oral health is at risk, give Oral Facial Surgery Center a call today and schedule an oral cancer screening!
Oral cancer screenings are performed regularly at dental exams, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be paying attention to your dental hygiene between appointments. Taking matters into your own hands is the best way to maintain your oral health. Not sure how to screen for oral cancer? We’ll show you!
What is oral pathology?
This branch of dentistry involves the evaluation and treatment of diseases of the mouth. The most dangerous, but not always the most obvious, of these diseases is oral cancer.
What should I look for?
Keep an eye out for these oral cancer symptoms during your self-screenings:
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Lumps on the tongue or lining of the mouth
- Mouth sores that won’t heal
- Unexplained bleeding
- Chronic throat soreness
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Mouth numbness
How do I perform an oral cancer self-exam?
- When performing your oral cancer self-screening, be sure to check all areas of the mouth, including the roof, floor, tongue, lips, cheeks and the back of your throat.
- Examine your face in the mirror for abnormal asymmetry and irregularities.
- Feel your neck and the back of your head with your fingers to look for any bumps or changes in texture.
- Examine your throat by placing your fingers around your thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) and swallowing.
How often should I perform a self-exam?
Self-exams should be performed at least once a month. Changes to your oral health can occur rapidly, so it’s important to stay on top of things. Treatment is most effective if we detect symptoms early.
Ask us about performing an oral cancer screening when you visit – we’re here to ease your mind and give you the tools you need to maintain your health!
Orthognathic surgery, commonly referred to as “jaw surgery,” is used to correct a wide range of both minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, often the misalignment of the jaws and teeth. Patients looking at undergoing orthognathic surgery are often faced with an extensive recovery period, as well as a restricted diet in the beginning of their recovery process. Post-surgery patients are discouraged from chewing to allow the bone to heal and stabilize. Due to the fact that adequate healing can take up to 8-12 weeks, patients will initially be on the “swallowing diet” for a number of weeks.
When it comes to the “swallowing diet,” the name of the game is high calorie, high protein, and low volume. Facing a large volume of liquid each meal that meets both the necessary caloric and protein needs can be overwhelming. Consuming enough calories, as well as enough protein is a necessity to heal in a timely manner. In order to get adequate volume of fluid and nutrition daily, it may require you to eat smaller meals 5-6 times per day, rather than the usual 3 times per day.
Patients who are well prepared for their surgery often have a smoother recovery. Here is an example of smoothie recipe a patient can consume following orthognathic surgery:
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- 2 chilled bananas, broken into chunks
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups ice cubs
- 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
Place bananas, milk, peanut butter, honey, and ice cubes in a blender; blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Though patients are faced with a restricted diet post-surgery, it is important to remember to try and maintain a balanced diet. In particular, foods rich in vitamins A and C. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), plenty of vitamin C is one way post-surgery patients ensure a timely recovery!
Jul 13th, 2016 2:23 pm
Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Orthognathic Surgery: The Post-Surgery Diet
Are missing teeth causing you difficulty, discomfort or embarrassment? Don’t worry – we have all the facts about tooth replacement treatments and the effectiveness of dental implants as a long-term solution for missing teeth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are replacement teeth made of titanium. They are composed of an artificial crown attached to a screw that is surgically implanted into the jaw for stability. Implants are an effective treatment for missing teeth because they maintain the strength of the jaw.
There are a few alternative treatment options, some more lasting than others:
Flippers are temporary, removable plastic teeth. They are attached to a retainer for easy removal. Flippers are one of the most cost efficient tooth replacement methods; however, they are the least durable alternatives to dental implants and are considered short-term solutions until a more lasting treatment can be performed.
Fixed bridges literally “bridge” gaps caused by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge consists of a false tooth, called a pontic, and two abutment teeth, which are crowns that anchor the bridge to the teeth on either side of the gap. Abutment teeth can be secured to both natural teeth and dental implants; however, anchoring them to natural teeth can cause damage.
Dentures are a common treatment for individuals missing all their teeth in one or both of their jaws. They are made of a removable frame that holds an entire set of teeth.
Removable partial dentures are removable frames that hold a partial set of teeth rather than a full set of teeth. This option is often considered for individuals who are missing some but not all of their teeth in one or both jaws.
Why choose dental implants?
Implants are the longest lasting treatment for missing teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last up to ten years or longer. Because they are surgically anchored into the jawbone, they function like natural teeth.
Bones, grafting, or any combination of the two are rarely the subject of casual conversation. Most of us, regardless of our profession, are happier discussing recent football scores, the price of gasoline, or the abnormally high number of Dunkin Doughnut franchise locations. Perhaps for it is for this very reason, however, that we should bring up this important topic–to raise awareness, maximize modern technology, and inform the public about the options offered in terms of dental implant surgery.
Bone grafting for dental implants is the process by which bone tissue is placed (grafted) into the mouth to act as a placeholder for tissue that has been lost. In the modern medical landscape this is a safe, painless, and routine process: indeed, more than two million bone-grafting operations occur worldwide each year, making bone the second most transplanted organ (after blood!).
As well as natural bone tissue, synthetic tissue is an alternative for patients seeking the best results. Structured as a ‘biodegradable scaffold’ that can be implanted within the body and trigger bone regeneration, this strong, flexible material has been compared to tire rubber! Dr. Karin Hing, author of the study and reader in Biomedical Materials at Queen Mary’s University of London Institute of Bioengineering stated that the challenge being tackled currently is the development of a graft that is as clever as bone. By mechanically evaluating the way bone adapts to its environment and reacts to chemical and physical components, progress is taking place in leaps and bounds.
What does this mean for the average person who just wants to be happy with their mouth? Comfortable outpatient procedures complete with local anesthesia or intravenous sedation make bone grafting a sensible and worry-free choice. Browse our procedures page for more information on maximizing your resources!