Monday, February 16, 2015

What to Expect and How to Plan for After Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery
If you need oral surgery, you have come to the right place.  We are experts and can complete your surgery quickly and with efficiency.  This is critical because not every dentist is an expert oral surgeon, so you need to ask what percentage of their practice is surgical and how frequently they perform this particular procedure.  Having this information at hand will enable you to determine who the best provider is for your particular situation.  As with anything, the more frequently a dentist performs surgery, the better they will be.

Regardless of what type of surgery you have, there will be a recovery process.  Surgery, in its very nature, is invasive so you cannot expect to have an operation and head back to normal life the moment you step off of the operating table.  Instead, it is better to have a realistic expectation and make preparations for how you will feel.  We like to start by advising you to have someone with a comfortable car drive you home.  We perform operations under anesthesia so you will probably feel sleepy when we are done.   If you can have someone drive you home and put you to bed, you will probably sleep for several hours, making the recovery go by faster.

The day before your oral surgery, you should prepare by eating a large dinner.  Unless you have diabetes, you will probably not be allowed to eat for twelve hours before the procedure so make sure that your dinner is filling and contains protein for sustained energy.  You should also get your bed ready with extra pillows that are positioned so you can recline, rather than lay flat on your bed.  We also recommend putting water bottles on your nightstand along with a bottle of ibuprofen and some pudding snacks, or other food that is room temperature and soft, since you won't be able to eat anything significant for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.

You should also purchase some soft ice packs from the drug store.  Buy several so that you don't have to wait for the one you are using to freeze again before placing it back onto your face.  You can use ice for fifteen minutes at a time with fifteen-minute breaks in between.  This will help the swelling to be reduced so that you can feel comfortable and heal faster.  If you have someone to help with this process – excellent.  If not, try to prepare as much as you can ahead of time so that you won't have to get out of bed and can focus on relaxing during your recovery.

We will also give you an antibiotic to take to help reduce the risk of an infection along with gauze to stop and control the bleeding.  If you have any problems during the first 24 to 48 hours after oral surgery, call our office so that we can advise you as to the next steps.  Otherwise, once 48 hours have passed the swelling should be all or mostly gone and you can start to eat the majority of foods again as long as you continue to avoid anything that is sharp like pretzels or chips.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An Implant Dentist Compares Dentures, Dental Bridge, and Implants?

Implant Dentist
As an implant dentist, we specialize in replacing teeth using a permanent solution – dental implants.  We feel that this is the best option for replacing missing teeth, however, we understand that it can be confusing to understand all of the options since both dentures and dental bridges are also used to replace teeth.  While they all provide a viable option, there are clear pros and cons to each and with that in mind, here is what you need to know –
  • Dentures.  This method of replacing teeth has been common for hundreds of years with even our Founding Fathers wore dentures made of animal bone and human teeth.  These dentures were smelly and didn't last very long but, fortunately, technology has improved and today's dentures are made of a synthetic materials that mimic the appearance of your natural gums and teeth.  They can last for a long time and provide you with a way to eat and speak, without major issues.  When wearing dentures, however, it can be difficult to eat certain harder foods and those with a full set may even lose some of the flavor sensations that they used to have.  Simultaneously, if the fit isn't perfect, they can slip out of place or make a clicking sound when eating or speaking.  They must also be removed at night and soaked, so they do require adjusting your daily routine somewhat.
  • Dental bridges.  Those wearing a dental bridge, have a more permanent tooth replacement option that can look natural.  As an implant dentist, we even have some patients that combine the concept of a bridge with implants by having a set of teeth prepared and then implanted as a unit, rather than one at a time.  Traditionally, however, when people wear dental bridges, they are placed by securing a dental crown onto the two teeth that are surrounding the missing one, then these crowns hold the bridge and synthetic tooth or teeth in place.  Once secure, it is possible to eat most if not all, foods, and the bridge looks entirely natural and shouldn't slip out of place.  The main challenge with a bridge is that your other teeth must be in place and strong enough to withstand the procedure.  This will, however, make permanent changes to the makeup of those teeth that cannot be reversed. 
  • Dental implants.  As an implant dentist, we prefer this solution because an implant doesn't require the strength or existence of any other teeth but can rely on its own strength that is gained through a process called osseointegration.  In this procedure, a titanium post is implanted under the gums and secured to the jawbone.  The bone and metal will fuse together to create a root system that the new tooth is attached to.  With a new root system in place, the new tooth behaves like a natural one and is just as durable.  Medically, the main benefit to this solution over the others is that the implant will actually strengthen the jawbone and prevent future bone loss. 
To learn more about working with an implant dentist, call and schedule a consultation.