Do dental implants require special care?

dental implants Midland TXDental implants, which offer structurally complete replacements for missing teeth, are associated with a variety of benefits, including convenience in care. Patients find that there are minimal differences in maintaining their dental implants and taking care of their biological teeth. This is just one of many advantages of this treatment method.

Dental Implants: Convenience In Care

In the case of single tooth replacement, a dental implant is nearly identical to a biological tooth. The oral surgeon inserts the implant, which is a small titanium cylinder, into the patient’s jaw, and after several months, the surrounding bone tissue fuses with the dental implant’s surface.

This osseointegration process leaves the dental implant as a permanent fixture in the jaw, allowing it to function similarly to a biological tooth’s root. As such, an implant-supported restoration can stand alone without support from surrounding teeth. Patients can floss around dental implants just like they do with their natural teeth, with no additional tools needed.

You will want to inform the dental hygienist of the location of your dental implants when getting your teeth cleaned, however. The hygienist may need to use special instruments and techniques while cleaning in those areas.

Keep in mind that it is important to take care of your teeth and practice good oral hygiene habits after getting dental implants. If you develop gum disease that leads to bone loss, your dental implants could be at risk. However, daily brushing and flossing, along with routine professional dental care, will reduce this risk.

Additional Benefits Of Dental Implants

Dental implants are more stable, comfortable and functional than conventional appliances that lack a root-like structure, as well.

In acting like a tooth’s root, the dental implant works to preserve the integrity of the bone tissue in the jaw, which wears away when a missing tooth’s root is not replaced. Therefore, the shape of the bone remains stable, and the appliance retains its fit.

Additionally, dental implants feel more like biological teeth because they are structurally complete. The appliance is also more secure. This is particularly helpful in the case of dentures, which can involve messy denture adhesives that are only moderately effective in keeping the denture in place.

Dental implants also preserve more of the chewing function of biological teeth, so patients who choose this treatment option can enjoy a wider variety of foods.

To learn more about maintaining dental implants and the other benefits associated with this treatment method, call Permian Basin Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to speak to one of our staff members or schedule a consultation.

Conditions Treated by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

oral surgeon Midland TXHas your dentist or physician referred you to an oral surgeon? An oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) diagnoses and treats a variety of conditions that affect the oral cavity and the face. These specialists do many things including the removal of wisdom teeth, treating traumatic facial injuries, bone grafting, and the placement of dental implants.

Following are a few conditions that an OMS can treat.

Tooth Loss

An OMS can treat tooth loss by placing dental implants. This procedure involves a deep understanding of oral anatomy and implant dentistry. Sometimes bone grafting is necessary prior to dental implantation, which is a procedure that an OMS can perform as well.

While tooth loss has far-reaching effects, replacing lost teeth with dental implants is the next best thing to biological teeth. Implants improve quality of life, increase oral function, and restore a person’s appearance.

Suspicious Lesions & Oral Cancer

Oral cancer claims thousands of lives each year. Detecting oral cancer early on is essential for securing a favorable prognosis. If your dentist or physician finds suspicious lesions inside your mouth or on your lips, he or she may refer you to an OMS for oral pathology. Oral pathology involves biopsying and analyzing tissue for malignancies.

Wisdom Tooth Arrival

The emergence of wisdom teeth can be problematic for oral health and wellbeing. These teeth are prone to becoming impacted and abscessed. They can also force teeth out of alignment and produce orofacial pain. Due to these oral health risks, an OMS will remove wisdom teeth through a surgical procedure called an extraction.

Traumatic Facial Injuries

Traumatic facial injuries often require the expert treatment of an oral surgeon. These injuries can affect delicate soft and hard tissue that can require surgery to reconstruct. Treating traumatic facial injuries can include suturing wounded tissue, corrective jaw surgery, tooth extractions, tissue grafting, and the placement of dental implants to replace lost teeth.

Malocclusions

A malocclusion is an unhealthy bite caused by improperly aligned jaws. Deformities or abnormalities in the alignment of the jawbones can be corrected through surgical procedures. Aligning the jaws through surgery improves oral function and quality of life.

If you’ve been referred to our practice, call Permian Basin Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center today to reserve an appointment with one of our skilled oral surgeons.

Experiencing Symptoms Of Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

wisdom teeth Midland TXPatients who have impacted wisdom teeth can experience certain symptoms or no symptoms at all. When your large third molars cannot erupt properly into the jaw, they can cause a number of issues. However, the timing of such problems can’t necessarily be predicted in advance.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth, you should schedule an evaluation with an oral surgeon. If your wisdom teeth have not erupted and you are in your late teens or early twenties, you should also consider such an evaluation, even if those wisdom teeth are not actively symptomatic.

Signs Of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The most common problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth are infection and abscesses, which may be indicated by issues like pain or noticeable pus, swelling or bad breath. Impacted wisdom teeth can also develop cysts and tumors or cause damage to surrounding teeth as they continue to try to erupt into the jaw.

Patients with impacted wisdom teeth may also notice that their teeth are shifting out of their proper alignment as those wisdom teeth try to push through the gums. This can undo years of orthodontic treatment. Any of these symptoms warrants follow up with a dental professional.

When To Consider Extraction

If you are experiencing symptoms that could be caused by impacted wisdom teeth, you should be assessed by an oral surgeon to see if extraction is recommended. In most cases, extraction alone will eliminate the symptoms although follow-up treatment may be needed in some circumstances.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to wait until issues occur before considering wisdom tooth extraction. In order to avoid those consequences of impacted wisdom teeth, many patients will choose to undergo extraction even if they’re not experiencing discomfort. The timing of the procedure is also a consideration, as the extraction is more straightforward in younger patients, and they recover more quickly afterward.

Patients who are experiencing symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are encouraged to call our team at Permian Basin Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center for an evaluation. Extraction can give you symptom relief.

Benefits of Implant Supported Dentures

implant supported dentures MidlandIf you’re missing most or all of your teeth, implant supported dentures might be the perfect solution for your tooth loss. This tooth replacement method involves stabilizing custom dentures to dental implants. Implant supported dentures support the entire oral health system, improve oral function, and look incredibly natural.

Our oral surgeons provide dental implants and implant supported dentures to patients in our area.

How Implant Supported Dentures Work

Implant supported dentures involve anchoring a full arch of prosthetic teeth to a series of dental implants placed throughout the jaw. Dental implants are titanium prosthetics used to replace the roots of teeth. They are shaped like cylinders and feature a ridged texture. One end is tapered and the other has an abutment to which prosthetics are attached.

Improved Oral Function

Implant supported dentures improve oral function. Since dental implants stabilize dentures, they can withstand more biting forces than unsupported dentures. This makes it possible for patients with dentures to eat tough and chewy foods.

Improved Bone Health

Tooth loss leads to bone loss in the jaw. Bone, lacking stimulation without the roots of teeth, will atrophy. Fortunately, dental implants keep the bone active, which allows patients to retain as much bone as possible.

A Natural Aesthetic

Anchoring a set of custom dentures to the jawbone helps maintain a natural looking aesthetic. This is because dentures will rest in place where they should be, instead of sliding around when eating or speaking.

Enhanced Comfort

Since the forces of oral function are thrust entirely upon the gums, sore spots are a common problem associated with unsupported dentures. With dentures supported by dental implants, patients enjoy increased comfort. This is because dental implants evenly disperse the weight associated with oral function throughout the jaw.

Implant supported dentures can change your life. They offer a long lasting and comfortable alternative to traditional dentures.

Our oral surgeons are experts at implant dentistry. If you have questions about your tooth replacement options, call Permian Basin Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center today to reserve a consultation.

Smile Confidently With Dental Implants

dental implants Midland TXWhen considering how to replace missing teeth, patients may be concerned that their prosthetic appliances will slip up at an inopportune time or that their replacement teeth will be noticeably artificial. These patients should explore dental implants, which offer more security than standard appliances due to their unique structural characteristics.

How Dental Implants Differ From Conventional Tooth Replacement Approaches

Unlike standard dentures or fixed dental bridges, dental implants are structurally complete. The implant is a small titanium cylinder that is inserted into the patient’s jaw by an oral surgeon. Because titanium is biocompatible, the bone is able to form a strong bond with the dental implant.

That process of osseointegration renders the implant as a permanent fixture in the patient’s jaw. As such, it functions similarly to a biological tooth’s root. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement method that consists of both a root-like structure and a crown. That unique nature confers numerous advantages over conventional appliances.

Benefits Of Dental Implants

The connection between bone and implant makes an implant-supported crown or appliance far more stable than a conventional appliance. The replacement tooth (or teeth) is securely attached to the jaw, so it won’t slip out of place when the patient is trying to smile or talk. This typically gives patients more peace of mind when they grin or chat with a friend.

Additionally, dental implants anchor the bone in the same way that the roots of biological teeth do. Therefore, the bone is less likely to erode and its shape remains constant. Implant-supported appliances retain their fit while conventional appliances become looser as the jaw’s contour changes.

In the case of single tooth replacement, dental implants are able to stand alone without impacting the surrounding teeth. A fixed dental bridge requires that healthy enamel be removed from adjoining teeth to create space for crowns to be placed to secure the pontic (artificial crown). That process can compromise the integrity of those teeth and make them more susceptible to damage.

We encourage patients who want to smile confidently after tooth loss to consider dental implants as a treatment option. Schedule an evaluation at Permian Basin Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to learn more about this intervention.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Helps to Keep Your Smile Straight

wisdom teeth Midland TXDo you have straight teeth? Perhaps you wore braces during your adolescence to maintain a healthy occlusion and improve the positioning of your teeth. Did you know that your wisdom teeth pose a threat to the spacing and positions of other teeth? It’s true; as wisdom teeth begin to emerge, they tend to cause orthodontic and occlusal issues because the mouth is too crowded for their arrival. This crowded situation normally means that teeth will begin to shift out of alignment. They might even become rotated and overlapped from the forces associated with wisdom tooth eruption.

Tooth Removal is typically recommended when it comes to wisdom teeth. Removing wisdom teeth can prevent unwanted tooth movement along with a host of other oral health issues. Our oral surgeons provide gentle wisdom tooth removal to help patients maintain optimal oral health.

Why do wisdom teeth cause problems?

Wisdom teeth, technically known as “third molars”, contribute to a variety of dental issues including increased risks for periodontal disease and dental caries. The reason these teeth cause problems is due to the time when they arrive and where they are located in the oral cavity.

Third molars erupt in early adulthood. This is many years after the last permanent, adult tooth has emerged. For years, adult teeth are left undisturbed while their roots establish their positions in the jaw. When wisdom teeth emerge, their arrival will crowd existing teeth while generating force to move teeth to unwanted positions.

The crowded situation that typically accompanies most wisdom tooth eruption means that many third molars will be impacted. An impacted tooth cannot fully emerge through the gingiva and instead becomes trapped in the bone and/or gums. Impacted teeth are practically impossible to clean. Many impacted teeth become infected. It’s not uncommon for patients to develop dental caries and gum disease on their wisdom teeth as well as neighboring teeth.

If your dentist has recommended wisdom tooth removal, call us at Permian Basin Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center today to reserve a consultation with our oral surgeons.

What Questions Should I Ask Before Choosing An Oral Surgeon?

oral surgeon Midland TXWhen researching what oral surgeon to use for a procedure such as wisdom tooth extraction or dental implant placement, patients may be interested in exploring several different aspects of the surgeon’s qualifications. Here are some questions that you may ask when deciding on an oral surgeon.

Do you have experience working on cases like mine? When facing an oral surgery procedure, it’s natural to want reassurance that your oral surgeon has experience performing that procedure in a variety of circumstances. Feel free to ask to see results of patients that the surgeon has treated previously as well.

What is your educational background? What specific training do you have to provide the treatment that I will receive? In addition to knowing that your oral surgeon has plenty of practice providing the intervention that has been recommended for you, it can also be helpful to know what kind of training the surgeon completed in order to be qualified to do so. Furthermore, you will want to check that your surgeon completed a post-graduate residency in the specialty at an accredited dental school.

How will you ensure my comfort and safety while I am in your care? Oral surgery patients want to receive care from providers who prioritize their comfort and monitor their safety throughout a surgical procedure. Ask about the sedation procedures that are used in the practice, as well as the surgeon’s preferred post-operative pain management strategies.

Will I be able to reach you if I have questions after the procedure? While you will receive detailed post-operative instructions before you leave our office, we understand that you may have additional questions or need clarification on something. Our office has a 24-hour answering service so that you may contact us for urgent issues at any time.

What forms of payment do you accept? You may want an oral surgery practice that accepts a variety of different payment options to help you fit the costs of your care into your budget.

Whatever questions you may have when seeking an oral surgeon, our friendly staff is happy to provide the information you need. Feel free to call our office at any time.

What is the lifespan of a dental implant?

dental implants Odessa TXThe lifespan of a dental implant can vary from person to person but since dental implants are incredibly durable, most people enjoy their prosthetic teeth for decades – if not longer. The reason the lifespan of dental implants is so long is due to the fact that implants are made from durable, biocompatible materials and secured by the bone in the jaw. Before an implant is fitted with a custom restoration, an oral surgeon or dentist will monitor the process of bone stabilizing the implant over time. Without bone to anchor the implant, the implant would not be able to serve as an adequate base for restorations like crowns and bridges.

Why is a dental implant made of titanium?

A dental implant is made of titanium because this metal is considered biocompatible, which means that the body won’t reject the implant as a foreign object but rather natural tissue. Having biocompatible prosthetics and restorations is necessary for the longevity and functionality of the replacement tooth.

How big are dental implants?

Dental implants are available in a few different sizes. Larger dental implants are usually less than ten millimeters in diameter. Implants with larger diameters are usually reserved for single tooth replacement whereas smaller dental implants are used for securing prosthetics that replace multiple teeth.

What kinds of restorations are attached to dental implants?

Restorations and prosthetics can be attached to dental implants because implants feature abutments on one end. The most common restorations used to replace lost teeth are crowns and bridges. Crowns and bridges make for excellent replacement teeth when attached to dental implants.

Prosthetics attached to implants are dentures. Patients may choose to have a full denture anchored to multiple dental implants or a partial. When dentures are held in place by implants, oral function is greatly increased when compared to unsupported dentures.

If you have questions about dental implants and your tooth replacement options, call us today to reserve a consultation with one of our oral surgeons at Permian Basin Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center.

How Long Will My Dentures Last?

implant supported dentures MidlandThe lifespan of your dentures can depend on many things. For example, if you lose bone rapidly, you might need a new set of dentures rather quickly. On the other hand, dental implant supported dentures can last longer than most conventional types of dentures because dental implants help keep bone stimulated so that it doesn’t atrophy. Our oral surgeon places dental implants that can support crowns, bridges, and dentures.

What are dental implants, exactly?

Dental implants are small titanium components used to replace the roots of teeth. These components are only a few millimeters wide and have a tapered end. Their texture is ridged, much like that of a screw. Since a dental implant is constructed from titanium, it will become a part of the body once bone in the jaw fuses around it. The jawbone will hold the implant in place so that people can enjoy effective oral function with their replacement teeth. Prosthetics anchored to dental implants will not move or slide.

Why should I have implant supported dentures?

When compared to conventional dentures, implant supported prosthetics tend to perform better and last longer. Anchoring dentures to dental implants is beneficial for many reasons. Dental implants will stabilize dentures so that they will not move during oral function.

Dental implants will help keep bone stimulated so that it won’t atrophy. Bone loss commonly affects people afflicted by tooth loss. When bone is lost, the face will lose shape and appear sunken in. Loss of bone can also contribute to additional tooth loss and problems with the TMJ.

Who is a candidate for this procedure?

Candidates for implant supported dentures can be new to wearing prosthetic teeth or those who have worn conventional dentures for years. The main focus in determining a patient’s candidacy is whether he or she has enough bone to support dental implants and healthy enough to heal from oral surgery.

Those receiving implant supported dentures should be committed to practicing good oral hygiene and attending routine checkups. Call us today to reserve a consultation with one of our oral surgeons.

How to Deal With Dry Socket

wisdom teeth MidlandDry socket is a complication they can develop after you have a tooth extracted. If you have had wisdom teeth or other teeth removed, you should be aware of the symptoms of dry socket and what to do if it seems to be developing. If you do notice symptoms of dry socket, you should see your dentist or oral surgeon right away.

What Is Dry Socket?

When a tooth is removed, a blood clot forms that fills the socket where the tooth used to be. This blood clot helps stanch bleeding and also protects the exposed nerves and bone left behind after the extraction. However, in some cases, the clot can become dislodged. This is called dry socket.

You should be aware of the symptoms of dry socket so you can notify your doctor as soon as possible if you notice them. Symptoms include:

  • Extreme discomfort at the extraction site
  • You can see that the blood clot has been dislodged
  • Bleeding at the extraction site

Dry socket can be extremely uncomfortable, so if the over-the-counter or prescription pain meds you have been recommended after your procedure seem not to be helping, or if your discomfort increases a day or two after the procedure, talk to your oral surgeon.

Preventing Dry Socket

Many of the aftercare instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon are designed to prevent dry socket. After your procedure, you should be sure to follow these recommendations:

  • Do not use a straw
  • Eat soft foods for a day or two
  • Don’t brush your teeth over the extraction site
  • Follow any other instructions you have been given

If you do experience dry socket, your oral surgeon will treat it by packing the empty space with a sterile dressing to protect the socket. You might have to go back every day or two to have this dressing replaced. You can greatly reduce your chances of developing dry socket by diligently following your dentist’s aftercare instructions.

Call our office today if you have more questions.