What is the success rate of dental implants?

dental implants MidlandDental implants are becoming an increasingly popular tooth replacement method because they offer patients the closest approximation of natural teeth both structurally and aesthetically. Dental implants also are quite reliable. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the procedure has an overall success rate of 95 percent.

Several factors influence the success of dental implants. Most importantly, dental implants must have sufficient bone available in the jaw to support them. However, when a tooth is lost, the jaw bone begins to recede because the tooth’s root is no longer present to serve as an anchor. This process proceeds more quickly toward the rear of the mouth, leading to greater bone loss.

Before placing your dental implants,  an implant dentist or oral surgeon will complete a thorough evaluation of your mouth and jaw to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for implants. Even if you have experienced substantial bone loss, you may still qualify for dental implants, as implant dentists can use a variety of techniques, such as sinus augmentation, to provide sufficient bone material for implant placement.

Certain oral diseases may also compromise the bone, increasing the risk of implant failure. Therefore, the implant dentist must make sure that you do not have any untreated gum disease or advanced tooth decay prior to placing the implants.

The patient plays an important role in the success of dental implants, as well. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is essential, as the failure to keep the mouth clear of bacteria and plaque can lead to gum disease and decay. Additionally, you will need to keep all of your scheduled follow-up appointments with the implant dentist. These appointments offer the dentist an opportunity to identify any dental implant problems in their early stages, when they can be fixed more easily.

Smoking is another concern for dental implant patients. While smokers are typically eligible for implants, the habit can also increase the risk of gum disease, which may jeopardize the implants. When implant patients quit smoking, they reduce the risk of complications with the dental implants.

If you would like to learn more about dental implants, please contact us at Permian Basin Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center.

Tips to Ensure a Successful Dental Implant Recovery

dental implants OdessaAlthough they require a surgical procedure, dental implants don’t have to derail your normal routine for an extended period of time. Most patients are able to resume normal activities within a matter of days after having their dental implants placed. However, post-operative complications can keep you out of commission longer than necessary. Your oral surgeon can give you some suggestions on how to maximize your chances of an uneventful recovery following dental implant placement.

As is the case with any surgery, infection is a risk after the procedure. In order to prevent this outcome, you should closely follow the instructions provided by your oral surgeon for keeping the implant site as clean as possible. You may need to alter your oral hygiene regimen slightly for a few days immediately after the procedure, but you still need to take steps to keep your mouth clean.

Additionally, you may be directed to adjust your diet in the initial days following dental implant placement. Eating softer foods will make it less likely that you’ll re-open an incision or otherwise interfere with the healing process by chewing tougher foods. This change is only temporary, as you will be able to eat a full complement of foods—even fresh fruits and vegetables—after your dental implants have been completely osseointegrated.

You’ll receive a list of symptoms that could indicate a problem, such as persistent bleeding, ongoing pain or fever. If you notice any of these signs, you should call your surgeon’s office as soon as possible for further evaluation.

Other factors, such as the status of your oral health and your overall well-being, as well as the quality of available bone at the implant site, can also influence the recovery process. Your surgeon will thoroughly assess all of these aspects at your consultation so that any potential problems can be addressed in the treatment plan.

We want to do everything possible to help you successfully recover after you get your dental implants. Make sure that you understand all of your post-operative instructions, and feel free to ask for any clarification or additional information you might need to reduce your risk of complications.

Contact our office today to discuss your options!

Wisdom Teeth Removal: What are post-extraction considerations?

wisdom teeth MidlandHaving your wisdom teeth removed doesn’t have to be terribly disruptive to your schedule. The procedure is relatively routine at this point. However, it does involve a surgical procedure, and post-extraction complications can derail your recovery. Here are some considerations for an uneventful recuperation after wisdom tooth extraction.

Preventing infection will keep your healing process on track, so it’s important to follow the instructions provided by your oral surgeon to keep the extraction site clean and free from bacteria. You may need to adjust your brushing and flossing routine in the days immediately after your wisdom teeth are removed, but you still need to use alternative techniques recommended by your oral surgeon in order to keep the area clean. Your oral surgeon may also prescribe a course of prophylactic (preventive) antibiotics. If so, be sure to take the entire prescription, even if you are not symptomatic. Discontinuing antibiotics too soon may make you susceptible to infection.

Another common complication following wisdom tooth extraction is dry sockets. This painful condition develops when the blood clots either fail to form or are dislodged too soon from the tender empty socket. Your oral surgeon will also give you instructions to reduce your risk of this issue, and you should follow these closely, as well. For starters, avoid drinking straws until you have healed completely from the procedure. Smoking can also interfere with the healing process, so you should abstain from this habit for at least a few weeks. Ideally, you’ll choose to give up cigarettes for good at this opportunity. You may also need to include mainly softer foods in your diet for a few days to give yourself time to heal.

If you have any other questions about aftercare following your wisdom tooth extraction, contact our office and speak to one of our experienced team members. We are quite familiar with the problems most often encountered by patients after having their wisdom teeth removed, and we can make recommendations to help you reduce your risk.

Oral Surgery: What should I expect at the initial consultation?

oral surgeon Midland TXThe prospect of meeting with an oral surgeon for the first time can be intimidating, especially if the patient has not undergone any dental surgeries before. Knowing what to expect from this initial appointment can ease a patient’s nerves a bit, so here is an overview of what happens at the initial consultation.

We ask you to bring certain documentation with you to this initial visit to our office, including your insurance card and the referral form provided by your dentist that indicates the specific procedure you need, such as wisdom teeth extraction. You should also bring along any x-rays that were already taken by a different provider (or request for them to be sent electronically) so that the oral surgeon can avoid re-doing imaging unnecessarily.

Your first appointment is primarily intended to give the oral surgeon the opportunity to evaluate your case to begin planning the appropriate treatment. The surgeon will visually examine your jaw and may take additional x-rays or order other imaging, such as CT scans, if necessary to gather all of the information needed for the treatment plan.

The surgeon may also give you a general overview of the recommended treatment at this session. You will also get a chance to ask any questions you may have in order to make your treatment decision. If there will be no other appointments prior to the surgery, you may also leave the office with a detailed list of pre-operative and post-operative instructions. We ask that you closely follow these in order to minimize your risk of complications.

If you’re worried that the initial consultation might result in pain for you, we’d like to put that notion to rest. No aspect of this appointment should create new discomfort for you. If there is concern that the examination may trigger some existing discomfort, let us know in advance and we can plan for your comfort.

Do you have more questions about your initial consultation for wisdom teeth extraction or some other dental surgery? Call our office to get any additional information that you may need.

Makeover Your Smile with Dental Implants

dental implants Midland Has tooth loss ravaged your self-esteem and oral function? Living with missing teeth is incredibly difficult. From having issues with confidence because of the gaps in your smile to having trouble eating your favorite foods, tooth loss will affect your daily life. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry has a solution for addressing the aesthetic and functional concerns that accompany tooth loss with dental implants. Our oral surgeon has the expertise necessary to restore your smile with these lifelike and durable prosthetics.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are actually titanium components that are used replace the root structure of teeth. An implant resembles a screw in the way that the implant’s diameter becomes gradually wider and it features a ridged texture. They are embedded into the jawbone through minor oral surgery. The implant has an abutment where a restoration is attached. Single dental implants hold crowns and bridges whereas a series of dental implants can hold a total arch of teeth (dentures).

How do they work?

Unlike other prosthetics like bridges and dentures, dental implants address the missing roots of teeth. This is possible because titanium is a metal that is compatible with the body’s structures. Bone will fuse to titanium as if it is natural mineralized tissue. The process of bone fusing to titanium is called osseointegration and this process is what stabilizes an implant so that it can last for decades and support a restoration durably.

Will dental implants look natural?

Since restorations can be made from tooth-colored materials like porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. These materials look just like natural teeth. In fact, they will not be detectable as prosthetics to those around you. Porcelain has been used in cosmetic dentistry for quite some time because it lends a beautiful yet natural looking enhancement to one’s smile.

How do I know if implants are right for me?

If you have missing teeth, it is worth your time to learn more about dental implants. These prosthetics are considered the best alternative to biological teeth. For this reason, we recommend scheduling a consultation with our oral surgeon who can determine if this tooth replacement method is right for you.

Call us today to schedule an appointment with our caring team!

Why do we get Wisdom Teeth?

Midland wisdom teethWisdom teeth are the last set of molars that emerge, usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties. No one is completely sure why we get wisdom teeth, although theories abound. In general, these teeth are considered vestigial, in that they once had a function but now are considered unimportant.

Theories About Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to arrive, and by the time they emerge, most people don’t have enough room remaining in their mouths to accommodate them. They tend to become impacted, pushing against adjacent teeth and unable to completely emerge through the gums. They often become infected, causing severe discomfort, at which point they should be removed.

So why do we get teeth that are of no use to us, and that instead cause problems? No one is completely sure. However, it’s possible that at one time in human evolution, these teeth were useful additions to our dentition. Since humans are omnivorous—which means we will eat just about anything—our molars tend to wear down. Without dental expertise, our ancient ancestors probably lost molars over time as they matured. Whether they wore down and became unusable or became severely decayed, or fell out due to gum disease, these back molars needed to be replaced. Since to our ancestors, the twenties represented middle age, the wisdom teeth arrived just in time to replace teeth that had fallen out or to augment teeth rendered nearly useless by wear or decay.

Do I Have to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

With the arrival of sophisticated dental expertise and technology, we no longer need a third set of molars to replace teeth that have fallen out or decayed. Our other molars stay healthy and usable our whole lives, in many cases. As a result, many people find themselves turning to an oral surgeon to remove their wisdom teeth.

It isn’t always necessary to have these teeth removed, however. Some people do have enough room to support another set of molars. Other people might be missing a 6-year or 12-year molar, in which case the wisdom tooth can take its place. Still other people don’t have all four wisdom teeth. If you do have problems with these molars, though, such as extreme discomfort or obvious infection, be sure to talk to your dentist or our oral surgeons about having them removed.

Contact us at Permian Basin Oral Surgery today!