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 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.

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!

Makeover Your Smile with Dental Implants

dental implants MidlandTooth loss wreaks havoc on your oral health and it affects your everyday life. Remaining teeth sometimes shift, the jaw bone starts to deteriorate, and it is difficult to chew your favorite foods. It has a negative effect on the aesthetics of your smile, possibly your speech, and it can even impact your self-confidence. Adult tooth loss is more common than we like to think, especially as people age. The best restorative option for adults dealing with permanent tooth loss is dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants

Dental implants are basically prosthetic teeth and they are the closest restorative option to natural teeth. An oral surgeon first places a titanium post in the jaw where the tooth is missing. This post acts as the root of the tooth. While this area is healing, a crown is crafted in a dental laboratory to closely match neighboring teeth. On a subsequent visit, the dental crown is cemented onto the post.

Why Are Dental Implants Better?

Dental implants closely mimic natural teeth in both form and function. They are discreet because they look like neighboring teeth. Once the crown is placed, there are no dietary restrictions and patients can resume normal activities immediately. In addition, dental implants do not disturb or damage neighboring teeth like some of their temporary counterparts.

Dental implants also provide many health benefits. In addition to protecting neighboring teeth from damage, an implant fills the empty space preventing other teeth from drifting. This prevents a wide array of oral complications. The post, or root of the dental implant, also promotes circulation in the jaw where the tooth was lost. As the area heals, the jaw bone fuses to the post in a process called osseointegration. This impedes the diminishing of the jaw bone often associated with missing teeth.

Care for Dental Implants

Dental implants become permanent structures in the oral cavity. If cared for properly, they can last a lifetime. It is still necessary to brush and floss twice daily. You will also still need regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

If you are dealing with adult tooth loss, make an appointment with our office today. Our professional staff will help you explore your restorative options and take charge of your oral health. You can make over your smile with dental implants.

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

Why do we get Wisdom Teeth?

Midland wisdom teethThere are a few different theories as to why we get wisdom teeth, commonly referred to as third molars. Some believe that it is because our ancestors survived on a diet of coarse roots, nuts and meats. They were not privy to silverware and certainly did not cook their food. It is thought that these teeth were necessary to help chew and digest this abrasive diet. Others call on evolutionary wisdom to explain a theory that began many years ago when humans had wider jaws and could accommodate more teeth. No matter the history behind them, they can be a problem today.

Problems With Wisdom Teeth

Many people refer to wisdom teeth as the third molars and many dentists refer to them as the problem teeth. Wisdom teeth commonly erupt in early adulthood, long after the permanent teeth have come in. Many times, there is not room for them and other teeth tend to shift and become crowded. This can make it difficult to clean teeth thoroughly, inviting plaque and decay.

Wisdsom teeth often become impacted causing headaches, ear aches and discomfort in the jaw. Additionally, impacted teeth can become infected or even abscess. If this isn’t addressed immediately, infection can enter the bloodstream causing further health complications.

Removing Wisdom Teeth

It is often recommended that patients visit an oral surgeon to have their wisdom teeth removed, often as a preventative measure. Since we slice, cut and chop our food, the third molars are not a necessary part of our dentition. Sometimes patients wait until they experience discomfort to visit an oral surgeon. If infection is present, antibiotics may be necessary before the wisdom teeth can be extracted. On rare occasions, the wisdom teeth may erupt without issue, but they are so far back in the mouth they are difficult to keep clean.

If you still have your wisdom teeth, or you are experiencing discomfort which may stem from these third molars, call our office today. Our highly trained staff will help you explore your options so you can make the best decision for your oral health and general well-being.