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 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.