What Is Implant Dentistry?

implant dentistry

One small accident can have a major impact on your smile. In fact, about 20% of people suffer from an oro-dental trauma to their teeth at some point in their lives. Without treatment, you could experience complications in the future.

In fact, you could develop facial and psychological issues or changes to your quality of life. 

Implant dentistry could provide the perfect solution to your oro-dental trauma. You can restore your smile and with it, your self-confidence.

What are dental implants, exactly, and how can they benefit your dental health? Read on to find out!

After reading this implant dentistry guide, you can determine if dental implants are right for you. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about dental implants today!

What is Implant Dentistry?

First, let’s cover the basics: what is implant dentistry?

Dental implants are prosthetics custom-designed to replace a patient’s missing teeth. An oral surgeon can fix the implants directly into your jawbone. Through a process called osseointegration, the implants are fused to the jawbone to ensure they remain in place.

Patients can experience long-lasting results to maintain a stunning, improved smile. 

The fusion process ensures the dental implant replaces your missing tooth’s previously-existing root. Once osseointegration is complete, an oral surgeon will place a bridge. The bridge will ensure the replacement tooth’s lasting placement. 

The osseointegration process will also ensure the implant fuses to the bone for stimulation. Keeping the jawbone stimulated will help preserve your bone’s structure.

Otherwise, your jawbone might begin to degrade. 

Your dentist might place a single dental implant or a bridge to replace multiple lost teeth. They might also use a bridge to secure dentures. 

A single crown, on the other hand, is ideal if you’re only missing a single tooth. 

Ideal Patients

In order to start better understanding implant dentistry, it helps to consider why you might require this procedure. Ideal patients are first healthy enough to successfully undergo surgery. 

If your oral surgeon determines you’re an ideal candidate for the procedure, they’ll next check your gums and teeth. They’ll need to determine your gums are healthy enough for the osseointegration process. 

Your dentist will need to make sure you have enough bone for the implant as well. Otherwise, they’ll likely recommend other treatment options.

Your dentist might determine you’re not an ideal candidate if you have:

  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • A severe bleeding disorder
  • A smoking habit

You can schedule a consultation appointment with your dentist to determine if this course of treatment is right for you. Otherwise, you can explore alternative forms of treatment. 

Types of Implants

During your consultation appointment, you and your dentist can discuss different types of dental implants. There are two main types of implants you might consider: endosteal and subperiosteal implants.

Endosteal implants are placed within the bone. You’ll undergo the osseointegration process if you receive endosteal implants. 

Subperiosteal implants, on the other hand, rest on top of the jawbone. Your dentist might recommend this type of implant depending on your jaw and gum health.

Subperiosteal implants aren’t recommended often, though. Endosteal implants are the more common option. Most patients experience better results with endosteal implants, too.

Otherwise, you might consider talking to your dentist about mini dental implants.

Mini dental implants are exactly as they sound; they’re smaller than the traditional type of dental implants. Dentists might recommend mini implants if teeth only need anchorage for a short period. Your dentist can remove the mini implants before providing a long-term treatment option. 

The final type of implant dentistry is called all-in-four dental implants. These implants are ideal for patients that need to replace teeth connected by an arch. 

You can schedule a consultation with your dentist to determine which type of implant suits your treatment needs. 

The Procedure

When understanding implant dentistry, it helps to consider the entire procedure. You’ll need to schedule multiple appointments for the entire procedure. 

First, you’ll schedule your implant dentistry consultation. Your dentist will examine your jaw and gums during this appointment. Then, they’ll determine if treatment can benefit your oral health needs. 

If your jawbone has adequate foundation, your dentist might recommend you for this procedure. 

Next, you’ll need to schedule an appointment to have the titanium implants surgically placed into your jawbone. You’ll likely need local anesthesia. Local anesthesia will ensure your comfort during the procedure. 

Your dentist will extract the tooth at the dental implant site. Then, they’ll ensure the bone graft is placed.

If enough bone is present, they’ll extract the damaged tooth and place the implant within the same appointment. 

You’ll require three to six months to give the implant time to heal. Once the implant is integrated with the jawbone, you can schedule the next appointment. During this appointment, your dentist will place the restoration.

The restoration might include a dental crown, implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported denture. 

The Benefits

While reviewing this implant dentistry guide with your oral surgeon, consider discussing the potential benefits you’ll experience. 

For starters, implants behave and look like your natural teeth. You can restore the previous functionality of your lost tooth with an implant.

They’re also biocompatible. Your body will accept the implant fully. 

Your implant will also ensure your teeth remain stable. Otherwise, the surrounding teeth will begin to migrate toward the gap. 

An implant can also help you avoid facial sagging. The implant will help preserve the jawbone. Otherwise, you could experience structural deterioration. 

Without treatment, any gaps in your smile might cause your lower face to shrivel inward. 

The success rate for this procedure is 98%. Scheduling the implant procedure can restore your smile and help you avoid complications in the future.

What is Implant Dentistry?: Your Guide to a Stunning Smile

Don’t let a gap in your smile impact your oral health. Instead, consider implant dentistry. A dental implant can fill any gaps in your smile and restore your self-confidence.

Consider scheduling a consultation appointment today. 

Not sure if oral surgery is right for you? We can help. 

Learn more about our practice today to get started!

7 Tips on Choosing Dentists for Tooth Extractions in Salt Lake City

dentists for tooth extractions

Finding dentists for tooth extractions in Salt Lake City could be a priority in the next year if you’re like the 93 percent of adults who plan to make visits to their dentists in the next year. Hopefully, the issues you’re experiencing haven’t progressed to that point. 

How do you even know a tooth extraction is necessary? Here are some signs.

Jaw Pain Or Swelling

Jaw pain or swelling is usually caused by an infection of some kind. The underlying cause can differ, however. Impacted teeth are common culprits. 

Impaction happens when one of your teeth is actually growing into another one. This collision, so to speak, creates soreness and swelling in the gum that, if severe, will call for an extraction.

Advanced Tooth Decay

Advanced tooth decay is yet another culprit of redness, swelling, and intense pain in and around the gums. Tooth decay occurs when a bacteria known as plaque latches onto the tooth and begins to eat away at the enamel.

Enamel is a barrier of protection for your teeth. Without it, the tooth weakens and becomes more susceptible to damage. Plaque can also attack the gums and underneath them, further weakening the tooth. 

Crowding

Crowding can occur when you have adult teeth coming in over stubborn baby teeth. Adolescents typically experience this, but there are plenty of adults out there who still have baby teeth. 

An overcrowded mouth may not necessarily require extraction. Experiencing pain and swelling, however, is a sign that you’re on your way to it. 

Dental Injuries

Badly chipped or broken teeth as the result of an injury can also be a legitimate reason for tooth extraction. After all, the tooth is not something that regenerates. 

If a piece of your tooth is broken, depending on how large and where the breakpoint is, you could possibly get by with a crown. It’s all about how much of the tooth remains salvageable.

With significant damage, you’ll need an extraction. That means finding someone who knows what they’re doing. Here’s where to begin:

1. Check With Your Network

Before getting a tooth extraction in Salt Lake City, you should ask your local network of friends and family. These can be people within your household, co-workers, or even acquaintances on social media who live in or around the city.

Some people are personal about the type of work they get done at the dentist. Try not to make them feel self-conscious or put them on the spot. Sharing that you are looking for a good dentist to handle an upcoming extraction, though, can be a great icebreaker and make them feel more comfortable about speaking up. 

2. Read What Others Are Saying

Read online reviews about extractions or TMJ treatment in Salt Lake City, which can be another invasive type of dental surgery. Dentists with experience treating TMJ likely have the knowledge and expertise to navigate you through a simple extraction. 

As you plunge into online reviews on sites like Facebook, Yelp, and Google, try to keep everything in perspective. A dentist doesn’t have to be five-starred to be good. Pay close attention to three-star reviews if there are any. Otherwise, judge the substance of each review individually, as well as any responses the dentist has made.

3. Check Out Dentist’s Background

If you wanted the best dental implants in Salt Lake City, you wouldn’t go to a dental college. You would want someone with advanced training and know-how. 

Keep that in mind as you look into the dentist’s training and education. Are they members of any professional organizations? Where did they earn their degree, and what was the highest level achieved?

How long have they been practicing? These are all questions you’ll want to know the answers to before sitting down in a dental chair with the individual you’re considering.

4. Consider Their Values

What do values have to do with getting dental implants in Utah? Well, more than you think. Values color everything from the conversations we have to the relationships that we build. 

We’re not saying your dentist should be a clone of you. But your dentist should share enough in common to facilitate better communication between the two of you. They also must have a good bedside manner and a sense of how to connect with their patients.

5. Find One That Makes Financial Sense

Expensive extractions like wisdom teeth removal can be expensive, even in Utah, which is a state with a relatively low cost of living. Before you settle on a dentist, you’ll want to consider the type of work that you’re going to have done, the costs, and how much of your insurance will cover it. 

If you don’t have insurance, ask your dentist about any programs, special financing, or other payment options they accept. There are many ways to mitigate the costs of extraction. It starts with finding a dentist that makes financial sense.

6. Pick Proactive Communicators 

Whether your oral surgeon is in South Jordan or SLC, you need someone who is effective at communicating online and off. Pay close attention to how they explain issues and procedures. 

Choose someone capable of doing so in a clear manner. One that can be easily verified with evidence (think X-rays and other supporting materials).

7. Factor In Flexibility 

Implants and oral surgery of Utah patients should be flexible. Life can get in the way sometimes, and you want a dentist who understands that things might come up and require rescheduling. 

Do they make that process difficult or easy? Flexible dentists are more likely to put your mind at rest during what could otherwise be a very stressful time.

Choose Experienced Dentists For Tooth Extractions Above All

When looking at dentists for tooth extractions, find someone willing to work with your schedule. Expect nothing less than the training, education, and background you deserve for a quick and painless procedure. 

Are you ready to book an appointment? Contact Aspire Surgical at your earliest convenience. To get ready for your appointment, check out these four tips for an upcoming oral surgery.

Everything to Consider When Choosing a Corrective Jaw Surgeon

corrective jaw surgeon

After months of weighing the benefits, you’ve finally decided to get the corrective jaw surgery you need.

This is an exciting process that brings you one step closer to having that dream smile you’ve always wanted. Now all you need to do is find a corrective jaw surgeon.

You need a surgeon that understands all of your needs. But this may feel easier said than done, as you’re not sure how or where to look to begin your search. 

If you’re looking for the perfect surgeon to perform your corrective jaw surgery, read this guide on everything you should consider in your search.

Education

Any oral and facial surgery requires a high level of expertise. When finding a specialized professional, you should consider the training and education they went through.

Go through each surgeon on your list and check that each graduated from an accredited program/school.

Consider the type of training they underwent. Are they experts in just surgical operations, or did they spend more time studying anesthesia as well?

Having a surgeon trained in multiple aspects of surgery can give you peace of mind knowing that they are experts on complex situations should they arise.

Do they prioritize continuous training?

A good surgeon prioritizes learning new innovative techniques that can reduce things that were once considered a risk. Having a surgeon in the field for over 20 years can be good, but if they aren’t constantly updating their skills, they could be performing techniques on you that are two decades old.

Remember to ask for proof of board certification from every surgeon you’re considering. If they cannot, you may not feel comfortable or safe with them performing your corrective jaw surgery procedure.

Experience of the Corrective Jaw Surgeon

How has the surgeon put their education to use? You can find this out by looking up their oral surgery experience.

Research how long the surgeon has performed jaw surgeries. You might prefer someone whose records show a track record of 10 years versus someone who has never performed the surgery.

Consider any accolades they have in their honor; this means they are dedicated to contributing to the growth of their field.

You can also look up any organizations they are a part of or affiliated with. For example, a surgeon affiliated with the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons connects with a wide network of similar experts in the field all over the country.

The Services They Offer

Whether it’s a scheduled procedure or an unexpected surgery, the last thing you want is to find out too late that what you need is not something your surgeon can provide. Checking out the services the surgeon offers can prevent this from happening.

Most surgeons have their list of services available directly on their website, but just in case, call the office directly to make sure the information is up to date.

The more an office offers, the more you’re covered in any situation. Some common surgeries they should have listed are:

  • Corrective jaw surgery
  • Teeth extractions
  • Dental implants
  • Bone grafting

Ask if the surgeon has before and after pictures to give you a better idea of their final results.

The Costs

You could have already created a corrective jaw surgery budget to cover the surgery depending on the circumstance. Still, more often than not, the surgery can come up as an unexpected expense. It would be best if you chose a professional surgical practice that gives you various payments options.

Ask the dental provider what insurances they accept and what forms of payment are allowed in their office. If they are out of network, will they allow payment plans to help break up costs?

Obvious red flags of cash-only establishments are to be avoided at all costs, and you should steer clear of offices that don’t offer receipts or proofs of payment.

Their Reputation

It’s common for you to receive your oral surgeon referral from a licensed dentist. But if you don’t, there are a few ways to find one with a good reputation on your own.

The first thing you can do is ask your friends and family. Getting referrals from people you trust can make the process easier because you know firsthand patients that have undergone procedures in their office. Ask about their experiences.

Did they feel comfortable walking into the office? Did the surgeon make the experience comfortable? You can also ask if the office staff were helpful and inviting.

The next step is to look up reviews. It might help you decide if you filtered the reviews to show the lowest reviews, the highest reviews, and then everything in between.

With low-rank reviews, take note of what exactly people are pointing out. If the complaints refer to things that are not really in the control of the office or staff, don’t let them scare you away.

Remember to check multiple reviews sites to prevent any bias that can occur.

Comfort and Convenience

Once all your research is completed, you’ll want to visit the locations in person to meet the teams.

When traveling, take note of how long the drive is. Is the location a suitable distance away in the event of an emergency?  

What about hours, does their availability work for your schedule?

When you arrive, a good jaw surgeon will have staff who are welcoming and available to answer all of your questions regarding your consultation visit. 

When you finally sit down and talk to the surgeon, being comfortable is the most important aspect. A surgeon that rushes you out the door and seems too busy to answer any of your questions is not a surgeon you want doing a jaw procedure that requires unrushed precision.

Once the consultation is over, compare your notes and choose a jaw surgeon that makes you feel confident and safe.

Book Your Consultation Today

Finding a corrective jaw surgeon with these steps will make the search quick and simple. As you progress through each step, cross off any surgeons that don’t match the criteria.

In the end, you’ll have a surgeon that meets the standards and goes above and beyond for your care.

Aspire Surgical Center is a team of innovatively thinking oral and facial surgeons. We offer various services that get you one step closer to achieving the look you’ve always dreamt for yourself.

Don’t settle for anything but amazing.

For information on services, visit our website and find the location nearest you.

TMJ Awareness Month: The Facts You Need to Know Today

TMJ awareness month

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is easily the most important joint in the body. The sliding hinge on either side of the skull allows for speech, eating, and any action that requires the opening and closing of the lower jaw. 

For some folks, one or both sides of the jaw can become inflamed. An often painful condition called TMJ disorder (TMD) can result. To raise awareness of this serious degenerative condition, November has been named TMJ Awareness Month. 

To help raise awareness of this important month, the oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Aspire Surgical offer this TMJ disorder overview. We’ll explore facts about TMJ so you can recognize TMJ symptoms. 

What Is TMJ Disorder?

What is TMJ? If you have ever slept incorrectly, you may have temporarily woken up with a sore jaw. If your jaw is healthy, the discomfort will only be momentary.

People with TMJ disorder live with continual discomfort and pain around their TMJ. To understand TMJ disorder requires an understanding of the joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull.

The TMJs, located at the base of the skull, act like sliding hinges that allow the lower jaw to open and close with ease. The network of muscles, connective tissue, and bones that support the jawbones is delicate. 

When the joints do not function properly (often due to poor alignment of the jawbones) a condition known as TMD can result. The good news is this jaw disorder can be effectively treated when you work with a qualified crew of oral maxillofacial surgeons. TMJ treatment does not always require surgery. 

The Causes of TMJ Disorders

TMD is more common than many people think. In fact, around 12% of adults in the United States deal with this condition. TMD is more common in women than men. 

Injury  

There is no one cause of TMD. The condition could result from an injury to the head or face. Serious trauma may require immediate surgery.

Malocclusion

Another common cause of TMJ disorder is poor tooth alignment (malocclusion) that doesn’t allow the jaws to properly align. This is one reason why orthodontic treatment is often used to treat mild cases of TMD.

Arthritis and Age

Arthritis is another possible cause of TMD. The TMJs are susceptible to wear and tear just like other joints.

Over time, the cartilage in the joints can wear thin and expose the underlying bone. Age is a risk factor for TMD, but the condition can arise early in adulthood. Some of our patients who are in their 20s and 30s experience TMD-related jaw pain. 

Bruxism

If you suffer from nighttime teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, then you may be at high risk of developing TMJ disorder. The involuntary jawbone clenching stresses the TMJs. In other cases, TMD can actually be the cause of bruxism. 

TMJ Symptoms

The most common symptom of TMD is pain in or around the jaw. Symptoms are often more pronounced in the morning but not always. 

Pain and Discomfort

Due to the position of the jaws, discomfort or pain may radiate to the face or ears. Some people notice TMD discomfort when they are eating.

Impeded Jawbone Range of Motion

Even if TMD doesn’t cause significant pain, people with the condition may notice that their jaw doesn’t open easily. There may be a clicking or popping sensation when their jaw fully opens. The inability to fully open the jaw may lead to the sensation that the range of motion of the jaw is restricted. 

Will Symptoms Subside on Their Own?

The symptoms of TMD may subside on their own or they may require orthodontic treatment. For serious cases of TMD, one common treatment is surgery. If you are preparing for surgery at one of our offices, you can trust that your comfort will be our top priority.  

When to See a Doctor

If you are wondering when to see a doctor for TMJ, the best course of action is to be safe and schedule an exam. TMD can be more easily treated in the early stages of the disorder. 

TMJ Treatment Options

If you are seeking relief from TMD, the first step is to undergo a comprehensive examination at one of our offices. Depending on your symptoms and other factors, one of our doctors will customize a treatment plan. 

Relaxation Exercises

Mild symptoms can be treated using facial or jaw relaxation exercises. Some patients can benefit from lifestyle changes. If stress is the underlying cause of bruxism, meditation and exercise could address symptoms.

Treatment for Nighttime Teeth Grinding

Bruxism can also be effectively treated using a nightguard that is worn at night. The custom medical mouthguards help the jaw muscles relax at night. 

Dental Work or Orthodontics

Dental treatments are another treatment option. Poorly fitting prosthetics could cause jaw pain. Orthodontic treatments can effectively address TMD for many patients. 

Jaw Surgery

The last resort for treating TMD is jaw surgery. Maxillofacial surgery can bring drastic relief for people who suffer from TMD. Following surgery, patients will begin noticing that eating, speaking, and even sleeping become easier.

Celebrate TMJ Awareness Month the Right Way

TMJ Awareness Month may come once a year, but patients who suffer from TMD deal with the symptoms year-round. If you wake up with mild to moderate jaw pain, you may have the early stages of this degenerative condition. Unfortunately for most people, the symptoms will become progressively worse.

The oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Aspire Surgical offer a wide range of oral and maxillofacial treatments that directly address TMD. Beyond restoring your quality of life, we will work to deliver beautiful aesthetics to your face and smile.

Tips for Good Oral Health

Good oral health is vital not only for the health of your teeth but your overall physical health. By keeping good oral habits you can stave off many dental-related issues, and in the event, you develop a problem that requires you to have oral surgery, you are likely to have a better outcome. Not sure how to get started with a proper oral health regimen? Check out the few tips below. 

Follow a Proper Brushing Routine

One of the easiest ways to get a healthy smile is coming up with a regular brushing routine that will properly eliminate debris from your teeth, reducing your risk for decay. You always want to make sure that you brush twice a day, avoiding brushing directly after eating, especially if you have consumed highly acidic food. Make sure you focus on the area where your teeth meet your gums, helping to dislodge debris that has become caught in between teeth. Make sure that you brush for at least two minutes and finish off by brushing your tongue to remove bacteria. 

Another important part of a good brushing routine is having the proper equipment and using it properly. Always make sure to use a toothpaste with fluoride and a soft-bristle brush that you can fit easily in your mouth. When brushing, put your toothbrush at a slight angle using both circular and back and forth motions. You will always want to make sure to replace your toothbrush often, opting for a new one every three months, or when the bristles are no longer regular.

Don’t Forget to Floss

Even when you brush well, you will not be able to get all of the debris out from between your teeth and your gum line, which makes regular flossing critical to maintaining proper gum health and reducing the risk of decay. You should try to floss at least once a day and then maintain it as needed by using a dental pick or pre-threaded flosser. Always be gentle so you don’t cause damage to your gums. Once you have slid the floss between your teeth, use a c shape to curve around each tooth and gently remove the debris. Don’t skimp on the floss and be sure to use a fresh spot as you move to each tooth. 

Stay On Top of Dental Appointments

Part of maintaining good oral health is staying on top of preventative appointments and addressing dental issues when they arise. Regular cleanings are not only important to remove debris and prevent decay, but also for the oral cancer screening performed. You should also contact your dentist immediately for an appointment if you have any issues, such as loose or cracked teeth, bleeding, redness or swelling of your gums, unusual sensitivity, or pain. These all could be signs that you are in need of a dental procedure and the sooner the issue is addressed, the more likely you will have a better outcome. 

Maintaining good oral health does not require a lot. A few good habits, and you’ll be in good shape. By following the tips above and staying on top of your oral health you will enjoy a healthy smile as well as prepare yourself for better outcomes in the event you need a more extensive procedure or oral surgery. 

4 Tips to Prepare for an Upcoming Oral Surgery Procedure

surgery room

Whether you have impacted wisdom teeth or need a dental implant, there may be a time when you will need to have some type of oral surgery procedure. When you are expecting to have oral surgery you may find yourself anxious and unsure of how to properly prepare. Simply follow the few tips below to make your experience go as smooth as possible and help reduce your anxieties. 

Dig Into the Details

If you are nervous about your surgery or want to understand more about the process and procedure, don’t simply nod along as the surgeon discuss it with you during your pre-op appointment.

If there are any concerns you have, no matter how trivial they may seem, you should always discuss them with your surgeon. Knowing everything you need, you will be better prepared for what to expect after surgery and will be more likely to avoid implication.

Once you have gone over all of the details with your surgeon, you should also contact your insurance to see how much is covered so you can know what payment expectations may be before the big day. 

Arrange for Assitance

You will need someone to drive you to and pick you up from your surgery. If possible, take along someone you trust who will be able to understand and relay to you any post-operative information that you may have not fully understood after coming out of sedation.

Depending on the type of procedure going, you may need to arrange to have someone who can stay with you or check on you regularly for 24 to 48 hours after surgery.

If you have pets or children, it may be helpful to arrange for assistance with them as well during the first day or so after the procedure. 

Know the Rules and Follow Them

There are often some rules that you will have to follow before and after any type of oral surgery procedure.

For general anesthesia, you will be required to stop drinking and eating at a certain point before the surgery time. If having local anesthetic you may be able to eat a few hours before, but typically light meals are recommended to avoid stomach upset.

You will likely be asked to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth before the procedure as well. Additionally, you should avoid smoking 12 hours before and at least 24 hours or longer after a procedure.

Smoking can inhibit the healing process and the suction motion can cause damage to sutures.

In short, you should ask your oral surgeon all of the rules you will need to follow before and after the surgery and make sure that you follow all of them to give you the lowest risk for complications and a better ability to heal. 

Plan You After-Surgery Meals

With any type of oral surgery, you are likely to have limitations on the food you will be allowed to eat. Most often your will have to stick to soft foods that are not spicy or acidic. Think of foods that don’t require chewing.

You will also want to make sure that you get the proper nutrition while healing, so be sure to have prepared foods or ready to grab foods that you will be able to easily eat for the first few days of your recovery. 

By following the few simple tips above, you will be better prepared for your upcoming oral surgery procedure, which will hopefully relieve some anxiety and allow you lower your risk of complications.

What To Expect During Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removal

wisdom teeth xray

When your wisdom teeth become impacted, it can lead to serious health issues. Most dentists will recommend that they be surgically removed to prevent cysts, gum disease, and benign tumors from forming. As with any surgical process, you may be a little nervous and unsure of what to expect from the procedure. Below is a quick guide to take you through the process from surgical preparation through the recovery. 

Preparing for Surgery

Once your dentist has determined your wisdom teeth are impacted, you will first have an appointment with an oral surgeon. During this visit, they will explain the process and also allow you to ask any questions regarding the procedure or the recovery process. They will then go over your personal health history and inquire about any medications that you are taking. 

For your preparation, you will need to arrange for care for children or pets during your procedure, secure a ride to and from the appointment, and take a few days off work or school for the procedure and recovery. 

The Day of Surgery

You can expect your procedure to take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour. In some cases, the teeth may be stubborn, and the surgery can run longer, but it rarely occurs. You will be under oral or IV sedation so you will feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure, nor will you be awake during the process. If you are anxious before the procedure or about the IV, you may be offered nitrous oxide. After the anesthesia has been administered, and the surgeon is sure you are asleep, they will use surgical tools to cut into your gums and extract the teeth. Once the teeth are successfully removed, your surgeon will put in dissolvable sutures to allow your gums to heal properly. Your mouth will then be packed with gauze to control the bleeding, and you will then be brought out of sedation. 

Recovery and Aftercare

Right after surgery, you are likely to feel groggy and will experience some mild pain and swelling. Your surgeon will recommend medication to control the pain by either writing you a prescription or discussing over-the-counter medication to take. Driving will be restricted for 12 to 24 hours, so you will need to have a ride home and someone with you who can help you understand post-op instructions. The rest of the day, you should take it easy and rest when possible. 

You will be able to eat immediately after your procedure but may not have much of an appetite as the anesthetic fully wears off. Stick to soft foods at first until most of the swelling goes down. Also, avoid hot foods as the gums where the teeth were removed will be sensitive. Avoid nuts, seeds, hard foods, and straws during the healing process to avoid damaging your stitches. 

Follow all post-operative instructions on hygiene closely to avoid infection. You will need to avoid brushing your teeth, rinsing your mouth and flossing for the first 24 hours. Saltwater rinses are advised to aid healing and help with pain and can be started right away. Just be sure not to spit the solutions out as the suction can interfere with healing. Simply allow the solution to drip out of your mouth. Change the gauze as needed until there is no more bleeding. 

You should be mostly recovered in three to four days and can resume normal activities, though it can take up to a month for the site to fully heal, so you should still avoid sucking through straws, smoking, and heavy exercise for about a month. 

Why People Get Dental Implants

Dental implant

Most people will seek out dental implants when they need to replace a tooth or teeth that have been removed from their mouth in some manner. Dental implants include an artificial tooth that is affixed to a created root in the mouth. The need to replace a tooth may come about for many reasons. The most common reasons that people will seek out dental implants include:

A Tooth Loss Caused By an Accident

Sports injuries, falls, and vehicle accidents can all result in broken, damaged, or even detached teeth. An implant can help to restore the normal appearance of your mouth to the way it looked before the accident occurred.

A Tooth or Teeth That Are Significantly Decayed

When teeth are severely decayed, or the decay has gone deep into the tooth, the tooth may end up needing to be removed. In some cases, you can be given a root canal and crown, but in other situations, you will need to have the tooth removed and replaced. 

To Improve Their Smile

Some people, such as actors, models, or anyone concerned about the look of their smile may choose dental implants. Depending on the issues with your teeth and the desired look, teeth may need to be removed and replaced with implants to give you your desired results.

To Avoid Dentures

Some patients who would normally require dentures may opt for dental implants instead. Dental implants can be easier to care for and are a more permanent solution that is appealing to many. 

How Dental Implants Can Help

There are many ways that dental implants help to improve the aesthetics of your mouth as well as its health. Having dental implants to replace missing teeth can:

  • Prevent the loss of jawbone
  • Help you maintain your appearance
  • Allow you to speak more clearly
  • Prevent your teeth from shifting

What to Expect When You Have Dental Implants

To prepare for your dental implants, your dental surgeon will first create a plan. This will involve making sure the implants will fit properly and that rooting them will not cause any damage to existing nerves. This process will involve several x-rays. Once they know how they will proceed, they will next implant the metal rods that will hold the structure into your jawline. After seven to ten days, the area should be healed, and stitches will be able to be removed. 

It may take four to six months for the area to fully heal and be prepared for the next stage of surgery. During the second stage of the process, the protective screw on the implant will be removed and replaced with a metal cap. The final step in the process will come two to three weeks later when the bridge, crown, or denture is made and affixed to the implant. 

Even though dental implants can involve a lengthy process, the results are amazing, often transforming the patient’s smile to what it once was, or what they have dreamed it to become. 

Do I need surgery for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is considered a potentially serious sleep disorder, where breathing stops and starts throughout the night due to relaxation of the throat muscles. OSA can lead to loud snoring, waking up gasping, headaches, dry mouth in the morning, and excessive daytime sleepiness. 

Obstructive sleep apnea can not only lead to extreme sleepiness but also more severe problems such as high blood pressure, strain on the cardiovascular system, type 2 diabetes, liver problems, and metabolic syndrome. 

How does surgery correct obstructive sleep apnea?

Surgery is often a treatment option for those with severe sleep apnea that don’t respond to treatment with a CPAP device. How surgery will work to correct the problem, will largely depend on which type of surgical procedure your doctor recommends. Surgical procedure options for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea include:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

This is the most common type of procedure associated with sleep apnea and involves removing excess tissue from both the pharynx and the soft palate. In the event the patient still has their tonsils, those will be removed as well. Once the tissue is removed, the area will be sutured to reduce the risk of collapse and keep the area open so that air can easily pass through the upper airway. 

Nasal surgery

Nasal obstruction can play a critical role in sleep apnea. The three components of the nose that can be affected include the septum, the nasal valve, and the turbinates. The most common nasal procedures include reducing the size of the turbinates or straightening out the septum. By correcting these areas, air will be able to pass more freely through the nasal passages. 

Pillar Procedure

The Pillar Procedure, also referred to as soft palate implants, is a simplistic surgical procedure where three polyester rods are placed into the soft palate. Once placed, an inflammatory response will occur within the surrounding tissues that will cause the soft palate to stiffen. When this occurs, the soft palate will be less likely to come into contact with the pharynx during sleep. 

Hyoid advancement

The bone in the neck where the tongue base and pharynx attach is called the hyoid bone. If you have sleep apnea, you likely have a larger tongue base, and when you enter into a deep sleep and your muscles relax, your tongue can fall back, coming into contact with the pharynx. When this occurs, the air will be obstructed. During a hyoid advancement, the bone will be repositioned surgically using a suture attached to the front jaw bone, which will extend the airway. 

Tongue advancement

During this procedure, the genioglossus, one of the main tongue muscles, will be moved forward so that it can not slip as far backwards during sleep. A cut will be made in the jaw bone, and it will be fixed in place with a titanium plate. Once positioned, the tongue will be less likely to be able to retract toward the back floor of the mouth. 

If you struggle with sleep apnea, and CPAP therapy does not help you get a better night’s sleep, then a surgical procedure may be your best option. Discuss with your doctor which surgical procedure may work best for your specific situation. 

What Are The Signs It’s Time for Your Wisdom Teeth to Come Out?

wisdom teeth x-rays

Your wisdom teeth are a third set of molars, which usually appear when you are between 17 and 21 years of age. These teeth are rarely functional and therefore cause crowding and other issues within the mouth. Therefore, dental professionals will often recommend removing them before they break through to prevent any potential problems. The following are some common signs it might be time for your wisdom teeth to come out. If you notice any of these signs, contact us today to schedule a consultation:

Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If your wisdom teeth try to come in but don’t have the space to emerge fully from the gums, they become impacted. This can lead to:

  • Jaw pain.
  • Difficulty opening your mouth.
  • Bad breath.
  • Stiffness or swelling in the jaw.
  • Bleeding, tender or swollen gums.

General Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Issues

Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t impacted, they can still cause issues. You could experience the following:

  • Irritation & Pain: As your wisdom teeth grow, they can cause pain and discomfort in the mouth. An x-ray can rule out other causes of pain and zero in on the wisdom tooth problem.
  • Problems Eating: Sometimes, when your wisdom teeth are trying to come through, it can cause food to get stuck between the tops of those teeth and your gums. This can cause issues with eating and can make proper oral hygiene nearly impossible. Often, extraction is recommended to prevent further complications. 
  • Shifting Teeth: If your teeth were straight and now are beginning to look crooked or crowded, newly emerged wisdom teeth could be the culprit. 
  • Sinus Problems: When wisdom teeth come in through the upper gums, the roots can rub against or put pressure on the sinuses, which can lead to sinus related issues. In some cases, it can even lead to congestion and headaches.
  • Inflamed Gums: The tissue around the emerging or not yet broken through wisdom teeth can easily become inflamed due to various issues like trapped food. This is a condition called pericoronitis. 
  • Cavities: When your gums are irritated and you are unable to properly brush due to food getting stuck, this can obviously lead to cavities. Bacteria thrive in this type of environment, making your teeth more susceptible to the development of cavities. 

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Have to Come Out?

There are several schools of thought on the subject. Some experts believe you should leave wisdom teeth alone if they aren’t bothering anything or trying to emerge, or if the mouth has room to accommodate them, should they push through. Others believe it’s best to remove them if you suspect they will try to come in and there isn’t room to accommodate them in the mouth. Some orthodontists recommend having them out early, when a patient is still in braces to prevent a potential shift in a newly straightened smile should they come through the gum line. Thankfully, the skilled professionals at Aspire Surgical can easily determine which category you fall into and either recommend extraction or promote and wait and see approach. Contact us today to schedule a visit to learn more.