Dental implants are used to replace tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. Dental implants are small anchors made of biocompatible metal, called titanium, placed in the jawbone. The anchors begin to fuse with the bone over a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, abutment posts are inserted into the anchors to allow for the attachment of the replacement teeth. To fabricate the replacement teeth, an impression is taken and a model of the bite is created. The replacement teeth are based on this model. Replacement teeth can either be crowns, bridges or dentures.
Wisdom Tooth Removal (3rd Molars)
A wisdom tooth that is deemed problematic is normally extracted to avoid any oral complications. To have a wisdom tooth removed, a small incision is made to open up the gum tissue over the tooth and remove any bone that is covering the tooth. Once the tooth is in view, it is grasped with a dental instrument, known as a forcep, and gently rocked back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and surrounding ligaments. Sometimes the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier for removal. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a wisdom tooth.
Impacted Canines & Tooth Exposure
An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to fully pass through the gums.
Impacted cuspid (or canine) teeth are fairly common. To correct impacted teeth, there are a few treatment options. For impacted canine teeth, several treatment modalities are available. Orthodontics (braces) can be used to open space for proper eruption. Primary (baby) teeth can either be extracted or surgically exposed to allow for the placement of an orthodontic bracket to help align the teeth.
Bone grafting is the replacement or enhancement of bone around teeth. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone collapses. Bone grafting is performed to reverse bone loss or enhance existing bone. The grafting material can be taken from parts of the body or from synthetic material. Bone grafting allows for proper support of dental implants or prostheses.
Pre-prosthetic surgery is performed to prepare a mouth for a dental prosthesis. Surgical modification of the bone involves redesigning and smoothing edges so that a well-fitting, well-functioning dental prosthesis can be created.
Facial trauma involves injuries to the bone, teeth, skin, gums or other soft tissues.
Depending on the type of facial trauma sustained, there are many different treatment options available. The primary goals of treatment are to stop any bleeding from occurring, create a clear airway, repair any broken or fractured bone, and or suture any damaged soft tissue. Treatment is immediate, as long as there are no neck fractures or life-threatening injuries.
Distraction osteogenesis is a procedure performed in reconstructive surgeries to correct skeletal deformities that could result in health problems. Distraction osteogenesis is the process by which bone is surgically cut and then slowly separated at a controlled rate over the course of several days. This slow separation combined with the bone healing process allows new bone to fill in the gap created by the cut.
The smooth, pink skin lining the mouth is called mucosa. Abnormalities in the color or texture of this skin can sometimes indicate pathology. Any concerns with the skin in the mouth, a sore that is not healing properly or a lump on the inside of the cheeks, palate, gums or lips, may merit a biopsy so that the tissue sample can be tested for oral cancer. Please do not ignore these warning signs and be sure to mention any concerns you may have during your visit.
To treat TMJ disorders, first the cause has to be identified. In less severe cases TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (eating soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, or stabilization splints). In severe cases surgical treatments (jaw joint replacements) may be necessary.
TMJ conditions fall into three main categories:
- Myofascial pain – discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function.
- Internal derangement of the joint – a possible indicator of a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle.
- Arthritis – a degenerative inflammatory disorder.
Orthognathic surgery is done to correct misalignments or other abnormalities in the upper and/or lower jaw.
Orthognathic surgery can involve procedures such as an osteotomy (bone cutting), bone grafts, or distraction osteogenesis (stretching of the bone) and orthodontic (braces) care. Orthognathic correction is conducted in stages, and the course of treatment can last from a few months to a year or more.
In order to perform the procedure successfully, the jawbones will be repositioned in accordance with one’s specific needs. Inconspicuous incisions are usually made inside, and if needed, outside the mouth to allow for surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands to be used to hold your jaws in their new positions.
A series of surgeries can restore normal function and achieve a more normal appearance with minimal scarring.
A cleft lip is usually repaired between the ages of 3 to 6 months. Some children require a lip adhesion or a device such as a molding plate to bring the parts closer together before the full lip repair. A child with a repaired cleft lip will have a scar on the lip under the nose.
A cleft palate is usually repaired between 9 and 12 months of age. To repair the palate, the soft palate muscles from each side are connected to each other and the normal barrier between the mouth and nose is created.
Additional surgeries are needed to improve the appearance of the lip and nose, close the opening between the mouth and nose, help breathing, and stabilize and realign the jaw. Once the permanent teeth grow in, braces are often needed to straighten the teeth.
Sleep apnea is an ongoing condition that disrupts sleep. When breathing is paused or becomes shallow, one will often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep, making the quality of sleep poor.
Sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and/or surgery.
For mild sleep apnea, a custom fitted mouthpiece or some lifestyle changes (weight loss, smoking cessation, clearing nasal passages) may be helpful.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, a breathing device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or surgery to widen the breathing passages by shrinking, stiffening, or removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat or resetting the lower jaw may be helpful. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and/or nose and gently blows air into your throat. This air pressure helps keep your airway open while you sleep. Surgery to shrink the tissue involves a small shot into the breathing passages. Surgery to stiffen excess tissue requires a small incision in the tissue and the insertion of a piece of stiff plastic.
Adequate bone volume of the jawbone is necessary for the secure placement, stability, function, aesthetics and longevity of implants. Because tooth loss can result in diminished bone volume in the jawbone, a bone expansion procedure may be necessary prior to implant placement. This procedure can increase the height and/or width of the jaw ridge through the use of mechanical manipulation combined with a bone graft. The Ridge Expansion takes several months to mature and be sufficiently strong for the placement of implants. Ridge Expansion not only improves the function of implants, but is also a key contributor to the enhanced aesthetics, filling in the face around the gums and jaw and thus minimizing the appearance of aging.