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 Tooth & Tooth Exposure
An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to fully pass through the gums.
Impacted wisdom and cuspid (or canine) teeth are fairly common. To correct impacted teeth, there are a few treatment options. For impacted wisdom teeth, the most common procedure is extraction. 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.
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.
Oral Pathology and Biopsy
Oral and maxillofacial pathology refers to diseases of the mouth and the jaw. Treatment options vary based on the patient’s specific needs.
The smooth, pink skin lining of the mouth is called the 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.
Click on the link below to learn more about pathology and to see examples of cancerous and noncancerous lesions. Test your knowledge and become more informed!