Prepping For Implants: Your Questions

So, you have discovered the exciting world of implants, dental prosthetics that assist in restoring your entire tooth from root to crown. While you may feel overjoyed to have found the teeth replacement solution you have been seeking, you may need to cool your jets for a moment before making a final decision. You see, some patients make excellent candidates for dental implants, while others may need to put in a little extra time and effort before qualifying. To find out where you land on the spectrum of preparedness for implants, do yourself a favor and take a look at the following question and answer session. Remember, we encourage you to visit us regardless of your candidacy, so we can guide you toward a solution that will help complete your smile.

Q&A Session: Dental Implant Candidacy

Question: How do I know if I qualify?

Answer: Before you know if you qualify, you will need to visit us for an examination. We will discuss your daily habits with you, as well as your overall health. Your visit will also include the use of advanced imaging, so we can take a close look at what’s happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums. Dental implants require a strong jawbone for support. In addition, we place implants through a surgical procedure, which means you will need to be fit for surgery.

Question: What if my jawbone has deteriorated?

Answer: Fortunately, we offer treatments that can help rejuvenate your jawbone’s volume and strength. Bone grafting is a treatment in which we graft additional bone tissue onto damaged areas. This will assist in restoring volume, while sometimes encouraging your jawbone to regenerate tissue. We may also offer a sinus lift, which will allow us to make room for additional tissue on your upper jaw if you have suffered from damage.

Question: I want a fast treatment – are implants right for me?

Answer: If you are looking for an accelerated treatment to restore your smile, you will need to look into other prosthetic solutions. However, if you are ready to undergo a somewhat extended journey, dental implants offer wonderful, long-lasting tooth replacement results. Recovery after surgery will typically take three to four months. For some, treatment may take approximately a year until the entire process is complete.

ABOUT YOUR SANTA ROSA, CA ORAL SURGEONS:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).

Brushing Up On Dental Implant Parts

Dental implants offer a teeth replacement solution to patients seeking exceptional stability. This is certainly a wonderful benefit. However, if you have just begun looking into options for restoring your smile, you may find that the world of dental prosthetics a bit overwhelming. When it comes to implants, the terminology and different parts may add to that sense of confusion. Rather than letting a few new words and ideas deter you from learning more, we encourage you to first familiarize yourself with the main terms. Then, you can easily move forward in determining which tooth replacement solution is best for you. Look over the following:

What Is A Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a titanium post that stands in for missing tooth roots. Since you lost your tooth, you lost an entire unit, including the roots (the part that rests beneath your gumline) and the upper part of your tooth (the portion of your tooth that sits above your gumline). We will place an implant into your jawbone through a surgical procedure, thereby fully restoring your roots. The implant post will later support a replacement for your tooth’s upper portion.

What Is Osseointegration?

You will recover for several months after the placement of your dental implant. First, your gum tissue needs time to heal. In addition, the dental implant is made of titanium, a metal that will bond with the tissue of your jawbone. We need this fusion – a process called osseointegration – to occur, so your implant is stable and secure enough to support a prosthetic.

What Is An Abutment?

An abutment connects your dental implant post to the prosthetic replacing the part of your tooth that is visible. This accessory fits on top of your implant. We will initially place a “healing” abutment during recovery. Then, we will place the final abutment, which allows us to restore your implant.

What Is A Restoration?

The restoration is what we use to finish or to top (also referred to as “to restore”) your implant – it is the artificial tooth or teeth replacing the visible part of your missing tooth or teeth. This may include a dental crown for a single tooth, a bridge for several teeth, or a full denture for a full arch of missing teeth.

ABOUT YOUR SANTA ROSA, CA ORAL SURGEONS:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).

Reasons We Suggest Wisdom Teeth Removal

You may feel pretty certain that third molars are teeth that erupt when your teen years are behind you. You may also feel quite sure that most people you know have undergone wisdom teeth removal to promote oral health. However, you may not know much more about these teeth or why they are so commonly removed. On a more personal note, your thoughts may have recently turned to whether the extraction of these teeth is something you will need to undergo. To learn more, begin by considering the following about why we suggest the removal of wisdom teeth. In the meantime, schedule an appointment with us, so we can take a closer look at your smile to determine whether this service may be appropriate for you, as well.

They Are Impacted

If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, we may suggest its removal. Not sure what this means? An impacted tooth is one that has not completely erupted. This can occur because the tooth is blocked by other teeth. In some cases, the tooth will erupt slightly but not fully. Your tooth may remain beneath bone tissue, as well. These forms of impaction may result in discomfort and even infection. Keep in mind, impacted wisdom teeth are quite common, so you are not the only person who is dealing with this concern. Fortunately, wisdom teeth removal can alleviate or prevent discomfort, while promoting excellent oral health.

They Are Growing In On An Angle

Your wisdom teeth may be set to develop and on a path toward erupting. However, if they are positioned on an angle, this can mean serious problems for your alignment and your comfort. A tooth that is headed for other teeth is one that will need to be removed. Fortunately, with dental checkups we can identify these types of concerns with advanced imaging like digital X-rays. We may then plan your wisdom teeth removal before complications arise.

ABOUT YOUR SANTA ROSA, CA ORAL SURGEONS:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).

Why We Suggest Extractions

Have you recently found out that you need a general extraction to protect your smile? If so, you may feel a bit surprised that the removal of your tooth is the best solution – perhaps there’s some restorative option that will allow you to keep your tooth, you may think to yourself. We understand your concern and would like to shed some light on extractions. First, keep in mind that we make conservative treatment suggestions and will always strive to assist in saving your tooth. However, your oral health and comfort are our top priority. In some cases, an extraction is the best option for achieving these goals. To find out more about why we suggest the removal of your tooth, take the following information into consideration:

Protecting Your Smile

In some cases, your tooth may become highly problematic and a threat to surrounding teeth and gums. For instance, imagine you have an infected tooth. The tooth itself will become extremely uncomfortable. When neglected, the tooth may abscess and the infection may leave its isolated area and spread to nearby tissues. The result will include widespread damage requiring complex, costly treatment. To protect your smile, we will remove the tooth with a general extraction, which may prevent serious damage, while returning you to comfort.

Prepping For Orthodontic Treatment

Do you have overcrowded teeth or another type of malocclusion requiring orthodontic treatment? If so, your personalized care plan may require the removal of teeth to make room to properly align your teeth.

Addressing Significant Damage

Have you broken your tooth? Perhaps you bit down on something that resulted in breakage. Some patients may suffer from significant tooth decay that leaves a tooth in serious condition too dire for a filling, crown, or other treatment. If your tooth is too damaged or unhealthy to remain standing on its own or with the coverage of a crown, we may suggest an extraction. Then, we will discuss tooth replacement solutions to restore your smile. 

ABOUT YOUR SANTA ROSA, CA ORAL SURGEONS:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).

Digital X-Rays: Reasons To Get Excited

The idea of visiting us for an exam may not be the first thing you come up with when you prioritize your list of fun activities for the day. However, when you get down to the specifics of what you can expect from your dental care with us, you may find yourself feeling a bit more enthusiastic than you had expected. Fortunately, we offer digital X-rays for efficient visits in addition to a host of other benefits. Perhaps you have wondered what makes digital imaging so different when compared with conventional X-rays you may have experienced in the past. Ready to learn a bit more? Consider the following information:

Exciting Aspects of Digital X-Rays

  1. They’re Safer For You Than Conventional X-Rays. Does the emission of radiation from conventional X-rays make you nervous? Choosing digital means you can enjoy a greatly reduced exposure to radiation – typically less than half the amount of radiation than you experience with conventional imaging, to be more specific.
  2. They’re Better For The Environment, Too. Conventional X-rays require a lot of physical material, including chemicals to process the images as well as film. Digital X-rays simply require the use of computers, which means little to no waste for a much more environmentally conscious approach to imaging.
  3. You Can Expect Greater Efficiency. Digital X-rays rely on electronic sensors. Capturing the details of your oral cavity is quite quick. We will almost instantly upload the images to our computer system. This means the process of having your X-rays taken is faster and more comfortable for a more efficient visit.
  4. We Can Enjoy Greater Efficiency, Too. We will be able to pull up your digital X-rays on a computer screen, while using special software to zoom in and manipulate the images. This improves our ability to diagnose concerns, explain your structures, and complete precise case planning.

ABOUT YOUR SANTA ROSA, CA ORAL SURGEONS:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).

I Have A Bump – What Do I Do?

We encourage you to visit us once every six months, so we can keep a close watch on your oral health. This will allow us to detect problems as they arise and often well before you even notice something is not quite right. However, if you notice a bump in your mouth, we urge you to visit us for oral pathology services. With our trained eye and advanced technology, we can efficiently and accurately determine the cause of your sore, while creating a customized treatment plan if you need one. Save yourself the frustration and visit us the moment you recognize a change for an improved ability to prevent long-term damage.

Do You Have A Sore?

We refer to the lesions or sores you’re seeing as “oral pathology.” This term includes diseases that occur within your mouth – or oral cavity – that may also affect surrounding structures like your jaws. A lesion may be accompanied by pain or may feel completely comfortable. Neither points definitively to whether the sore is or is not something to cause concern. A sore may occur in your mouth as one of a wide variety of types, potentially including:

  • An ulcer – or a raw tissue area
  • A red lesion
  • A white lesion
  • Lumps
  • A swollen area

Visit Us For Oral Pathology Services

A bump, lump, lesion, cyst, or other sore may be completely harmless – or, it may be the symptom of an underlying problem. Rather than attempting to self-diagnose or causing yourself unnecessary stress, it’s important that you visit us for a professional diagnosis. We will thoroughly examine your mouth and ask questions about your health – your exam may include digital imaging. We may also take a biopsy of the sore. The sooner you visit us, the quicker we may determine the cause of your sore. Early detection allows us to provide you with necessary treatment before an issue progresses, yielding a wonderful success rate.

ABOUT YOUR SANTA ROSA, CA ORAL SURGEONS:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).

Anesthesia: How To Choose?

An uneasiness about scheduling your dental appointment is not something you should feel the need to hide. In fact, we encourage you to let us know how you’re feeling, so we may accommodate your needs. Whether you are visiting us to plan your dental implants, for oral surgery, or for any other service, your comfort is of the utmost importance. To ensure you feel relaxed every step of the way, we offer anesthesia options to our patients. Ready to learn more about how you can avoid anxiety, while enjoying a truly tranquil visit? Discover more with the following:

Your Anesthesia Options

Your anesthesia options are diverse, spanning from “laughing gas” to take the edge off of your nerves all the way to general sedation for the deepest form of relaxation available. Wondering what your options include? Look over the following list and accompanying explanations for a better understanding:

  • Local Anesthesia: This includes a numbing agent that we will gently inject at the target site to numb your tissues.
  • Nitrous Oxide: Often referred to as “laughing gas” because of the euphoric effect it often has on patients, this sedation solution is also known as “nitrous oxide.” Safe for most patients, we will administer nitrous through a mask that we place comfortably over your nose. You will simply breathe as usual and quickly enjoy the relaxing effects.
  • Oral Sedation: Like it sounds, this anesthesia option is administered by mouth. You will take an anti-anxiety pill by mouth, such as Valium or Ativan, to relax your nervous system. You can expect to feel a bit groggy and quite tranquil throughout your visit.
  • IV Sedation: This is the deepest form of sedation we offer, commonly known as “general sedation.” We will administer the sedative intravenously through a tiny needle placed into the back of your hand or your arm. You will remain conscious but may forget a good portion of your visit once the medicine is out of your system.

ABOUT YOUR SANTA ROSA, CA ORAL SURGEONS:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).

Correcting Jaw Balance with Orthognathic Surgery

The significance of balance is paramount throughout many aspects of your dental health. If your teeth are not straight, then they can cause problems with your whole bite’s alignment, which in turn can lead to a host of subsequent issues, like tooth damage. If your jaw is out of alignment, then the consequences can be more pronounced and more serious than crooked teeth. If not treated, you may require orthognathic surgery to correct your jaw’s symmetry and improve your smile’s function and appearance.

What is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is essentially corrective jaw surgery. Depending on the case, it may mean fixing an issue that disrupts your bite’s symmetry, correcting abnormalities resulting from an injury, or treating obstructive sleep apnea. Often, an imbalanced jawbone can noticeably affect the rest of your facial features, and orthognathic surgery may help improve your overall appearance by restoring harmony to your oral health.

Reasons for Jawbone Imbalances

Jawbone deformities are often congenital, meaning they are present even before birth. Even if you were born with a strong, healthy, even jawbone, however, you might experience a number of situations that could call for corrective jaw surgery, such as;

  • A serious injury that has broken or fractured your jaw
  • Deterioration in your jawbone, either from an oral disease or as a consequence of tooth loss
  • TMJ disorder is present, and is too complicated to alleviate through general dentistry measures

The Benefits of Orthognathic Surgery

Once your jawbone is corrected, you may enjoy a number of benefits to your quality of life, including a more appealing smile and more symmetrical structures around it. If you haven’t already developed more serious subsequent issues, then your risks for doing so will decrease, and your bite’s function will improve significantly.

ABOUT YOUR ROHNERT PARTK ORAL SURGEONS:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the experts at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery are ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles across the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).

Understanding Oral Pathology – Oral Cancer

In the realm of dental surgery, oral pathology describes detecting, treating, and educating patients on serious oral health concerns – one of the most significant being oral cancer. As experts in complex oral health issues, we help explain the importance of oral pathology, particularly oral cancer detection, and how it can help you overcome the long-lasting effects of oral diseases on your overall health.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a collective term that can involve cancer of the lips, gums, tongue, and other mouth tissues, and is part of a larger group of illnesses described as head and neck cancers. Though they differ in the area they affect, oral cancers are typically treated in the same manner, and share many similar risk factors, including tobacco use, too much sun exposure on your lips, and the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV), among many others. The exact causes are unclear, but the early warning signs are often easily identifiable, although sometimes hard to detect without a professional examination.

What You Can Do

During a regular dental checkup appointment, your general dentist will carefully inspect your oral cavity for signs of oral cancer and other abnormalities. Routine oral cancer screenings improve your chances of detecting the disease early, which in turn improves your chances of successful treatment, if treatment becomes necessary. As oral surgeons, we can also perform biopsies on suspicious tissues to more accurately diagnose oral cancer. In the meantime, however, you should also perform a self-screening at least every month by checking for signs of trouble, such as red or white patches, lumps, growths, sores, or rough areas on your tongue, cheeks, or roof/floor of your mouth.

ABOUT YOUR SANTA ROSA, CA, ORAL SURGEONS:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).

Are Dental Implants a Necessity?

When you lose a tooth, or several of them, you might realize that replacing them is necessary to restore your bite’s function, not to mention your smile’s healthy, youthful appearance. However, you might not realize the necessity of securing your replacement teeth to an appropriate number of dental implants. Because your teeth consist of more than just the crowns that reside above your gums, prosthetics that only replace these crowns cannot fully restore your lost tooth/teeth’s functions. The point of dental implants is to provide the stability that your dental crown, partial denture, or full denture will need to more closely mimic your healthy, natural teeth.

What a Tooth Consists Of

Underneath your gum tissues, the root of a tooth extends into your jawbone, anchored into a socket and held in place with the help of strong periodontal tissues. The root’s purpose is two-fold; to supply the tooth’s nerves and tissues with nutrients, and to stabilize the tooth as it’s exposed to the pressures of biting and chewing.

What Dental Implants Provide

When a tooth root is lost and the socket in your jawbone is left empty, the bone becomes reabsorbed so that your body can utilize its minerals and nutrients elsewhere. Over time, the lack of a root to stimulate the jaw can lead to bone degradation, which in turn can lead to further tooth loss. In addition to stabilizing your dental crown or denture, dental implants also provide the stimulation that your jawbone thrives on, thereby helping it maintain a healthy supply of nutrition.

Tailoring Implant Placement to Your Needs

Each dental implant is created as a single post. The number of implants you require will depend on several factors, including how many teeth you’ve lost and how large your prosthesis is. For instance, a single dental implant capped with a crown can be utilized to replace a single lost tooth. If you require a partial denture or complete denture, we can recommend the optimal number of implants after evaluating the state of your jaw and oral health.

ABOUT YOUR SANTA ROSA, CA, ORAL SURGEON:

Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).