Oral Surgeon in North Spokane & Spokane Valley
The word “surgery” often brings to mind a stay in the hospital, general anesthesia, and perhaps a lengthy recovery period. However, the experience of having oral surgery is usually very different from that. Oral surgery is often performed in a dental office setting, under local anesthesia, with minimal recovery time. Oral Surgery can range from routine procedures such as tooth extractions and implant placement to more complex jaw realignment surgeries and emergency care for facial trauma.
Oral Surgery Procedures
Oral surgery procedures may be performed to relieve pain, treat an infection or trauma, restore function or improve a person’s appearance. Procedures and conditions that we treat can include:
- Tooth Extractions – There are might be a variety of reasons that a tooth being pulled makes sense. You may be dealing with a decayed/dead tooth, an impacted wisdom tooth, or even teeth that are becoming overcrowded that might also need orthodontic treatment.
- Dental Implants – The preferred method of tooth replacement is a titanium dental implant. This piece of equipment is placed beneath the gum line and into the jawbone during a surgical dental procedure. The implant is then attached to a natural looking dental crown that is visible above the gum line and looks just like a normal tooth.
- Oral Diagnosis & Biopsies – When a suspicious oral lesion is found, a biopsy is performed to detect or rule out oral cancer. This disease is treatable and reversible is detected early. A biopsy involves removing a very small tissue sample for laboratory analysis.
- Corrective Jaw Surgery – Sometimes a person’s jaws don’t fit together properly and this can cause pain and an irregular bite. A jaw that is misaligned can negatively affect appearance and function.
- Snoring & Sleep Apnea – Excess tissue in the back of the throat may need to be removed in certain individuals with sleep apnea.
- TMD – When home remedies fail to relieve chronic jaw pain caused by temporomandibular joint issues, surgery should be considered and might be necessary.
- Reconstructive Surgery – Facial injuries can negatively affect a person’s ability to eat, drink, and act regularly in social settings. Teeth that have been knocked out can be replaced with dental implants.
- Cleft Lip/Palate – These birth defects are very common and are estimated to affect about one in 500-700 babies worldwide. With proper surgical treatment, the child has an great chance of leading a healthy, confident, and normal life.
What you should expect during the procedure
Before your oral surgery is performed, x-rays will be taken to aid in figuring out a treatment plan. We will be able to give a you detailed explanation about your procedure and anesthetic options. When we go over the details of what your procedure entails, please feel free to voice any questions or concerns. Recovery will depend on what treatment you receive as well as your oral and overall health. Please let us know at this point what types of medications you might be taking whether over the counter or prescription. Also let our office know of any chronic health conditions you might have and if you are a smoker. This will ensure your health and safety!
About Tooth Extractions
In certain instances, a tooth may be so damaged or failing beyond repair that the tooth must be extracted. The tooth could be causing extreme pain, discomfort, or infection. If any of these situations arise, an exam from the dentist will determine if a tooth extraction is the best option and that the entire tooth will be removed from the jawbones. A general dentist can perform one of two types of extractions: simple or surgical. Simple extraction is a quick process to remove a tooth that’s visible in the mouth and surgical is for teeth that aren’t visible yet, such as the wisdom teeth.
What To Expect from an Extraction
Depending on whether the dentist performs a simple or surgical tooth extraction, the technique and experience will differ. In either case, there will be a thorough examination prior to extraction when X-rays will be taken to determine the type of extraction needed. In addition, the patient is usually offered a form of sedation to help them feel comfortable and at ease during the procedure. It’s advised to not eat or drink at least 6-8 hours before the surgery. If a patient experiences nausea or has to vomit before the procedure, they will need to possibly reschedule to avoid health complications. Smoking on the day of surgery is to be completely avoided because of the risks and complications it can cause during healing.
Treatment & Care After the Procedure
Typically after any extraction, a blood clot will form in the socket of the tooth that has been removed. After a simple tooth extraction, the dentist will pack the area with gauze where the tooth was to prevent further bleeding. After surgical extractions, the dentist will stitch the area closed and then place the gauze pads on the affected area. After the tooth has been removed and the patient is recovering, they should refrain from eating, drinking, or talking excessively for at least 2 hours unless it is absolutely necessary. After the bleeding has subsided, the patient should drink plenty of cold or lukewarm fluids.
On the first day after the extraction, they should only be eating soft foods or having something like smoothies. Brushing should be avoided for at least the first 12 hours after the procedure. When you resume brushing, be sure to avoid the area where the tooth was extracted. The are should be rinsed gently with saltwater to make sure it stays clean. They need to be sure to avoid forceful spitting or doing anything that might dislodge the blood clot. Roughly 1 – 2 weeks following the tooth extraction is when the healing process will fully begin. New gum tissue and bone will begin to fill in the where the tooth or teeth were removed. After about a month of healing, the gums should be fully healed. 100% healing of the area that the extraction happened could take around months, but varies between each person.
The third set of molars, generally called “wisdom teeth,” start coming in around age 17-25 for most people. Unfortunately, when these teeth start growing in or coming through they can be meet with some trouble. The removal of one or more wisdom teeth is a pretty common procedure. It is performed on some 5 million patients every year. After a complete examination and x-rays or a CT scan, you may be need your wisdom teeth extracted.
Here are some typical reasons why they need removal:
- Your jaw may be too small to accommodate all of your teeth. This can lead to excessive crowding and may cause the wisdom teeth to become impacted. That means they are unable to emerge from the gums and can be harmful to adjacent teeth or jaw bone.
- The third molars might be coming crooked and cause damage to other teeth or negatively affect your bite.
- If your wisdom tooth/teeth do not fully erupt from the gums, you could experience bacterial infection since they can’t be cleaned as well as they should be.
- A cyst (a closed, fluid-filled sac) may develop around the wisdom tooth that has not erupted. This can cause infection and injury to the jaw bone or nerve tissue.
Wisdom tooth extraction is normally an effective treatment for treating a condition that might already be affecting you or preventing further issues from developing. We will be sure to discuss your options and weigh the benefits and drawbacks to make sure you are informed and help you make the best decision.
The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
Wisdom tooth extraction is an in-office procedure that is either performed by a general dentist or an oral surgeon. It is possible to have the treatment done with only a local numbing anesthetic to keep you from experiencing any pain. However, if multiple teeth are being extracted at once, a general anesthetic or conscious sedation may be administered. The type of anesthesia that best fits your procedure will be determined beforehand.
Once you have been properly numbed or anesthetized, the gum tissue at the extraction site may need to be opened if the tooth is impacted. The tooth itself will then be removed with the least amount of invasion possible. When the extraction has been finished up, you may need to have the site stitched to make sure it heals properly. After the procedure is complete, you will rest for a short period of time before getting to go home. Depending on the anesthesia you were given, another driver might be necessary.
After the Procedure
The recovery period after wisdom tooth extraction generally lasts only a few days. During the time it takes to heal you should rest as much as possible and take any pain medication to curb discomfort. Bleeding from the extraction area is normal and can be minimized by using fresh gauze and making sure it gets changed as frequently as possible.
Using an ice pack after the extraction can greatly help in the reduction of swelling. After a couple days, using a warm washcloth can help in easing discomfort. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water a few times a day is helpful for pain and keeping the area clean.
Eating soft foods for the first few days is highly recommended. Also, be sure to be cautious when you resume brushing your teeth. Make sure to follow the instructions you are given by the dentist after the procedure. These instruction are custom for you since each situation is different and they will help you to heal quicker and be as comfortable as possible.
Dental Implant Placement
Dental implants are ideal tooth restorations for people who are missing one or more teeth for reasons like injury or gum disease. After a metal post is placed in to the tooth socket, the restoration is completed with a replacement crown.
Implants generally require healthy gums and an adequate amount of jaw bone. A patient wanting to undergo this procedure must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental exams. These are critical to the long-term success of dental implants and overall oral health.
Please let us know if you have any questions about the procedures involved in getting dental implants.
Implant Supported Dentures
Are you a current user of traditional dentures? Traditional dentures can sometimes cause gum irritation, require plenty of maintenance, and can move, slip, or even fall out of your mouth. If you have full or partial dentures, our experienced cosmetic dentists, Dr. Navdeep Virk, Dr. Julius Jackson and Dr. Warren Mitchell can anchor your dentures to alleviate many of the problems you are experiencing. Implant supported dentures can anchor your dentures to the jawbone. This process allows for a more comfortable, natural, and strong fit.
If you are interested in learning more about implant supported dentures, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Innovative Dental today.
Benefits Of Implant Supported Dentures
Anchored dentures can be an effective treatment option for many patients who are looking for an alternative to traditional dentures.
There are a multitude of benefits that implant supported dentures provide, including:
- Eliminating the need for adhesives
- Prevents dentures from moving around
- Easier maintenance – no need to remove them to clean
- Restores proper teeth functionality
- Gum irritation is reduced
- The new dentures will look and feel more like real teeth
What Can I Expect With This Procedure?
At your first appointment, we will assess your overall health along with your jawbone density to determine if this procedure is a good fit for you. Once our dentists have determined if you are a healthy candidate for implants, we will create a mold of your mouth for accurate prosthesis. Titanium posts will be surgically placed into the the tooth socket to simulate the “root,” in which over the next couple months will fuse to the jaw bone. This will create a sturdy anchor for the implants to be placed in.
Implant supported dentures will enable you to have new teeth that look and function much just like normal, natural teeth. Make sure you continue with regular check-ups and proper home hygiene of your new implanted dentures to combat the buildup of harmful plaque and bacteria that might cause harmful gum diseases.
What is a Sinus Lift?
Maxillary sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces that are located above the upper teeth and just behind the cheeks. When the upper teeth are missing or have been removed, patients can be left with a thin wall of bone between the sinus tissues and alveolar ridge. This can make it unsafe to place a dental implant. During a sinus lift procedure, Avenue Dental Care will raise the soft tissues of the sinuses and place grafted bone to serve as a sturdy foundation for dental implants.
Sinus Lift Procedure
Our office will take x-rays to determine your bone structure to see if you are fit for a sinus lift procedure to prepare you for dental implants.
Before the surgery takes place, we will administer sedation and local anesthetics to make sure you are comfortable and that the procedure goes smoothly. The first step in a sinus lift procedure involves having to create an incision to give us access to the underlying bone and sinuses. We will then gently lift the thin membrane away from your jaw to add small granules of bone or synthetic grafting material. This material will then be packed into the empty space that requires the sinus lift. Over time the granules or grafting material will fuse seamlessly with the jawbone. The first procedure will be completed by stitching everything together and scheduling a follow up procedure.
Typically healing time will take between four and nine months before implants can be placed. The amount of time needed for the graft to fuse with the jaw bone can depend on many variables. The size of the graft, your natural capacity to heal, and other factors will be evaluated by the dentist to make sure your follow up procedure is scheduled appropriately.
Why Choose Avenue Dental Care?
Many practices can restore dental implants, but must refer patients to outside practices to have a sinus lift or bone graft performed. Avenue Dental Care stands apart because we have the ability to provide every step of dental implant treatment in our office. Our friendly staff will be with you throughout every step, from the treatment planning to scheduling for final check-ups.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
A sinus lift will be able to help you experience the life-changing benefits of dental implants. If you are suffering from missing teeth, or any other issue for that matter, please contact our office today! We will be able to let you know if you are a healthy candidate for dental implants and can help you figure out any other treatments that might be necessary.