Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Cent

Missing a Tooth? Dental Implants Can Restore Your Confidence and Your Smile

missing teeth Charlottesville Are you missing teeth? If so, your self-esteem and oral function has likely taken a hit. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer with an incomplete smile. Dental implants can restore your appearance while making it possible to enjoy the foods you crave. Our oral surgeon has advanced education and training to place dental implants.

Implant Dentistry: The Basics

A dental implant is a replacement for the root of a tooth. Prior to dental implants, replacement teeth could only address the loss of visible tooth structure. Now that we can replace roots with implants, patients can enjoy far more control and stability when eating. Their replacement teeth will last longer, too, since implants prevent deterioration of the jaws after tooth loss.

Dental implants are shaped like a screw and embedded into the jawbone. Within a few months, the bone surrounding the implant will fuse to its structure. Since implants are held firmly in place by the jaw, they can withstand the daily force associated with biting and chewing food.

Renew Your Smile with Dental Implants

Once dental implants are stabilized by the bones in the jaw, permanent restorations and prosthetics are attached. Crowns, bridges, and dentures can be attached to implants to complete the smile restoration process.

Restorations and prosthetics are custom made by dental technicians to perfectly complement a person’s oral anatomy. Made from lifelike materials such as porcelain, replacement teeth look and feel like biological dental structure. Once restorations and prosthetics are attached to implants, you can enjoy a complete, healthy-looking smile.

Tooth loss can have profound effects on your confidence and self-image. Many patients with missing teeth struggle with social anxiety and depression. Fortunately, advancements in prosthetic dentistry have made it possible to regain your self-esteem and improve your appearance.

If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to schedule a tooth replacement consultation with our oral surgeon.

Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry?

Charlottesville sedation dentistryDo you have an upcoming appointment for wisdom teeth removal or to receive dental implants? If you struggle with dental phobias or are nervous about your procedure, you might want to discuss sedation dentistry with our oral surgeon. Sedation dentistry can ease your mind and increase your comfort during oral healthcare procedures. This comfort amenity may not be right for everyone so it’s important to consult with professionals.

Who benefits from sedation dentistry?

You might be surprised to learn how sedation dentistry helps people with a variety of needs. This treatment option can make treatment experiences more pleasant and comfortable – specifically those receiving more invasive care for dental implants placement or wisdom teeth removal.

Sedation dentistry can improve the experiences of patients who struggle with anxiety and phobias in medical and dental situations. The medications used relieve feelings of panic, intense worry, and fear. It’s also helpful for folks who have difficulty remaining still for long periods of time. Those who have excessive energy or hyperactivity can benefit from sedation dentistry, too.

How will sedation make me feel?

Sedation dentistry diminishes stressful feelings like worry and panic. It also helps control racing thoughts. Those receiving sedation will feel a wave of relaxation. It can cause grogginess so many people who receive sedation tend to fall asleep during their treatment but are not medically unconscious.

An additional benefit to sedation dentistry is that it can increase the effectiveness of local anesthetics and pain-relieving medication.

Since sedation slows down the nervous system and impairs motor function, patients must have a friend or family member transport them to and from appointments.

Are there different kinds of sedation?

Yes, there are different kinds of sedation dentistry. There is a drug-free option, which involves administering nitrous oxide gas. There is also oral and IV sedation, both of which utilize anti-anxiety medications. Your oral surgeon can help you select the right type of sedation for your needs.

Give our team at Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center a call to schedule an appointment.

Dental Implants: Will I be able to chew with the same force I use with my natural teeth?

implant dentist CharlottesvilleAfter tooth loss, you might be wondering if your replacement teeth will stand up to your favorite foods. If you enjoy steak or biting into a crisp apple, you will want to look into whether dental implants are right for you. Our implant dentist offers tooth replacement consultations to help our patients find the best prosthetics for their needs.

Can I enjoy a balanced diet with dental implants?

Dental implants are incredibly sturdy; they will not budge or shift during meals. Unlike conventional tooth replacement methods, dental implants actually replace the root structures of teeth. Since a dental implant is anchored by the jawbone, it gives people more force and control when biting, tearing, and chewing food.

Traditional prosthetics make it nearly impossible to enjoy fibrous and chewy foods. Fortunately, dental implants are so sturdy that enjoying a balanced diet is not only possible, it’s comfortable.

Are dental implants easy to care for?

Dental implants are easier to keep clean than dentures. Unlike full and partial dentures, dental implants are fixed in the mouth. This means they are not removed for brushing and overnight soaking. Instead, implants and their prosthetics are brushed alongside biological teeth. If patients have a dental implant replacing a single tooth, they can even floss around their implants and prosthetics.

Some patients – especially those who have implant-supported dentures and bridges – invest in water irrigators. These devices flush a steady stream of water underneath prosthetics to help clean the gingiva.

Why should I see a specialist?

Visiting a specialist is wise for more complex treatments such as dental implant placement. An oral surgeon, for example, has advanced education and training to work as an implant dentist. These specialists are intimately familiar with oral anatomy and surgical protocols.

A specialist can deliver a high level of specialized treatment beyond that of many general dentists. They can also perform procedures such as bone grafts that can increase the success rate of dental implants.

If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to schedule a tooth replacement consultation with our experienced oral surgeon.

Sedation Dentistry: How will I feel after my appointment?

sedation dentist CharlottesvilleIf you have an upcoming appointment for wisdom teeth removal or dental implant placement, you will likely receive some form of sedation dentistry to improve your treatment experience. Our sedation dentist strives to make treatment relaxing and comfortable for all our patients.

The effects of sedation can vary depending on the type you receive. Some sedation methods wear off quite quickly while others can have lingering effects for a few hours. The type of sedation administered will be based on your unique needs and the treatment you are receiving.

Following are answers to commonly asked questions about sedation dentistry.

Will I feel groggy and sleepy after my treatment?

If you are given oral or IV sedation, you will likely feel groggy and very relaxed for a couple of hours after your procedure. These types of sedation involve administering prescription medication, typically from the benzodiazepine class of drugs. The effects of these types of medications can last for four to six hours.

There is a drug-free type of sedation dentistry called nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”. Its effects wear off much faster. Nitrous oxide is a very safe treatment option but may not be strong enough for certain procedures.

Is IV sedation safe?

Yes, IV sedation dentistry is safe. By utilizing an intravenous feed, our team can ensure that you receive the amount of medication you need to feel comfortable.

Our sedation dentist follows strict FDA protocols to ensure the safest treatment possible.

Will I remember anything from my procedure?

Sedation dentistry does not put patients in an unconscious state. IV and oral sedation, however, does make it possible to sleep through treatment. If you receive these types of sedation dentistry, you may have limited recollection of your procedure. If you receive nitrous oxide, you will likely remember more of your treatment than you would if you received stronger sedation.

If you have questions about an upcoming procedure such as wisdom teeth removal or dental implant placement, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to speak with a helpful member of our team.

5 Things You Should Never Do with Your Teeth

dentist CharlottesvilleYour teeth are precious and once they develop permanent damage, they cannot self-repair. Permanently damaged teeth require professional treatment such as restorations or root canal therapy from a dentist. This is why it’s important to protect your teeth from bad habits and harmful substances.

Following are five things you should never do with your teeth.

Open Packaging or Bottles

It might be tempting to tear into plastic packaging or open a bottle with your teeth, but this habit can lead to serious dental injuries. The force associated with using your teeth as a tool could lead to severe cracks and chips.

It’s best to break this habit and keep scissors and bottle openers within reach.

Chew Ice

Many people chew ice as a nervous habit. It might seem like a benign way to occupy your time but chewing on ice can wear down your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay, cracks, and chips.

If you’re having trouble breaking this habit, we recommend drinking beverages with a straw to reduce the temptation to chew on ice.

Forget to Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing properly and regularly can prevent conditions like dental caries and periodontal disease. Forgetting to brush and floss leads to accumulation of plaque and ultimately, tartar. Both of these substances contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. You should brush and floss your teeth every day with proper technique and with products that have the ADA seal of acceptance.

Grind Your Teeth or Clench Your Jaw

If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw you could be causing serious damage to your teeth. This habit is known as “bruxism” and it can lead to the need for restorative care, prosthetic teeth, and root canal therapy. Bruxism also produces headaches and facial pain because it strains the soft tissues that support the jaw.

Eat Sugary Food

Sugary foods are a threat to your oral health. We recommend avoiding anything with sugar as often as possible. If you do eat something sugary, be sure to drink plain water and brush your teeth thirty minutes after eating.

For additional tips, contact our team at Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center.

Missing Teeth: More Than Just a Gap in Your Smile

missing teeth CharlottesvilleAre you struggling with missing teeth? While this is a terrible blow to your self-esteem and confidence, there are lesser known risks related to tooth loss that can affect your oral health, too.  Missing teeth can make it difficult to get the nutrition you need to thrive while also affecting the health of your jawbones. Our oral surgeon treats tooth loss with dental implants, a long-lasting and lifelike tooth replacement option.

Tooth Loss and Your Oral Health

Losing teeth affects far more than your appearance. Our teeth play an integral role in our daily lives. Without them, eating and speaking is very difficult. Without all our teeth to disperse the force of daily oral function, remaining teeth can wear down faster than they should.

Since all our teeth work as a harmonious system, the loss of just a few teeth could seriously affect your ability to eat comfortably. It is not uncommon for those with missing teeth to develop malnutrition. Moreover, tooth loss will lead to the atrophy of the jaws. Without the roots of teeth, the jawbones will deteriorate, which can cause malocclusions, uncomfortable oral function, and accelerated aging.

How Dental Implants Protect Your Oral Health

Replacing missing teeth with dental implants is a great way to safeguard your oral function and your wellbeing. What makes dental implants unique is the fact that they replace the lost roots of teeth, which helps protect bone.

Dental implants are placed into the jawbone through a minor surgical procedure. Once bone stabilizes around implants, they can support permanent restorations (crowns and bridges) or prosthetics (full and partial dentures). This makes implants incredibly sturdy so that they can withstand the forces associated with daily oral function. Eating food with dental implants is easy and comfortable.

Since implants are located in the jaw, they keep the bone stimulated and prevent its deterioration. This helps patients maintain a healthy occlusion. Preserving bone will also help protect remaining teeth.

If you have questions about replacing missing teeth with dental implants, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to schedule a consultation with our oral surgeon.

What can I expect with oral sedation?

oral sedation CharlottesvilleDo you have an upcoming appointment to have dental implants placed or wisdom teeth extracted? If so, our oral surgeon might prescribe medication to enhance your comfort during treatment. Called “oral sedation” this medication will help alleviate anxiety and discomfort. It will also make it easier to remain still during your procedure.

How will oral sedation make me feel?

The tablets used in oral sedation come from an anxiolytic class of medications that work with GABA receptors to slow down the central nervous system. They produce a calming, mildly sedating effect. Those who have phobias and anxiety related to dental or medical settings respond very well to this type of medication.

Most patients will feel a noticeable sense of calm and peacefulness. Many will feel groggy, too, and some may even sleep through their appointments.

How long does oral sedation last?

These tablets are to be taken about one hour before your appointment so that by the time you arrive the effects have kicked in. Patients can expect oral sedation’s effects to last about four to six hours. Since oral sedation will impair cognitive and motor function, people will need to arrange for transportation to and from their procedures.

Who should receive oral sedation?

A number of people could benefit from oral sedation. It is especially helpful for controlling anxiety, which benefits people who have phobias with medical and dental environments. Oral sedation can also help keep fidgety patients still during long treatments that require precision and limited movement.

Determining if oral sedation is right for you involves having a conversation with our oral surgeon. Some people with certain conditions or those on certain prescription regimens may not respond well to this type of medication. Our team will need to review your health history to determine the specific medication to prescribe and its dose.

If you have questions about oral sedation or common treatments like wisdom teeth extractions or dental implant placement, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to schedule a consultation.

How Bone Grafting Makes Dental Implants Possible

bone grafting CharlottesvilleDental implants make excellent replacement teeth.  Dental implants and their restorations can function, look, and feel like biological teeth. Since implants draw on bone for support, patients must have adequate bone mass in their jaws to support their prosthetics. Those with sparse bone may need bone grafting procedures to ensure successful implantation procedures.

In the past, patients with inadequate bone weren’t considered good candidates for dental implants. This is because the risk of implant failure was high. Fortunately, bone grafting procedures makes dental implants possible for a greater number of people.

Bone Health and Dental Implants

For implants to function properly, they must have enough support from the bone surrounding them. A number of conditions can contribute to sparse bone including tooth loss, facial trauma and advanced gum disease. Certain parts of the jaw tend to have less bone than others, particularly the upper jaw where it is sometimes too thin to support implants.

How Bone Grafting Works

Bone grafting is a procedure that transplants bone tissue to the jaw. For many patients, tissue used in bone grafting treatments comes from a tissue bank.

There are different types of bone grafts, too. One common type of bone graft is a “socket graft”, which is placed into an empty tooth socket after losing a tooth. This type of graft helps prevent rapid bone atrophy associated with tooth loss.

Other types of common grafting techniques include “lateral ridge preservation graft” and “sinus lift” grafts. Lateral ridge preservation grafts widen the jawbone to accommodate a dental implant while sinus lifts concentrate on the bone in the upper jaw just below the sinus cavities.

Although the words “bone grafting” can sound intimidating, it’s important to know that these procedures are outpatient treatments that produce minimal discomfort. If you have questions about bone grafting and dental implants, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to reserve a consultation with our oral surgeon.

Good Oral Hygiene Benefits You May Not Know About

dental CharlottesvilleMost people are aware that they are expected to take good care of their teeth and gums in order to enjoy fresh breath and prevent tooth decay. What many people don’t realize, however, is that practicing good dental hygiene could literally prevent chronic illness. Our oral surgery practice explains.

Periodontal Disease and Your Overall Health

While it’s true that clean teeth and gums help lower the risks of developing tooth decay, proper oral hygiene – especially daily flossing – prevents gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is a serious oral health concern with links to systemic conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer.

Advanced forms of gum disease can destroy teeth, gums, and your jawbones. Many patients with advanced periodontal disease require oral surgery such as tissue grafts and gum surgery. The best way to prevent periodontal disease and its effects on your health is to perform vigilant oral hygiene.

Beyond lowering your risks for gum disease and tooth decay, proper oral hygiene can also:

  • Reduce discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity.
  • Stimulate the gingiva for optimal gum health.
  • Prevent halitosis (bad breath).
  • Lessen the chance of losing teeth to dental injuries or infections.
  • Protect tooth enamel, which cannot rejuvenate once damaged.
  • Save money by reducing the need for dental restorations.

Dental Hygiene Tips

The first step to improving your oral hygiene is to make a commitment to brushing and flossing every day with proper techniques. You should brush your teeth two times per day and floss every night before bed.

Take your time when brushing and flossing. Vigorous and careless motions could irritate soft oral tissue and damage your tooth enamel. Be sure to use oral hygiene products with the ADA’s seal of acceptance, too. Some patients enjoy using water irrigators to help keep their teeth and gums free of debris. If you have questions about which products meet your needs, feel free to ask your dentist or our oral surgeon for recommendations.

Our oral surgery practice provides a number of oral health services including implant dentistry, tooth extractions, jaw surgery, and oral pathology. Call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center today to reserve a consultation with our skilled oral surgeon.

4 Most Common Problems Created by Impacted Teeth

impacted teeth CharlottesvilleThe ways that impacted teeth could affect your oral health might surprise you. Not only are impacted teeth more likely to become infected, they can be quite painful. Our oral surgeon provides extractions for impacted teeth and wisdom teeth.

Following are five common problems associated with impacted teeth.

Bad breath

Impacted teeth contribute to halitosis (bad breath). This is because they are at a higher risk for infections and because food can easily become trapped in the gums around impacted teeth. In addition to bad breath, infected teeth and trapped food can leave unpleasant tastes in people’s mouths.

Facial and Gingival Swelling

Painful infections can form throughout tissues in the oral cavity because of impacted teeth. These infections can lead to significant swelling along the face – especially near jaws and on the gums.

Bleeding gums

When the gingiva becomes irritated and/or infected, the gums may bleed. Those with impacted teeth may experience bleeding gums when performing oral hygiene or eating meals. This side effect of impacted teeth could also increase a person’s risks for developing periodontal disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.

Jaw pain

Discomfort in the jaw often accompanies impacted wisdom teeth. When wisdom teeth push into adjacent teeth at the back of the mouth, it can create soreness. Patients may feel jaw pain throughout the day and during meals. Some people with impacted wisdom teeth may experience stiffness and discomfort when opening their mouths to speak, laugh, or yawn.

Removing impacted teeth can greatly improve your oral function and quality of life. Extractions also eliminate many of the oral health threats associated with teeth that have failed to erupt properly. Our oral surgeons use advanced surgical techniques and state-of-the-art technology to remove problematic teeth with minimal invasiveness. We also administer local anesthetics and offer sedation dentistry to ensure comfort throughout our guests’ procedures.

We are accepting new patients. If your dentist has referred you to our practice to remove impacted teeth, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center today to reserve a consultation.