Our practice always strives to make information about the procedures we commonly perform available to
our patients so they can familiarize and educate themselves about their upcoming surgery. If you are unable to find answers to any questions
you may have, please feel free to contact us so that we may assist you.
Teeth erupt into the mouth in a specific sequence and pattern during childhood and adolescence. Our jaws, in most cases, are only large enough to accommodate 28 teeth. However, there are 32 teeth in the normal adult mouth. The last four teeth to develop are called the third molars, but most people refer to them as “Wisdom Teeth”. The wisdom teeth typically begin to erupt into the mouth between the ages of 16 and 20 years. Because there is often inadequate room for these teeth, the wisdom teeth rarely grow in to assume a normal position within the jaws to become functional teeth that are useful in chewing. It is more often the case that these teeth come in crooked, leaning in different abnormal directions, or they fail to erupt completely through the jawbone or gums (“impacted” wisdom teeth).
These poorly positioned wisdom teeth can result in negative complications to the overall dental health. These problems include:
The only predictable way to prevent problems with wisdom teeth is to have them removed before these problems occur. If you, or your dentist, have concerns regarding your wisdom teeth, an accurate evaluation of the status of these teeth within your jaws can be provided to you by one of our doctors. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends timely removal of indicated wisdom teeth between the ages of 15 and 25. The longer you delay the removal of poorly positioned wisdom teeth, the more likely you are to experience unfavorable complications from the wisdom teeth themselves, or from the surgery required to remove them.
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal disease (gum disease)
- Damage to adjacent teeth, possibly resulting in tooth loss
- Dental crowding
- Cysts or tumors within the jaw bones
Please click on this “wisdom
teeth” link for further information from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, or call one of our offices today to arrange a consultation appointment.
Dental Implants are available for patients who are seeking a permanent and predicable solution to replace missing teeth. Patients who desire the ability to eat and smile as they once did with their natural teeth will select dental implants for a new sense of confidence.
Dental Implants placed by one of our experienced specialists can replace single or multiple missing teeth. They can be placed individually or splinted together as an implant-supported “bridge”. They can also be used to stabilize and retain ill-fitting or loose dentures in the patient who is missing all their teeth.
There are usually multiple different dental implant options to treat any particular missing tooth situation. If you have an interest in dental implant treatment to restore your smile, please contact our office.
Click on dental
implants for further information from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, or this informative site from Zimmer, an industry-leading company in innovative dental implant and manufacture.
Correctional Jaw Surgery
Corrective Jaw Surgery (orthognathic surgery)
may be required or requested when a person’s upper and
lower jaws grow at different speeds. At the speed that your
jaws grow (very slowly), an under-bite or over-bite can be
noticeable early on or it could take many years to develop.
Fundamentally, this procedure is available and practiced on
those whose jaws do not fit together correctly.
With orthognathic surgery, this problem can be reversed.
Correcting misaligned jaws can solve a broad range of problems
for a patient, including speaking, chewing, breathing, and
Before surgery, the teeth are properly aligned through
orthodontic therapy (braces). Orthodontics corrects the
crowding of teeth and abnormal tooth angulations and rotations.
Once the teeth are properly aligned, orthognathic surgery
is used to fix the misaligned jaws.
Click on the following link for further information on corrective
jaw surgery from the American Association of Oral and
When a patient is missing a single tooth or multiple teeth, the jawbone around these areas will shrink in size (height and width) over time due to lack of stimulating forces from chewing. The longer the tooth or teeth have been absent, the more pronounced the bone shrinkage can become. When this occurs, there often is inadequate bulk of bone to support the placement of dental implants to replace the missing teeth. These patients will not be acceptable candidates for dental implant treatment unless the amount of bone in these areas is increased by grafting procedures. Your bone can be “bulked up”, so to speak, by grafting pieces of your own bone harvested from another area of your jaws or another part of your body. Other grafting options include using sterile cadaver bone from human donors, sterile bone from other mammal species, or chemically-engineered synthetic “bone substitutes” that are commercially available and work well in certain situations.
Our doctors evaluate each patient individually, and will discuss specific grafting options with you if bone grafting is determined to be necessary in your particular case prior to implant placement. Please contact our office if you have any questions about bone grafting.
It is important to see your dental professional about any sore or pain in the mouth that doesn’t go away in 3 weeks. They will ask questions about your medical and dental history. Your entire mouth, including your lips and teeth, will be checked. A biopsy or other tests may also be done.
What are precancerous and cancerous oral lesions?
Pre-cancerous oral lesions are abnormal cell growths in our around the mouth. They may become cancer. Cancerous oral lesions are life-threatening cell changes in the mouth. These lesions need to be detected early to give you a better chance for a cure.
Signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms of precancerous and cancerous oral lesions may include:
- A sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal within 3 weeks
- White or red lesions or ulcers on the tongue, gums, or lining of the mouth that don’t go away
- Tenderness or pain in the mouth that persists
A biopsy is the best way to find out if a lesion is precancerous our cancerous. During a biopsy, the area around the lesion will be numbed. A part of the lesion will then be removed, and sent to a lab to be examined under a microscope.
Please contact our office if you have any questions about oral biopsies.