The American Dental Association defines oral and maxillofacial surgery as “..specialty of dentistry which includes the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.” In plain terms, this means that oral surgeons treat a vast array of problems of the head and neck.
Most people are familiar with oral surgery when they need their wisdom teeth removed, or have a dental implant placed. Oral surgeons, however, do much more: they remove cysts or tumors of the jaws, treat TMJ diseases, perform corrective jaw surgery, cosmetic surgery, botox, pre-prosthetic surgery, and trauma to name a few. This requires at least 4 to 6 years of post-doctoral training, in an ADA, CODA-accredited oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program.
Oral surgeons must complete at least 4 to 6 six years of post-doctorate training in an ADA, CODA-accredited oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program. These training programs are demanding and rigorous; however, at the end of this training, no one is more knowledgeable or adept at treating a patient’s oral surgery needs than an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
After completion of an oral surgery residency (training) program, an oral surgeon must successfully undergo a two year process in order become board certified. An 8 hour, written qualifying exam is taken, followed the next year by an oral certifying examination. Only oral surgeons who pass both exams are considered Board certified.
In addition, board certified oral surgeons are required to take continued education courses, be on-staff at their local hospital, and undergo an in-office anesthesia evaluation. In this way, you can by assured that the oral surgeon you are seeing has met the highest standard for knowledge, diagnosis, decision-making, surgical prowess, ethics and safety.
The most common procedures done are typically removal of teeth, wisdom tooth extraction, bone grafting, and of course dental implant placement. Our doctor has over ten years of experience in placing dental implants and has done countless All-On-Four procedures. However, our doctor is a full scope oral surgeon and performs maxillofacial trauma surgery, orthognathic (or corrective jaw) surgery, surgery on the TMJ, surgery addressing non-malignant oral pathology, and surgery on the salivary glands, to list a few.
We take most dental insurances as well as certain medical insurances. Depending on your surgical needs, your procedure may fall under your medical insurance, your dental insurance, or both.
As a service to you, we will verify your insurance submit a claim on your behalf. We will estimate what financial burden, if any, you will bear. This is, of course, an estimate only. Sometimes you may get a bill from the office, or a refund depending on your insurance’s reimbursement.
Typically, we ask that you have a referral from your dentist. Your dentist may email this to us directly, or give it to you to bring to the consultation appointment. This ensures communication between us and the dentist, and is a safety measure. With that said, we understand that emergencies do come up. Also, you may not have a dentist, or you would simply like a second opinion. In these incidences, we will be happy to accommodate you.
In a word, yes. We are licensed for general anesthesia. This is essentially a deep IV sedation. For most, the last thing patients remember is the doctor starting the IV. During your consultation, we will review your health and medical history, discuss what anesthetic options are available to you, and make sure you are as comfortable as possible.
Wisdom teeth may be asymptomatic and submerged below the gums. Very often you won’t be able to see the wisdom teeth and only an X-ray will show an impacted tooth. Even if your wisdom teeth do not bother you, that does not mean they are “okay.” Only your dentist or an oral surgeon can determine if your wisdom teeth should be removed.
There are a number of reasons wisdom teeth should be removed. Wisdom teeth may become painful, infected, cause decay or bone loss on the adjacent teeth, or even cause cysts or tumors in the jaw. Waiting until they become painful is not a good idea. You don’t wait until a heart attack to treat high blood pressure. Your dentist should evaluate the wisdom teeth to see if you would benefit from their removal.
Most people are candidates for dental implants. It is a combination of your medical history, oral and radiographic exams, and your expectations that determines candidacy. If you are considering dental implants, call us and we will be happy to schedule a consultation. We will review the entire process with you at length and answer all of your questions. Dental implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement today!
Implants are a lot more affordable than most people realize. They may cost less than a dental bridge, which requires cutting the adjacent, healthy teeth. Also, many insurances are covering dental implants today, especially compared to five or ten years ago.
We offer several financing options. We utilize Care Credit and other medical financing companies to mitigate any financial burden. Finally, it is important to know that we uses the most technologically advanced materials and offers the highest level of care and compassion, in an un-compromised manner. We do this for a fair, and reasonable to cost to you.
Dental implants are meant to last for life. The crown of the implant may need to be replaced after 10 or 15 years, but the implant itself is only removed under rare circumstances.
A dry socket is a possible complication after a tooth is removed. It occurs when a blood clot from the socket is prematurely losses, hence exposing the bone to the oral cavity, saliva, air, and food. Dry sockets may appear after two to three days or even a week later. Patients will describe a dull, throbbing pain that radiates to the ear, temple, forehead, or down the jaw.
Smokers and women on birth control pills seem to be at a slightly higher risk for dry socket.
A dry socket is the most common complication after dental extraction. According current dogma, the incidence is about 5%.