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Learn About What Oral Surgeons Do

Parker oral surgery

Oral surgery is a dental specialization that requires special training. An oral surgeon will typically spend 4 to 6 extra years as a resident in a hospital, learning how to treat various problems related to the tooth, jawbone, gums and soft tissues of the face.

The complete name of this dental specialty is oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This name of the profession is given by maxilla – the upper jaw of the face. This is one of the most important parts of the human face, since all the other bones in the face except for the lower jaw touch it.

What Kind of Training Does an Oral Surgeon Receive?

Given the complexity of the parts of the body they have to treat, oral surgeons need to become familiar with several medical specialties. Parker oral surgery specialists receive schooling and practical education in:

  • Anesthesia
  • Internal medicine
  • ENT (ear, nose, throat) medicine or otolaryngology
  • Emergency medicine
  • Plastic surgery.

That’s right, plastic surgery. If a patient suffers from congenital issues such as cleft palate or suffers extensive facial damage in an accident, a Parker oral surgeon will perform reconstructive surgery on them.

Types of Procedures Performed by an Oral Surgeon

Here are some of the typical medical procedures an oral surgeon performs:

  1. Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Wisdom teeth (third molars) have a four-pronged root. Therefore, you don’t need any dentist, but an oral surgeon to extract them. In some cases, the extraction requires surgery and closing the extraction site with stitches.

  1. Installing Dental Implants

A dental implant is the most realistic looking tooth replacement option. It looks just like a tooth and is screwed in the jawbone. This kind of procedure is performed by an oral surgeon because it does involve a surgery to insert the screw in the jawbone. 

  1. Corrective Jaw Surgery

Some people suffer from misaligned jaws, which cause an overbite or an underbite. These issues are far more problematic than from the esthetic point of view. People with misaligned jaws have difficulty eating and speaking. In some cases, orthodontics can solve the problem. However, in other cases surgery is required to realign the upper and lower jaws.

  1. Facial Trauma Treatments

Facial trauma, such as being hit in the face with a blunt instrument or being involved in a car accident, destroys more than just your looks. Muscles, bones and nerves are damaged and you need a skilled oral surgeon to put everything back in place, reconnect tissue and help you heal and get back the full function and esthetics of the various parts of your face.

  1. Oncologic Surgery

Mouth cancer can lead to the development of large tumors that leave patients unable to eat and breathe properly. Oral surgeons have the skill and experience to identify the extent of these tumors and remove them as much as possible.

Finally, as we mentioned above, an oral surgeon will usually assist a plastic surgeon in facial reconstruction procedure. While one specialist focuses on esthetics, the other will ensure that the patient will have full function of the soft tissues, nerves and jaws after the surgery.

How Long Do Dental Implants Take?

The process of getting dental implants takes several months and the period that needs to pass between the extraction of the tooth to be replaced by the implant and the time when the implanting process can start will also add about six months to the complete duration of the process.

dental implants Colorado Springs

The Process of Getting a Dental Implant

A dental implant is a complete, artificial tooth made from a strong, durable and lightweight material, such as titanium alloys. The solution is usually recommended for patients who have undergone tooth extraction that has healed well and whose jawbone has rebuilt on its own or who can be a good candidate for bone replacement and who prefer a dental replacement solution that is more stable and more attractive than dental bridges. Dental implants are also the solution for situations in which the lack of natural tooth roots makes it impossible to attach dental bridges to existing teeth.

Implants practically consist of a metal post that is surgically placed into the jaw of the patient, either under local anaesthesia, in the dentist’s office or in general anesthesia, but only after the patient’s jaw has healed after the extraction. After extraction, the surface of the gum recovers relatively quickly, but the jawbone underneath can take 6 months or longer to recover. In most cases, the oral surgeon or implant specialist who will perform the implanting procedure will perform a CT scan of the jawbone to confirm that the density of the bone is suitable for applying the implant. If the CT scan confirms suitability, the metal post is introduced into the jawbone; if the bone has not recovered properly, the specialist might recommend a procedure called grafting to strengthen and prepare the jawbone to hold and to accept the implant.

After the intervention of mounting the post, the patient must wait for another 3-6 months before the next step – the body needs to accept the post and the gum needs to grow around it. When the specialist considers that the surgical area has recovered sufficiently, the next phase is the placement of the abutment, the piece of the implant on which the visible part of the implant, the final crown will be placed. The mounting of the abutment is also followed by a period of healing, after which the crown is made and installed.

It is recommended that you find the most reputable dental implants Colorado Springs oral surgeon possible for this highly technical procedure.


The Durability of Dental Implants

With proper, thorough oral hygiene, dental implants are very durable solutions, for many patients being lifelong solutions. In some cases, the jawbone into which the implant is installed might weaken due to issues related to bone density and as a result, the jaw might become unable to lock the implant sufficiently. In these cases, the implant can be removed, the jawbone can be strengthened with various methods and the process of installing a new implant can start. However, such cases are very rare and they are usually caused by an underlying condition that the patient suffers from – most patients willing to undertake the long process of getting the implant are very happy with the results and they never have any problems related to their implants.

Preventing Gum Diseases

Preventing gum diseases is essential not only for a beautiful, healthy smile and for self-confidence, but for the health of the entire body – gums suffering from a disease or from an inflammation can lead to improper digestion, which affects the entire digestive tract and the bacteria that cause inflammation to the gums can travel down the throat as well, causing severe inflammation to the body’s internal organs. Fortunately, gum diseases can be easily prevented with a proper hygiene and some attention – here is how.gum disease preventionBrushing Your Teeth the Right Way

Gum disease can be efficiently prevented if you brush your teeth at least twice a day and you clean the space between the teeth once a day, preferably in the evening. Pay attention to do the brushing and the flossing right:

  • Spend around 3-5 minutes brushing your teeth, moving your brush not only up and down, but in circles as well and paying special attention to the back of your teeth because cavities are more likely to develop on the interior side;
  • Brush at the gumline, too – the area where the visible part of the tooth meets the gum tends to trap plaque-forming bacteria that need to be removed to avoid gum problems and the development of cavities;
  • Floss the right way – grab a piece of floss between two thumbs and move the floss gently, but firmly between touching teeth to remove the tiny food particles trapped in the small space;
  • Finish with a thorough rinse and swish with an anti-bacterial mouth rinse to remove all bacteria.

To make brushing as efficient as possible, use a suitably sized brush with soft or medium bristles. Many Highlands Ranch dentists may suggest alternating two brushes to allow each of them to dry properly.

Stimulate Your Gums

Another great way to prevent gum diseases is to stimulate the gums with exercise. Sugar-free chewing gums are great for the purpose and so is a diet rich in firm foods that need to be chewed, such as apples and celery.

Stock Up on Nutrients

For healthy functioning, your gums need vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C can help people suffering from gum bleeding, vitamin D is known to promote gum health by preventing inflammations and calcium is also essential for gum health because it strengthens the bones, including the jaws and makes teeth strong.

Make Your Lifestyle Healthier

Try to limit your consumption of foods and beverages that contain high amounts of sugar. Choose fresh fruit instead of dried fruit, consume plenty of dairy products and replace soda-type beverages with plain water or unsweetened tea. Smoking and the consumption of alcohol are also harmful for your gums – try to quit smoking or reduce the number of cigarettes and also reduce your intake of alcohol and you will soon notice the positive effects on your gums, too.

Gum diseases, especially gum bleeding are often associated with stressful lifestyle, so try to spend more time outside or hit the gym at least twice a day – more relaxation and more physical activity not only improves your general health and makes you feel better, but is also efficient for preventing gum diseases.

Methods for Keeping Teeth Healthy as Long as Possible

dental hygieneBrushing is undeniably among the most important methods for keeping teeth healthy as long as possible, but it is not the only thing that you should do for your teeth – here are some more.

Combine Brushing with Flossing

Brushing is essential for keeping your teeth healthy, but unfortunately it is not enough. You should brush your teeth for 3-5 minutes, two times a day, with a round-headed, medium brush to clean efficiently in the back of mouth as well and you should also floss your teeth once a day to remove the tiny food particles trapped in the small space between the teeth that cannot be removed by brushing alone.

Use an Anti-bacterial Mouthwash

Finish tooth cleaning in the morning and in the evening with a thorough rinse, first with water, then with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Mouthwashes remove even microscopic bacterial and food residues and they also clean the palate, the tongue and the back of the mouth.

Limit Your Sugar Intake

Sugar is the most common cause of tooth decay. Whenever we eat or drink something sweet, the sugar prompts the bacteria naturally occurring in our mouths to produce acids that settle on the teeth and start decomposing the enamel that makes up the surface of the tooth. The acids cause tiny holes to form in the enamel, holes that become larger and deeper over time and turn into visible cavities.

Consume Foods that Promote Saliva Production

One of the roles of the saliva produced by the glands in our mouths is to flush the bacteria and the food particles that accumulate in the mouth. To make sure that the saliva-producing glands in your mouth function properly, you should consume plenty of foods that make the glands function properly, such as apples, celery and other fruits and vegetables that are rich in fibers.

Consume Foods that Are Rich in Calcium

Calcium is one of the most important minerals in the composition of tooth, calcium deficiency being among the most frequent causes of tooth decay in the case of people who otherwise maintain a good oral cleaning routine. You can replenish your calcium supplies by consuming lots of dairy products and you can also help your teeth stay healthy by adding calcium to your diet in the form of food supplements.

Regular Visits to the Dentist

Visiting your dentist Littleton CO specialist every six months even if you don’t have any visible or noticeable dental problems is essential for keeping your teeth healthy. Dentists are trained to find dental problems that are still in early stages, such as gum inflammations that don’t cause any discomfort yet or dental cavities that are only slightly visible and dental problems in these early phases are very easy to treat and to cure.

If you notice or experience any dental problems such as spots on your teeth or red gums, between regular dental appointments, call your doctor at once.

Keeping teeth healthy as long as possible is important for your general and for your self-confidence as well – try to put the above tips in practice and your teeth will stay healthy and beautiful for a long time.