The average adult has thirty-two teeth by age eighteen: sixteen teeth on the top and sixteen teeth on the bottom. However, the average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in this space. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as "wisdom teeth".
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in – and the ones least needed for good oral health. When they align properly, and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not usually happen. Most often, wisdom teeth are impacted, or trapped in the jawbone and gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can take many positions and cause many problems as they attempt to emerge from your gums. When they partially emerge, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and can eventually cause an infection with swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may move your other teeth and disrupt their natural alignment. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jaw bone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, we can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Generally, patients should be evaluated first in their mid-teenage years.
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel, and function like natural teeth. People who have lost teeth regain the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that their teeth appear natural and that their facial contours will be preserved.
Dental implants are tiny, titanium posts placed in the jawbone under the gums to support artificial teeth where natural teeth are missing. Over a period of time, the jawbone actually attaches itself to these posts, providing a strong foundation for the artificial teeth attached to them.
Anyone who is missing teeth and can benefit from increased chewing efficiency, and improved appearance or speech, is a candidate for dental implants. Implants can be the solution when it has become difficult or impossible to wear removable dentures. Portions of the jaw that are missing due to a facial trauma, disease, or birth defect can often be reconstructed using implants.
Your doctor will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. As a rule, age is not a barrier to implant treatment if you are in good health. In fact, many people of all ages are choosing dental implants over other procedures, because the result is a natural appearance that is intended to be permanent.
Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. To overcome this condition, Drs. Darab, Richardson & Hill perform bone grafting.
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure to help your body regrow bone. It allows the doctors to build a suitable foundation for dental implants that restore functionality and esthetic appearance. In this procedure, the doctor takes a small piece of bone, usually from another area of the jaw or chin, and grafts it onto the jawbone where the dental implant is needed. Over a period of time, the body grows new bone over the graft, making it suitable for a the implant.
This procedure is performed at a local hospital under IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Our practice is dedicated to excellence in patient care. We practice the most advanced methods and use the latest proven technologies in oral and maxillofacial surgery. In addition to providing accurate pre-operative and diagnostic evaluations, our offices are staffed to provide the safest surgical care and are fully equipped with the latest technology. We emphasize post-surgical follow-up care for our patients in addition to scheduled appointments and 24-hour on-call service. Our goal is to provide the very best possible oral surgery care so that each of our patients may achieve optimal dental health throughout his or her lifetime.
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If you are an existing patient with our practice who is scheduled for an upcoming procedure, please CLICK HERE to watch an educational video which should answer many of the questions that you might have.
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