Major and Minor Bone Grafting
Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies, or gets shrunken. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In the past, patients with situations like this were not candidates for dental implants.
Today, we have the ability to grow bone in most situations where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives Dr. Chew a chance to restore functionality with optimal aesthetic appearance.
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. While most grafting can be done with bone obtained from a tissue bank, it can also be obtained by taking it from your own jaw. Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This procedure is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”
Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
Oral Examination For Evaluation of Wisdom Teeth
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Chew can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist.
Removal of Wisdom Teeth
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia or laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen). All options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., potential sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, patients are asked to bite down on the gauze placed in their mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, and a follow-up appointment in one week. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.