Richmond Oral & Cosmetic Surgeons

Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Getting your wisdom teeth removed seems to be a rite of passage these days. Everyone knows a friend or a family member who has gotten them extracted or even have had them pulled themselves. Aside from enjoying the perks of getting these last set of molars extracted such as getting to miss school or even work for a few days, or the endless and guiltless ice cream soiree, here are the occasional and sometimes painful telltale signs that you need your wisdom teeth removed:

• Gum pain: When your “third molars” or wisdom teeth begin to erupt, they push past the gums creating an uncomfortable and hot feeling. It will most likely be accompanied with pressure or a dull throbbing sensation in the gums nearest the jaw bone. Infection can also lead to puffy and swollen gums and some unwanted drainage.

• Jaw pain: A wisdom tooth infection can cause sore throats and swollen lymph glands under the jaw. These symptoms can make the area around your jaw uncomfortable and difficulty chewing and eating may become persistent. In the case where an impacted wisdom tooth is present, it can lead to jaw aches and ear pain as well.

• Teeth and mouth pain: When you have an impacted wisdom tooth that is growing in at an angle, it can impact surrounding teeth. This can result in an increase of pressure on tooth nerves and bone, crowding the surrounding teeth. Symptoms include swelling, tenderness and pain.

You may be the lucky few who never experience these symptoms and may not even need your wisdom teeth removed if they are growing properly positioned, but making sure to address the pain and getting them removed early will ensure that you get to enjoy the perks of wisdom teeth extraction without the pain! Call our office today! Richmond Oral & Cosmetic Surgeons in Midlothian VA Phone Number 804-379-7120

What to Expect When Expecting (…A Bone Graft)

What to Expect When Expecting A Bone Graft

Need a dental implant but don’t have sufficient jaw bone? Dental implants are the most effective option when it comes to replacing a tooth. However, if in order to successfully get an implant, you need to have an adequate amount of jawbone. If you don’t, then you will need a bone graft before getting the actual implant. Bone grafting is when an oral surgeon will either harvest bone from another part of your body, a cadaver, a deceased animal, or in most cases, use a special bone grafting material to anchor it onto your jaw bone, thus increasing its’ strength and density. Although the procedure may sound pretty scary, we can promise you it’s nothing of the sort. Below are some things to expect when getting a bone graft!
First, it’s important to keep in mind that dental implant surgeries are most often performed in stages. The first stage is the removal of the damaged tooth. After the removal of the tooth is when the actual bone grafting takes place; which, as explained previously, is when an oral surgeon replaces lost bone, therefore creating a base for a dental implant. Once the jawbone heals, you’ll be able to move on to the next stage, which is setting up the base for the dental implant using a titanium post. After this heals, the prosthetic tooth will then be inserted. To summarize, this process is often very long, spanning over months. A successful bone graft and implant won’t just happen overnight.
Recovery time is often based on the size of the bone graft and implant. This can take anywhere from a short two weeks to more than a year. We recommend avoiding intense physical activity for the first six weeks. Swelling is expected (as it always is after most surgical procedures); it’s your body’s reaction to the surgery. Most swelling won’t be apparent until the day following your surgery. To help aid your swelling, Ice packs can be applied to the outside of mouth where the surgery was performed.
As always, if you have any questions regarding the procedure, or simply want to discuss the details further, simply call our office @ Richmond Oral & Cosmetic Surgeons in Midlothian VA Phone Number 804-379-7120.

Healthy Foods for Healthy Smiles!

 

Healthy Food For Healthy SmilesA healthy school lunch will not only give your child the energy they need throughout their school day, it will keep their teeth healthy too! Below are some examples of healthy foods that will keep your kid smiling all day long!

PB&J’s! While a popular choice, often times sugary jellies and nut butters are not great for kid’s teeth. Try switching to a natural peanut butter, and a preserve or fruit jam (aim for 5grams or sugar or less per serving). Use whole wheat bread as a healthy alternative too!

Cheese Please! Cheese is high in calcium which is probably one of the most important nutrients for your teeth. It is absorbed by tooth enamel and help block bacteria growth. Without calcium, your kid’s teeth could be in big trouble! Cheese also has protein, which is not only important for the growth and development of children, it also keeps their muscles strong and healthy making for a stronger smile.

Snack-Attack! Apples are great to munch on, they are high in water which help to dilute the sugars they contain. When you are chewing, the saliva production helps protect against tooth decay, pairing this with a low sugar nut butter makes an excellent snack! Edamame beans are also a great option, they are rich in calcium and are fun to eat too! Just make sure to get a salt free version to avoid too much sodium.

We want water! Although it seems simple, water is MUST. Often times we give our kids way to much juice and not enough water, and studies have shown that juice is just as bad for you as soda! Kids should be drinking 5-10 glasses of water each day, so encourage them to hydrate by sending them to school with a reusable water bottle they can keep filling up.

If you have any questions about what types of smile friendly foods your child should be eating, feel free to call our office today!

4 Tips to Help You Prepare For Corrective Jaw Surgery

pinkPreparing for your jaw surgery is a very important part in ensuring a smooth experience and recovery process. Here are a few tips that can help you make sure you are as ready as possible:

Maintain a healthy diet:
It’s important to be in good physical health before undergoing any type of surgery. A great way to do so is to ensure you are having a balanced diet and exercising as much as you can. Making sure you are getting proper nutrition will give your body the strength it needs for a faster recovery. Starting this as soon as possible before your surgery is key because creating these healthy habits may take some time.

Keep up good oral hygiene habits
Not only are good oral hygiene habits a good practice to have, they will prevent the risk of infection and possible bacterial complications during surgery. Brushing twice a day and flossing are extremely important parts of your oral health, and this may be one of the most important precautions you can take pre-surgery.

Plan and prepare non-chew meals in advance
When recovering, the last thing you are going to want to do is try to figure out what your to eat. Planning in advance will reduce stress and make the recovery process that much easier. Try purchasing in bulk easy-to-eat foods, like pre-made soups, yogurt or pudding. Even purchasing a food processor or blender, if you don’t already have one, could make your meal preparation so much easier.

Relax
The thought of surgery can be very overwhelming to anyone. Mediating or listening to some relaxing music before your surgery is a great way to calm nerves.

We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have! Call us today! 804-379-7120

5 Perks of Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

laughingFor some reason there is this negative stigma surrounding wisdom teeth removal when in reality there are more perks than you would think. Odds are you will have to get your wisdom teeth removed, so it’s in your best interest to accept the good and the bad of this procedure. So let’s focus on the good!

1. No More Pain: Whether this was a preemptive procedure or a tad bit rushed due to pain, the whole reason for removal is to ensure your wisdom teeth won’t ever be an issue again. Even though there can be negative side effects to removal, it doesn’t mean that all will apply to you. By making sure you keep up with all of your doctor’s instructions after the procedure you can avoid any further discomfort and remain pain free moving forward.
2. Time Off: The average amount of wisdom teeth recovery time is about three to four days depending on the severity of impaction. More than not people tend to take a full week off, maybe even more, to have enough time to fully heal before getting back into the swing of things. Take advantage of the mandatory down time you have.
3. Ice Cream: Not like you ever need an excuse to eat an unlimited amount of ice cream but having your wisdom teeth removed is basically a get out of jail free card. It’s in your best interest to choose a flavor without any huge chunks to avoid irritating the sensitive areas surrounding your extracted wisdom teeth.
4. Unlimited Movies: There is no shame in binge watching your favorite TV shows or movie trilogies because technically it’s the doctors’ orders. Rest and relaxation is your top priority for the first couple days after removal. Although you physically won’t be productive during this time it doesn’t mean you can’t productively cross off all of your shows you’ve been waiting to watch.
5. Sympathy: A majority of the time you end up looking worse than you feel which can work in your favor. More than likely the majority of your friends and family will have already had the procedure and can relate to it. It won’t be long until your friends and family show up with thoughtful surprises, like wisdom teeth removal friendly snacks, movies and a good book.

To schedule your root canal therapy consultation make sure you give our office a call! 804-379-7120

When do You Need a Bone Graft?

yellow flowerBone grafts are essential for replacing missing or damaged bone in your jaw. Whether a cavity has reduced your tooth to an empty, gummy space after an extraction, or gum disease has caused loose teeth, a bone graft can repair and rebuild the damaged bone needed to support a dental implant. Surrounding teeth can also become loose and eventually fall out without healthy bone regeneration, which may cause future complications. Without bone grafting, a dental implant would not have enough mass to securely latch onto.

So, when do you need a bone graft?

• Once a tooth is lost, 25% of bone width is reduced within the first year. If left untreated for an extended period, there would not be enough surrounding jawbone to support a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. Once bone mass is gone, it cannot be reversed which is why a bone graft may be needed.

• Periodontal disease can also cause bone to disintegrate, which can lead to tooth loss. The bacteria slowly eat away at the jawbone and periodontal ligament, which connect teeth to bone.

• Dental trauma, including the persistence of grinding and clenching teeth, can cause excess wear on the tissue supporting tooth structure. The constant pressure can also lead to fractured or cracked teeth, which do not heal. Aside from grinding and clenching, trauma can also include a tooth getting knocked out from an accident or a fall. In this case, a bone graft may be needed as well.

Bone loss can be caused by several different circumstances, but one thing is for sure- a bone graft is a great alternative for repairing and building new bone. So, what are you waiting for? Call today for a consultation to see what our office can do for you! 804-379-7120

4 Types of Foods You Can Eat After You Had Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

picture of ice cream cones

About 90% of people need to get their wisdom teeth removed. If you are a part of that 90%, you might be wondering what the steps are post-surgery. Taking it easy and getting a lot of rest is a key step to a quick recovery. Another big step is knowing what you can and can’t eat. Here is a list of foods you can indulge in post-surgery.

  1. Ice Cream: After having a minor surgery, it’s okay to treat yourself with a little sweet. The coolness will not only feel good, but it will also help sooth inflamed tissue. Try to avoid eating cones and flavors of ice cream with large chunks in them like chocolate chips and nuts.
  2. Soup: Soup is a great food to have on hand after your surgery. It provides protein and the broth is easy to eat. If you choose this brothy goodness, make sure you aren’t eating large pieces of vegetables and the temperature of the soup isn’t too hot.
  3. Mashed potatoes: Not only are mashed potatoes delicious, but they are easy to make and they really are the perfect post-surgery food. You can smother them with gravy, butter or sour cream. Top the meal with whatever sounds good to you, but make sure there aren’t large potato chunks you’ll have to chew. Another route you could take is mashed sweet potato. Top it with butter and cinnamon to take this savory treat to sweet!
  4. Smoothies (NO STRAWS): Smoothies are a great source to get all the nutrients your body will need. You can make different flavors with fruits and vegetables. Prepack your smoothie packs before you have your surgery so all you have to do is blend and enjoy. You could also add in different protein powders or vitamins to help your body. If you choose to make a smoothie, DO NOT USE A STRAW. Sucking on a straw could disrupt your healing process and create dry sockets.

These are just a few ideas of what you can eat post-surgery. There are a ton of other options. Get creative and indulge in the snacks you wouldn’t normally eat for your main course. If you have any hesitations or questions on what you can’t and can eat, call our office. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

woman sitting on chair pondering

One of the most important jobs we have is to examine, monitor, and diagnose oral cancer in our patients. Every year, nearly 52,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer. More than 8,000 of

those people will die. This is why it is crucial to get routine oral exams and keep a close eye on the state of your mouth.

To make sure that you stay educated and healthy, here is a list of the most important facts you should know about oral cancer:

  • 90% of oral cancers begin in the surface area of the mouth, tongue, and lips. We highly recommend performing regular self-exams, which your dentist can review with you!
  • Cancer found on the tongue, gums, lips, throat, or back of mouth is considered oral cancer.
  • Largest risk factors: Tobacco and alcohol use are two of the biggest risk factors for oral cancer.
  • Other risk factors: Pre-cancerous oral lesion, excessive UV/sun exposure, human papilloma virus (HPV), certain drugs and genetic syndromes.
  • If you are experiencing these common oral cancer symptoms, call our office: Sores that don’t heal, lumps inside the mouth, white or red patches on soft tissues in the mouth, bleeding, pain when swallowing or chewing, numbness, difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, lumps in neck, hoarseness, and more.
  • To diagnose oral cancer, we will examine the mouth and neck, inquire about your exposure to risk factors, and possibly order biopsies and imaging of the head (CT, MRI, etc).
  • Pain is not typically present with early stage oral cancer, so it is crucial to get routine oral checks!

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment!

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait For Your Dental Implant

Image of clock with the words the sooner the better next to it

You need a dental implant, but you are reluctant to get started. We understand that there is some hesitation and life gets in the way. However, here are a list of reasons as to why you 

shouldn’t wait.

  1. Stop your remaining teeth from moving. Your teeth help keep everything in place. When you are missing a tooth, and have a gap, your teeth will start to shift to fill in that gap. That could cause not only uneven teeth, but teeth that are harder to clean and, in the end, that cost you more to fix.
  2. Save Your Jawbone. When you are missing a tooth, your jawbone slowing starts to deteriorate and shrink away. The roots of your teeth keep the jawbone stimulated to maintain the bone mass. The longer you are missing the tooth, the more the bone will disintegrate, making the implant process more difficult.
  3. The appearance of your face. Living without a tooth can eventually change how you look, especially if you suffer from bone deterioration. The longer you go, your skin could begin to make your cheeks sag, which will make you look older than you are.
  4. The way you speak. When you are missing a tooth, it could make it hard to annunciate words, making you sound like you have a lisp.
  5. Your overall self-esteem. Getting a dental implant will allow you to feel like your normal self. You won’t have to worry about how you look or how you sound. The implant looks and feels like a normal tooth. No one will know that you have an implant unless you tell them.

These are just a few reasons as to why you should wait to get your dental implant. If you are experiencing any hesitations or have further questions, contact our office. We are happy to ease your mind and get you on track to a beautiful smile.

BOTOX: Not Just for Wrinkles

In our office, we use Woman wondering for aesthetic purposes – specifically to help our patients to turn back the hands of time by temporarily removing wrinkles. In just 5-10 minutes, we are able to give you a youthful look that will boost your self-confidence.

But many of our colleagues out there utilize BOTOX® for medical purposes as well! It may come as a surprise to you – but not too big of a surprise, hopefully, (we wouldn’t want to cause any extra wrinkles, after all!) – that BOTOX® has many uses besides just smoothing out lines.

Here is a fun look at what else BOTOX® is doing for patients these days:

Underarm Sweat

When your deodorant doesn’t do the job, BOTOX® might be able to help. BOTOX® can be used to reduce severe underarm sweat, also known as severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis. BOTOX® reduces sweat by blocking the nerves from reaching the sweat glands, therefore stopping the production of excessive sweat.

Headaches

BOTOX® can be used to treat chronic migraines. While BOTOX® doesn’t fully lessen the effects of a migraine, it has been shown to lessen the intensity as well as reduce the frequency with which migraines occur. The effects from injections helping headaches typically lasts for three months.

Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder and BOTOX® are probably the last two things you would have thought to put together, but BOTOX® has been shown to be beneficial to people that have an overactive bladder. BOTOX® works on the bladder by stabilizing spontaneous retracting and releasing, which leads to less frequent trips to the bathroom!

Overall, BOTOX® comes in handy for issues such as chronic headaches, overactive bladders and excessive underarm sweat. Who would have known that BOTOX® does more than prevent wrinkles?

If you are ready to tackle your age lines and wrinkles, give Richmond Oral & Cosmetic Surgeons a call for more information about BOTOX® – we are your BOTOX® experts!