An important aspect of dentistry is in restorative care. Patients may require restoration for congenital defects, traumatic injury or to improve function. Oral and maxillofacial surgery can make a substantial difference in your appearance and function. Before treatment, our team at Kelly Smile Dentistry can review, diagnose and help in finding the right course of therapy.
Though Dr. Kelly can perform surgical procedures, depending on the case, we will often refer the patient to an oral surgeon who provides surgical treatment more frequently and has created relations with medical facilities when necessary. Surgery is a term applied when cuts into the soft tissue are made. Oral surgery is the surgical treatment in the mouth, neck, facial and jaw region. This can be for a range of services including the surgical removal of wisdom teeth, jaw realignment or facial reconstruction. The first step to oral surgery is receiving a review and recommendation from a dentist.
Surgical Placement of Dental Implants
A surgical treatment that we do perform in office is the surgical placement of dental implants. A dental implant is a titanium post that we can sink into the jawbone to serve as a replacement tooth root after a tooth is lost. This procedure restores the foundation for a new tooth to be placed over, meaning the patient can have a fully functioning individual tooth to replace a missing tooth. We can also use implant posts to secure dental devices to, such as a bridge, partial denture or full denture. The implant serves as a firm anchor. The surgical procedure for placing an implant is relatively simple, the most complicated portion of treatment is in the planning.
Using 3D radiographs, we create a map for precise planning. Once the treatment plan has been established, we simply open the tissue and place the implant into a space that is created in the bone. The tissue is sutured closed, and the patient is sent home for a period of healing. Soft tissue healing occurs quickly, within a few days, but bone healing will take longer. We need the bone to heal around the implant for a firm hold. This healing process is known as osseointegration, or bone integration. As the bone heals, it creates connections to the device, bonding the two of them together for a permanent, firm hold. This process is vital to the success of treatment and means that being able to heal properly is highly important. If you have a condition that can potentially slow the healing process such as diabetes, cancer treatment, or smoking, we will need to discuss and review your options.
Following Oral Surgery
The time after any oral surgical procedure is important. Patients are advised to look for any symptoms that could indicate infection or be problematic. This can include swelling, running a fever, pus, or excessive bleeding. We ask that patients always follow the information given at the time of surgery, take all prescribed medication as given by instruction, and do not delay if anything seems unusual. Problems from surgery can arise, and if not taken care of, can be potentially life-threatening.
Patients can find relief in following the directions given by Dr. Kelly or your oral surgeon. This will often include rest, not disrupting a clot, and being aware of your body. We are happy to provide tips or guidance when needed.
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