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A periodontal operation is a surgery to restore gum tissue lost to periodontal disease, improve the cosmetic appearance of one’s smile, or otherwise prepare the teeth for restorative prosthetics. Periodontal surgery is performed under local anesthesia – usually from the comfort of a dental office. Though there is little or no discomfort associated with the actual procedure itself, patients must follow very specific instructions for care during the post-operative period.

Did you know…

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among U.S. adults? The American Dental Association recommends twice-yearly screenings for periodontal disease – even if you have already been treated for the condition. Not only can regular check-ups help save your gums and teeth, but it may also help reduce your risk of developing certain systemic diseases that have been linked to a periodontal disease, such as heart disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am having periodontal surgery. What types of instructions will I need to follow on the day of my operation?

Someone will need to drive you home after your surgery. A periodontal dressing may be applied to the surgical site, hardening after a few hours. This dressing will remain in place until your follow up appointment, though it is normal for parts of it to fall off before then. The periodontal dressing is designed to withstand the pressure of chewing, but it should not be brushed over with a toothbrush.

At home, you can take pain medications as prescribed to help manage discomfort at the surgical site. Apply an ice pack to your cheek intermittently to reduce swelling in the initial hours after your operation. You may eat soft foods and liquids, but avoid hot items, such as coffee. Do not disturb the surgical site and avoid rinsing your mouth the first day if possible.

When will I start to feel like ‘myself’ again?

You may return to your regular activities 24 hours after a [city] periodontal surgery, but avoid exercise or over-exertion for several days. It is normal for swelling to persist for a few days after surgery, often not completely subsiding for up to a week. Continue to apply ice and hot compresses to the outside of your face as necessary to keep swelling at a minimum. Pain should gradually subside day by day. You may find that over-the-counter medications are enough to keep you comfortable after day two of your recovery, but do not hesitate to contact our office if your pain is not manageable.

Is there anything I need to do to facilitate the healing process?

Most patients have successful surgeries with complication-free recoveries. You can improve your chances of a simplified healing process by not smoking and remembering to irrigate the mouth with a salt water rinse following meals beginning the day after surgery. If you feel that your gums are not healing properly or you experience excessive bleeding, pain or a fever, contact our office immediately.

The days and weeks following an oral surgery are an integral part of the recovery process. It is important to follow all of the surgeon’s instructions for care to promote healing and reduce the risk of post-surgical difficulties. Most patients experience a complication-free recovery and can return to work or school within one to two days following surgery.

Did you know…

that discomfort following oral surgery is usually minimal? Though you may be given a prescription-strength pain reliever for the first day or two after surgery, most patients find that an over-the-counter ibuprofen is enough to relieve post-operative discomfort after the initial recovery period. Pain typically becomes less and less by the day, completely subsiding within one to two weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I care for the surgical site on the day of my oral surgery?

A responsible driver will need to accompany you to your surgical appointment and drive you home after surgery. It is normal for the surgical site to bleed and swell during the first few hours after surgery. You may be instructed to bite down on gauze packs, changing them as needed. Get plenty of rest, do not drive, and be careful not to disturb the surgical area on the day of surgery. Follow your surgeon’s instructions for pain relief, and apply an ice pack to the cheek to reduce swelling. If possible, limit your foods to liquids and soft foods that require minimal chewing.

What should I expect on days two and three?

You can begin gently brushing your teeth on the day after surgery so long as you avoid the surgical area. You may gradually begin to incorporate solid foods into your diet, rinsing food from the mouth with an irrigating syringe after eating as instructed by your surgeon. Apply hot and cold compresses to the cheeks intermittently to reduce swelling, and continue to take pain medication only as needed.

Is there anything else I should know about the post-operative period?

After your oral surgery, we ask that you do not smoke for at least 48 hours. Doing so could cause clots to dislodge, resulting in a painful condition known as ‘dry socket’. You should also avoid using a straw. Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions or concerns you may have about your personal healing process.

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General dentistry encompasses a broad range of diseases and disorders of the oral and maxillofacial region. Everyone should see a general dentist for routine oral health examinations, twice-yearly cleanings, and treatment of routine oral health complications, such as minor tooth decay. General dentistry is as much about prevention as it is about treatment. Patients who visit a general dentist can expect professional oral health care, as well as education and advisement about self-care between office visits.

Did you know…

that the American Dental Association recommends that every American visit a general dentist a minimum of one time every six months? Doing so can aid in the detection of decay, oral disease, and other dental health problems before they progress and become severe. If you are at risk for certain complications or have a history of periodontal disease and advanced decay, you may need to visit your general dentist on a more frequent basis. Patients who visit their dentist regularly as recommended are more likely to retain their natural teeth and enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to visit a general dentist?

Yes. Even if you are not currently experiencing any symptoms of tooth decay or gum disease, it is important to visit your dentist for a thorough examination and cleaning. Despite daily brushing and flossing, your teeth can still accumulate tartar that can harbor bacteria. These bacteria can lead to gum disease and tooth decay if not professionally removed at your dentist’s office.

What should I expect during my dentist visit?

Your visit will begin with a general inspection of the condition of your teeth. If you have not been to the dentist in a while, your dentist may order x-rays. An oral hygienist will then use special metal instruments to gently scrape away tartar along your gum line. Later, your dentist will review your x-rays and discuss any symptoms you may have been experiencing. He or she will then make a recommendation for treatment (if applicable) and answer any questions you may have.

Are there any special instructions I need to follow after seeing my dentist?

Based on the results of your dental check-up, your general dentist may recommend that you return for treatment or follow a special at-home oral care plan. You may also be referred to a dental specialist for treatment of advanced oral health conditions.

A full mouth restoration offers patients who have experienced a variety of dental traumas. From those who grind their teeth (bruxism) to those who have had oral cancer to drug users looking for a fresh start, a full mouth restoration will improve both the aesthetics of your mouth and the function. This helps improve the quality of life and your overall confidence.

Did you know…

No two full mouth restorations are alike. This procedure is completely customized to meet your needs and can rely on a wide variety of sub-procedures. Because the point of a full mouth restoration is to improve the health of your teeth, gums, and bite the procedures required to accomplish the end results can vary. Dental implants, dental crowns, dental bridges, veneers, fillings, and more can all be a part of the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for a full mouth restoration?

Because a full mouth restoration is quite invasive, it’s important that whomever is considering the procedure be in good health. Being healthy will make healing and recovering easier, and will also help you get the best results possible.

How long does a full mouth restoration take?

The length of your full mouth restoration will depend on how many procedures are required to accomplish our goals. Generally, however, you can expect multiple visits over several months. This is because each procedure will require recovery time and healing. The benefit is that each procedure will help improve your quality of life and confidence. So each procedure is a step toward a better future.

What is recovery from a full mouth restoration like?

Because the restoration occurs over several months, recovery usually occurs in steps. This allows your body to heal best, so it doesn’t go into shock and reject things like implants. Procedures like fillings require far less healing than something like a dental implant, which requires your bone to heal.

Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder that interferes with healthy breathing patterns during sleep. It is characterized by snoring, which may be so loud that it affects the sleep quality of bed partners. Having sleep apnea can put a strain on relationships, cause daytime fatigue, and even lead to other secondary conditions like depression. Worse, severe cases of sleep apnea can be life threatening.

Though snoring is a primary symptom of sleep apnea, not all people who snore actually have sleep apnea. As much as 50 percent of Americans snore at some time, whether occasionally or chronically. However, only 20 percent of American adults have sleep apnea. So how do you know the difference? Harmless snoring does not interfere with breathing patterns. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, causes breathing cessations and sometimes ‘gasping’ during sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need treatment for sleep apnea?

You may need to see a doctor if you or your partner have been awakened by your chronic snoring and/or gasping for air. Though this condition can be very dangerous, your doctor can help you discover ways of managing sleep apnea and protecting healthy breathing during sleep.

How will my doctor screen for sleep apnea?

Your doctor’s first goal will be to determine whether your snoring is benign or a symptom of sleep apnea. This may be determined by speaking with you and your partner about your symptoms. If you do not have a partner who can confirm snoring or breathing interruptions, your doctor may request a sleep study.

What types of treatments are available for people with sleep apnea?

There are many ways of treating the symptoms of sleep apnea. This may include conservative approaches, such as a new sleeping position or the use of an oral appliance. If your apnea symptoms are severe or conservative treatments are not working, you may be prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP) to open the airway. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Keep in mind that a diagnosis of sleep apnea is not always permanent. Many patients find that losing weight can be an effective way of opening the airway during sleep.

The use of sedation in dentistry has revolutionized the way patients view dental visits. Patients who once were afraid or anxious about even the most routine dental procedures now visit the dentist with confidence. Sedation is typically administered to healthy individuals who need help relaxing or managing treatment anxiety. Reasons for needing sedation may include lengthy procedure times, dental phobias, or fear caused by negative experiences in the past.

Did you know…

that here are three different types of sedation dentistry? You can opt for sedation administered in one of the following ways:
  • Oral Sedation – A pharmacological agent administered prior to treatment to alleviate anxiety and help patients relax.
  • Inhalation Sedation – Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide offers a euphoric feeling that makes dental treatments more pleasant.
  • IV Sedation – This is a deep sedation reserved for patients who want little or no memory of their dental visits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I choose sedation dentistry?

Only you and your dentist can determine if sedation is right for you. Because sedation covers a spectrum of treatments, you will need to consult with your dentist to discuss whether light, moderate or deep sedation best meets your needs. Your eligibility for sedation will depend on your age, health, and any other medications you may be taking.

What should I expect if I am sedated for my dental procedure?

That depends on the type of sedation you undergo. Oral sedation is relatively simple and involves taking a prescribed medication about an hour prior to your procedure. You’ll feel more relaxed, yet completely aware of your surroundings during treatment. If you choose nitrous oxide, you’ll be instructed to inhale the gas at the beginning of your appointment. Additional nitrous can be administered throughout your procedure to keep you in a state of euphoria. At the conclusion of your treatment, you’ll be given oxygen to help ‘snap’ you out of your sedated state. If IV sedation is right for you, you’ll be instructed to avoid foods and beverages the night before your treatment. A sedative will be administered to you intravenously prior to your procedure, causing you to fall into a deep sleep. A dental anesthesiologist will monitor you throughout the procedure and adjust dosage as needed.

Are there any precautions I need to take after being sedated?

Depending on the type of sedation you undergo, a licensed driver may need to drive you home from your dental appointment. If you undergo IV sedation, you may need to be supervised for several hours following the procedure.

Dental veneers – also known as laminates – are used to cosmetically enhance the appearance of one or more teeth. Veneers are very thin, porcelain or resin shells that are customized for a desirable color and shape. They are bonded to the surface of the teeth to reshape broken, misshapen or irregular teeth, as well as provide a solution for discolored teeth that do not respond to traditional whitening treatments. Patients with veneers typically achieve a natural tooth appearance that is well-tolerated by the gums and also resistant to future stains.

Did you know…

that dental veneers are a conservative way of completely making over your smile? In fact, veneers are a go-to cosmetic procedure that has become popular with celebrities who want a brighter and more symmetrical smile. Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff and Ben Affleck are just some of Hollywood’s elite who have seen a cosmetic dentist for laminates. Fortunately, affordability and accessibility make it easy for anyone to get dental veneers – including patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for dental veneers or laminates?

Dental veneers may be right for you if you are looking for an alternative to crowns and caps. Veneers can help you if you have gaps between your teeth or teeth that are broken, chipped, irregularly shaped or misaligned. To find out more about whether dental veneers are right for you, contact a cosmetic dentist to schedule a consultation.

What should I expect when I get my dental veneers?

Before dental veneers can be placed on the teeth, the surface of the teeth must be prepared for bonding. After administering a local anesthetic, your dentist will buff away approximately half a millimeter from the surface of the teeth. You’ll then bite into a mold that will be used to form your veneers in a dental lab. When the veneers are ready, you’ll be asked to return to have them fitted, bonded and adjusted for shape and color.

Will I need to follow any post-treatment care instructions?

There is no special care required for dental veneers, and normal brushing and flossing can be resumed immediately. Because veneers are usually placed over the course of two appointments, it is normal to experience some sensitivity between the first and second visit when the teeth have been reduced in preparation for bonding.

There is a wide range of procedures at the disposal of periodontists for the treatment of periodontal diseases and conditions. When multiple treatment choices are available, the American Academy of Periodontology supports the use of the most minimally invasive and cost-efficient option. Often, this means that patients can undergo non-surgical treatments to restore periodontal health. Examples of non-surgical periodontal treatments include:

Did you know…

that periodontal disease is a serious epidemic throughout the U.S.? Although the disease is not contagious, it can be found in half of all adults over the age of 30. According to the Centers for Disease Control, periodontal disease can range from mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis). Approximately 16 percent of Americans have either the mildest or most severe forms of periodontal disease, leaving about 30 percent with a moderately advance case of the disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for non-surgical periodontal treatment?

Only your periodontist can tell you if you are a candidate for non-surgical periodontal treatment. However, non-surgical treatments are typically only available to patients with mild to moderate periodontal disease. Schedule a consultation with your periodontist to find out if non-surgical treatment is right for you.

What should I expect during a non-surgical periodontal treatment?

Your experience will vary depending on the type of treatment you receive. If you have especially mild periodontal disease, you may be given a custom-fitted tray delivery system for use at home. However, many patients undergo in-office scaling and root planing. During this procedure, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to prevent discomfort, and a small probe will be used to remove tartar and smooth the tooth’s root to prevent bacteria build-up.

Will I need to follow any special instructions following non-surgical periodontal treatment?

In the days following your scaling and root planing treatment, you may experience heightened tooth sensitivity. Use a sensitivity toothpaste and try to eat only soft foods to prevent pain. If you were prescribed antibiotic, be sure to take it according to your periodontist’s instructions.

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