Center for Dental Reconstruction

What Exactly is a Dental Implant?

what is a dental implant

Missing teeth? No problem. A dental implant is a way to replace an empty void that may be leaving you self-conscious about your smile. Whether the vacant spot is due to a sports injury, facial trauma, periodontal complication, or bad oral hygiene, it can fill the vacancy permanently and give you a boost of confidence. So, what exactly is a dental implant? Here are a few things you need to know:

• Dental implants act as a replacement for the roots of a tooth. Metaphorically speaking, they can be the anchor for crowns, bridges and dentures and are screwed into the jaw bone to provide support for replacement teeth. They are surgically inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum line.

• Dental implants resemble the shape of screws and once placed into the jawbone, will naturally bond with your natural bone to provide a strong base for artificial teeth.

• Dental implant surgery is one of the safest procedures done in dentistry.

• Dental implants will be the next best thing you’ll have to healthy and natural teeth.

• A dental implant is dependent on the oral health of the person undergoing treatment. There needs to be healthy tissue in the mouth and enough jaw bone to support these dental implants.

• After undergoing a dental implant procedure, keeping the structures healthy and clean should be done precisely and with attention to detail. This will help to maintain and ensure the long-term success of the treatment and the oral health of your mouth.

Don’t let a missing tooth or teeth stop you from living a full life without limits. Laugh and smile, indulge in foods without restriction, and most importantly, feel comfortable in your own skin. Call our office Center for Dental Reconstruction in Metairie LA Phone Number 504-833-3368 to find out how a dental implant can be beneficial to you and the overall health of your teeth. What have you got to lose? Call us today!

Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

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! Center for Dental Reconstruction in Metairie LA Phone Number 504-833-3368

What to Expect When Expecting (..A Bone Graft)

bone graft what to expect

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 @ Center for Dental Reconstruction in Metairie LA Phone Number 504-833-3368.

Common Dental Implant Myths

common myths about dental implants

Insecure about a missing tooth? Don’t be. With dental implants, you can get your smile back to looking perfect. For many, dental implants provide the feeling of having their natural teeth back again. This is because instead of being a removable type of device, such as a dental flipper, dental implants are permanently embedded into the jaw, which then allows a dental crown to take the place of the missing tooth. We understand that this procedure may seem intimidating, but we’re here to reassure you it’s not as bad as it sounds. Below are the top three common misconceptions when it comes to getting dental implants.

 

 

Myth #1: Dental Implants are painful

 

This is a common fear. Many people hold back from pursuing a dental implant, simply because they’re afraid the procedure might be too painful. However, this is not true. The procedure itself is pain-free.  As always after surgery, there may be some temporary discomfort, but your doctor will work very closely with you to ensure your comfort and ease.

 

Myth #2: Dental Implants are expensive

 

Although dental implants aren’t cheap, they’re a much better investment than dental bridges, which need replacing every 7-15 years. Dental Implants cost may be high initially, but it’s a better financial decision in the long run.

 

 

Myth #3: Dental Implants cause headaches

 

It’s a fairly common myth that dental implants can cause migraines or headaches. However, we’re here to let you know that this is not true. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this. After the dental implant has successfully bonded with the jaw/gums, you should experience zero pain.

 

 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental implants, give our office a call at 504-833-3368 so we can discuss the next steps.

 

3 Myths About Oral Cancer

3 myths about oral cancer

There have been many misconceptions about Oral Cancer regarding the severity, prevention and likelihood of being diagnosed with this disease. It’s important to separate fact from fiction by understanding the disease as a whole. Among the numerous myths, I am here to set three of the most common ones straight.

 

Myth #1: Only Smokers Get It: There are a variety of factors that can cause Oral Cancer, one of them being tobacco and nicotine usage. By smoking you would be increasing your odds of being diagnosed but that doesn’t mean only smokers are at risk for this disease. Alcohol consumption is another factor that can significantly increase your chances of Oral Cancer as well. Genetics can also play a part in the diagnosis, but they don’t guarantee you will get it.

 

Myth #2: It’s Rare: The most recent estimate for this year is that 50,000 people will be diagnosed with Oral Cancer. Mouth and throat cancers are ranked very high among common cancers worldwide, which is the exact opposite of rare. In order to reduce your own risk, it’s important to be aware of alcohol consumption, tobacco usage, diet as well as participating in any preventative screenings that are available.

 

Myth #3: I am Too Young: Although the likelihood of Oral Cancer increases with age it doesn’t mean that anyone under the age of 50 is immune to this disease. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to the diagnosis regardless of age. New studies show that even certain sexually transmitted diseases, such as HPV, are linked to the development of Oral Cancer, which increases the risk of any age group.

 

Staying on top of your Oral Health is key for prevention. Early diagnosis and detection will help deter the rapid spread of this disease, so it doesn’t advance to a more harmful stage. Contact our office today for your Oral Cancer screening! 504-833-3368

5 Perks of Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

5 perks of wisdom teeth removal

For 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 504-833-3368

 

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

ice creamAbout 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. Center for Dental Reconstruction in Metairie LA Phone Number 504-833-3368

What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

woman waitingOne 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! Center for Dental Reconstruction in Metairie LA Phone Number 504-833-3368

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait For Your Dental Implant

image of clockYou 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. Center for Dental Reconstruction in Metairie LA Phone Number 504-833-3368

Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

woman smiling next to bone graftBone grafting and dental implants typically go hand-in-hand, as the loss of a tooth can wear down the surrounding jawbone structure and a dental implant is a common procedure to replace lost teeth. As soon as a person loses a tooth, bone loss begins. In order to place a sturdy, reliable dental implant, a bone grafting procedure is often required in order to rebuild the jawbone. While bone grafting sounds daunting, it is a safe and reliable procedure that prepares the jaw bone for a dental implant, and in most cases, is necessary to build up a sturdy foundation.

In a bone graft procedure, bone tissue taken from another part of the body is grafted into the jawbone. Another method utilizes processed bone from animals, but results in the same regrowth of your jaw. It can take several months for the graft to set and grow into a stable foundation for a dental implant.

Depending on the amount of bone loss, bone grafts can be placed at a variety of times during the implant process. For example, if only a minor bone graft is needed, we may be able to place it at the same time as the dental implant. However, if a larger bone graft is necessary, it will have to rest for months before the dental implant procedure can be performed.

Bone grafting is a very important and often overlooked procedure when it comes to preparing for a dental implant! Dental implants have increased in popularity and effectiveness over the years, as they provide the most reliable replacement for natural teeth. Dental implants look and feel like normal teeth, and if treated properly, can last the rest of a person’s lifetime! Bone grafts and dental implants work together to restore smiles.

Contact us today at Center for Dental Reconstruction in Metairie LA Phone Number 504-833-3368 to schedule your dental implant consultation, and we can talk about your bone grafting options!